Discussion in 'English Only' started by Poseidon, Aug 23, 2006.
What is the meaning of sentence above?
Could you explain me that?
In USA that is a salutation said to an older or married woman. It is short for Madam. In Europe this is improper from what i undertsand. Let´s see what other members say
Thank you gigizac for your explanation. That is enough for me.
If you address a British lady as "Ma'am" the first question you get asked is whether you're American...
In BE I would always say 'Good morning, madam,' to someone we don't know, otherwise we would address them by their name: " 'mornng Mrs. B", " 'morning Liz"
I don't think we have such an informal address as 'Hi! ma'am!'
Of course, in the old days when there were people like bus conductors, the address might well have been " 'mornin' luv", " 'mornin' ducks", especially in the London area.
Unless you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to meet the Queen - when it is the "proper" way to address her, along with Your Majesty. I have always wanted to try "Hi Liz"!
Nah! Just a life-long republican.
While I was abroad, I usually said "Excuse me, ma'am" before I asked something a lady that I didn't know, so it's absolutely incorrect?
It's not really that bad, and it's absolutely right if the unknown woman was indeed Liz.
From what I know, ma'am is commonly used in the South (as in the southern United States) as a respectful term for a woman, especially an elder. However, outside of the South, most women would consider an insult to be called "ma'am," as it implies that the speaker thinks that you look like an old maid! I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but in the Northwest, where I'm from, "miss" is the most appropriate way for addressing a stranger who is female.
That sounds perfectly fine to me, Chazzwozzer.
In my experience, ma'am is the feminine counterpart of sir. To address a stranger respectfully "ma'am" is alright, but Miss can be a lot more flattering! With an authority figure like a police officer I would definitely use "ma'am" (Maybe I'd get fewer tickets using "Miss", though, huh?).
When I started my first job out of college I would have called my boss "ma'am" if she hadn't explicitly expressed her personal distaste for the term (indeed, she did think it made her sound like an old maid! But calling her "Miss" would have been completely inappropriate, I think. Fortunately, she preferred that I call her "Tracey".).
Being a Brit, I would never use the expression 'ma'am' except when addressing the Queen. I would however say "Excuse me, madam." in the appropriate circumstances, this being, in BE, the correct feminine version of 'sir', at least that's the way I see it, others are free to disagree, of course. Wouldn't life be boring if we all agreed on everything? Variety is the spice ....
It is clean for me now!!!
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