school madam (ma'am)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Montseball, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Montseball Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain) & Catalan
    Hi there!

    This term appears in a film. The narrator is talking about a trip to Berlin during the GDR times in which he made the official tour of East Berlin.

    "Our guide, a school ma'am in her fifties, gives us a cheerfully confident speech. Contrary to Western propaganda there are many different political parties in the GDR..."

    Is he simply talking about a "teacher" or am I missing something?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is an old term, found in the WR dictionary - schoolmarm - that should explain this.

    The guide may indeed have been an old-fashioned teacher.
    Alternatively, she may have had the manner of an old-fashioned teacher.
  3. Montseball Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain) & Catalan
    Thanks a lot, Panjandrum!

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