the titles mister / miss applied to boys / girls

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Senior Member
Normally, pupils and students are called by their first names. But there is a local school where kindergarten pupils up to high school students are called using the titles mister or miss and their last names. As far as I know, the titles Mr and Miss are normally applied to adults and sometimes, young people; and I find it strange that these are applied to boys and girls, except in some situations.

What can you say about this practice? Do you find it strange that these titles are applied to a kindergarten or a first grade pupil?

Hi, Miss Smith. How was your weekend? (kindergarten)
Why are you late again, Mr Jones? (second grade pupil)
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    I think it is, as my American colleagues would say, 'cute'. :D

    No, it is not normal, in fact this is the first time I have heard of this use. Rarely, respectfully, and in an old-fashioned way1, a young boy called John Smith might be referred to as "Master John" and his young sister as 'Miss Jane' but Mr/Miss <surname> for a young child seems unique.

    1 e.g. a servant referring to his master's young son or daughter.


    Senior Member
    I feel that it is all right to say this once in a while to a first grader, for example, if the teacher wants to show annoyance:

    Why are you late again, Mr Jones?



    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    An American child is likely to be baffled by this address used seriously. I don't think it would be an effective way to express annoyance.

    It is more plausible as a humorous form of address, the joke being that you are addressing a child as if he were an adult, or in the way he's heard people address his father.
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