the young <milady>


Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 384, chapter 17) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was in Venice, together with her sister Hilda. They were listening to a gondolier, who was perfectly ready to prostitute himself to them, if they wanted him.……)

Beautiful ladies, too! He was justly proud of them. And though it was the Signora who paid him and gave him orders, he rather hoped it would be the young milady who would select hint(=him) for l’amore(=love). She would give more money too.

I presume the Signora means old lady, while milady young lady.
Is that right please?
Thank you in advance
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Milady" refers to a lady of any age, but since it is "the young milady" in this case it refers to the younger of the two women.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Signora is Italian* for "lady, Mrs", so is suitable for anyone older or married: it's as opposed to signorina "miss". Milady or miladi is the French* word for an English lady who can be addressed as "my lady", which Connie but not Hilda can.

    * But both used in English for local colour.
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