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Mr.
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Mr.

Mr. is a social title used for a man. It is an abbreviation of Mister, though it is almost never spelt out in normal usage.

Mister is an alteration of Master; the equivalent female titles, Mrs, Miss, and Ms, are variants of Mistress.

In direct address, Mr. is usually used with the last name only ("May I help you, Mr. Ericson?"). In indirect speech, it can be used with either the last name or the full name ("This is Mr. James Ericson." "Would you please help Mr. Ericson?") On envelopes, it is usually used with the full name.

Formerly, the title Master was used for young boys. This is now rare or considered affected. If a boy were to be called by a title, Mr. would usually be used.

The title "mister" is sometimes used informally by itself in direct address ("Are you all right, mister?"). In formal usage, the title sir is used in this case.

The rare plural of Mr. is Messrs.: an abbreviation for, and pronounced as, the French messieurs.

Professional titles

"Mr." can be combined with certain titles (Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Justice). The female equivalent is Madam. All of these except Mr. Justice are used in direct address and without the name. The title Mr. Justice Krever is not used in direct address.

In the United States Supreme Court, instead of Mr. or Madam Justice, the title is simply Justice.

The title "Mr." (also, strikingly (?) "Mrs", "Miss", "Ms") in the United Kingdom also indicates those holding postgraduate qualifications in surgery such as MRCS (Member of the Royal College of Surgeons) and FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons).

Marital status

Since the term Mr. does not indicate whether a man is married or not, many feminists believed that a woman's title should not indicate marital status either. The traditional titles are Mrs for a married woman and Miss for an unmarried one. For this reason, the title Ms was advocated as an equivalent to Mr., particularly in business usage.

In several other European languages, the title used for married women, such as Madame, Seņora, or Frau, is the direct feminine equivalent of the title used for men; the title for unmarried women is a diminutive. For this reason, usage has shifted towards using the married title as the default for all women in professional usage. (Interestingly, in English, the title Mistress did not use to indicate marital status.)

See also: doctor