A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the first and last name (for example, Graf in German, Cardinal in Catholic usage (Richard Cardinal Cushing) or clerical titles such as Archbishop). Some titles are hereditary.

Types edit

Titles include:

Titles in English-speaking areas edit

Common titles edit

  • Mr. – Adult man (regardless of marital status)
  • Ms. – Adult woman (regardless of marital status)
  • Mx. – Adult person (regardless of marital status), can be used to refer to non-binary people
  • Mrs. – Married Adult woman (includes widows and divorcées)
  • Miss – Unmarried Adult Woman or Female child
  • Master – Male Child
  • Madam (also Madame and Ma'am) – Formal form of address for an adult woman. Also used to denote a position of power or respect, similar to the usage of "Mister" for men, e.g. "Mister/Madam Ambassador".

Controversy around usage of common titles edit

Some people object to the usage of titles to denote marital status, age or gender. In 2018, a campaign named GoTitleFree[1] was launched to encourage businesses to stop requesting, storing and using marital status titles in their registration forms, and when speaking with customers, launched on the grounds that titles often lead to assumptions about a woman's age or availability for marriage, and exclude non-binary people. This is in line with established practice advocated by the World Wide Web Consortium[2] and the Government Digital Service[3] which sets the standard for UK government online services. This in turn means that titles are optional on UK passports and driving licences.

Familial edit

Aunt or Uncle may be used as titles by nieces and nephews, or by children to adults whom they know.

Legislative and executive titles edit

Some job titles of members of the legislature and executive are used as titles.

Aristocratic titles edit

  • Prince/Princess – From the Latin princeps, meaning "first person" or "first citizen". The title was originally used by Augustus at the establishment of the Roman Empire to avoid the political risk of assuming the title Rex ("King") in what was technically still a republic. In modern times, the title is often given to the sons and daughters of ruling monarchs. Also a title of certain ruling monarchs under the Holy Roman Empire and its subsidiary territories until 1918 which is still used in Liechtenstein, (Monaco still uses the title Prince to this day, even though it was not a part of the Holy Roman Empire) and in Imperial Russia before 1917. The German title is Fürst ("first"), a translation of the Latin term;[A] the equivalent Russian term is князь (knyaz).
  • Archduke/Archduchess – A title derived from the Greek Archon ("ruler; higher") and the Latin Dux("leader"). It was used most notably by the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled Austria and Hungary until 1918.
  • Grand Duke/Grand Duchess – "Big; large" + Latin Dux (leader). A variant of "Archduke", used particularly in English translations Romanov Dynasty Russian titles. Also used in various Germanic territories until World War I. Still survives in Luxembourg.
  • Duke/Duchess – From the Latin Dux, a military title used in the Roman Empire, especially in its early Byzantine period when it designated the military commander for a specific zone.
  • Marquis or Marquess/Marquise or Marchioness – From the French marchis, literally "ruler of a border area" (from Old French marche meaning "border"); exact English translation is "March Lord", or "Lord of the March".
  • Count/Countess - From the Latin comes meaning "companion". The word was used by the Roman Empire in its Byzantine period as an honorific with a meaning roughly equivalent to modern English "peer". It became the title of those who commanded field armies in the Empire, as opposed to "Dux" which commanded locally based forces.
  • Earl (used in the United Kingdom instead of Count, but the feminine equivalent is Countess) – From the Germanic jarl, meaning "chieftain", the title was brought to the British Isles by the Anglo-Saxons and survives in use only there, having been superseded in Scandinavia and on the European continent.
  • Viscount/Viscountess - From the Latin vicarius ("Deputy; substitute". Hence "vicar" and prefix "vice-") appended to Latin comes. Literally: "Deputy Count".
  • Baron/Baroness - From the Late Latin Baro, meaning "man, servant, soldier". The title originally designated the chief feudal tenant of a place, who was in vassalage to a greater lord.

In the United Kingdom, "Lord" and "Lady" are used as titles for members of the nobility. Unlike titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs", they are not used before first names except in certain circumstances, for example as courtesy titles for younger sons, etc., of peers. In Scotland "Lord of Parliament" and "Lady of Parliament" are the equivalents of Baron and Baroness in England.

  • Lord – From Old English hlāford, hlāfweard, meaning, literally, "bread-keeper", from hlāf ("bread") + weard ("guardian, keeper") and by extension "husband, father, or chief". (From which comes modified titles such as First Sea Lord and Lord of the Manor.) The feminine equivalent is Lady from the related Old English hlǣfdīġe meaning, literally, "bread-kneader", from hlāf ("bread") + dīġe ("maid"), and by extension wife, daughter, or mistress of the house. (From which comes First Lady, the anachronistic Second Lady, etc.)
  • Emperor/Empress – From the Latin Imperator, meaning he/she who holds the authority to command (imperium).
  • King/Queen – Derived from Old Norse/Germanic words. The original meaning of the root of "king" apparently meant "leader of the family" or "descendant of the leader of the family", and the original meaning of "queen", "wife". By the time the words came into English they already meant "ruler".
  • Tsar/Tsarina (Tsaritsa) – Slavonic loan-word from Latin.
  • Caesar – The name of Julius Caesar taken by his heir Augustus and thereafter by Augustus' successors as Roman Emperor through the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Loaned into German as Kaiser.
  • Leader – From Old English lædan, meaning "to guide". The head of state of North Korea is titled Great Leader. The de facto head of state of Iran is titled Supreme Leader.
  • Chief – A variation of the English "Prince", used as the short form of the word "Chieftain" (except for in Scotland, where "Chieftain" is a title held by a titleholder subordinate to a chief). Generally used to refer to a recognised leader within a chieftaincy system. From this come the variations paramount chief, clan chief and village chief. The feminine equivalent is Chieftess.
Male version Female version Realm Adjective Latin Examples
Pope There is no formal feminine of Pope Papacy Papal Papa Monarch of the Papal States and later Sovereign of the State of Vatican City
Emperor Empress Empire Imperial
Imperial and Royal (Austria)
Imperator (Imperatrix) Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, First and Second French Empire, Austria, Mexican Empire, Empire of Brazil, German Empire (none left in Europe after 1918), Empress of India (ceased to be used after 1947 when India was granted independence from the British Empire), Japan (the only remaining enthroned emperor in the world).
King Queen Kingdom Royal Rex (Regina) Common in larger sovereign states
Viceroy Vicereine Viceroyalty Viceroyal, Viceregal Proconsul Historical: Spanish Empire (Peru, New Spain, Rio de la Plata, New Granada), Portuguese Empire, (India, Brazil), British Empire
Grand Duke Grand Duchess Grand duchy Grand Ducal Magnus Dux Today: Luxembourg; historical: Lithuania, Baden, Finland, Tuscany et al.
Archduke Archduchess Archduchy Archducal Arci Dux Historical: Unique only in Austria, Archduchy of Austria; title used for member of the Habsburg dynasty
Prince Princess Principality, Princely state Princely Princeps Today: Monaco, Liechtenstein, Asturies, Wales;[4] Andorra (Co-Princes). Historical: Albania, Serbia
Duke Duchess Duchy Ducal Dux Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of York, Duke of Devonshire et al.
Count Countess County Comital Comes Most common in the Holy Roman Empire, translated in German as Graf; historical: Portugal, Barcelona, Brandenburg, Baden, numerous others
Baron Baroness Barony Baronial Baro There are normal baronies and sovereign baronies, a sovereign barony can be compared with a principality, however, this is an historical exception; sovereign barons no longer have a sovereign barony, but only the title and style
Chief Chieftainess Chiefdom, Chieftaincy Chiefly Capitaneus The clan chiefs of Scotland, the grand chiefs in the Papua New Guinean honours system, the chief of the Cherokee nation, the chiefs of the Nigerian chieftaincy system, numerous others
  • Popess
    The title of a character found in Tarot cards based upon the Pope on the Roman Catholic Church. As the Bishop of Rome is an office always forbidden to women there is no formal feminine of Pope, which comes from the Latin word papa (an affectionate form of the Latin for father). The legendary female Pope Joan, is also referred to as Popess[5].
    Nonetheless some European languages, along with English, have formed a feminine form of the word pope, such as the Italian papessa, the French papesse, the Portuguese papisa, and the German Päpstin.

Titles used by knights, dames, baronets and baronetesses edit

These do not confer nobility.

"Sir" and "Dame" differ from titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs" in that they can only be used before a person's first name, and not immediately before their surname.

  • Chevalier (French)
  • Cavaliere (Italian)

Judicial titles edit

Historical edit

Ecclesiastical titles (Christian) edit

Titles are used to show somebody's ordination as a priest or their membership in a religious order. Use of titles differs between denominations.

Religious edit

Priests edit

Christian priests often have their names prefixed with a title similar to The Reverend.

Used for deceased persons only edit

Other edit

Academic titles edit

  • Dr. – Short for doctor, a title used by those with doctoral degrees, such as PhD, DPhil, MD, DO, DDS, EdD, DCN, DBA, DNP, PharmD, DVM, and LLD. Those with JD degrees, although technically allowed, do not use this as a title by convention.
  • Prof. – Professor
  • Doc. – Docent
  • EUR ING – Short for European Engineer, an international professional qualification and title for highly qualified engineers used in over 32 European countries.

Military titles edit

Military ranks are used before names.

Maritime and seafarer's professions and ranks edit

The names of shipboard officers, certain shipping line employees and Maritime Academy faculty/staff are preceded by their title when acting in performance of their duties.

  • Captain – a ship's highest responsible officer acting on behalf of the ship's owner (Master) or a person who is responsible for the maintenance of the vessels of a shipping line, for their docking, the handling of cargo and for the hiring of personnel for deck departments (Port Captain).
  • Chief – a licensed mariner in charge of the engineering (Chief Engineer) or deck (Chief Mate or Officer) department
  • Mate – licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship (see Second Mate & Third Mate)
  • Cadet – unlicensed trainee mate/officer or engineer under training

Law enforcement edit

The names of police officers may be preceded by a title such as "Officer" or by their rank.

Protected professional titles edit

In North America, several jurisdictions restrict the use of some professional titles to those individuals holding a valid and recognised license to practice. Individuals not authorised to use these reserved titles may be fined or jailed. Protected titles are often reserved to those professions that require a bachelor's degree[6] or higher and a state, provincial, or national license.

Other organizations edit

Some titles are used to show one's role or position in a society or organization.

Some titles are used in English to refer to the position of people in foreign political systems

Non-English speaking areas edit

Default titles in other languages edit

French German Dutch Spanish Italian Swedish (see note) Portuguese Greek Hindi
Male Monsieur Herr Meneer Señor Signor Herr Senhor Κύριος-ε (Kyrios) Śrīmān/Śrī
Female Madame Frau Mevrouw Señora Signora Fru Senhora Κυρία Śrīmatī
Unmarried female Mademoiselle Fräulein Juffrouw/
Señorita Signorina Fröken Senhorita Δεσποινίς Suśrī
  • Note: Titles are seldom used in Sweden; people are usually referred to by their first name.

Rajput social titles edit

Titles used in Rajasthan and other neighbourhood states of India in honour of Rajputs (only):

  • Hukum – used in general to address any Rajput. Also used as suffix after following titles.
  • Daata – used for highest male member of a Rajput family.
  • Banna – used for Rajput boys.
  • Baisa – used for Rajput girls.
  • Babosa – used for eldest man of family.
  • Bhabha – used for eldest woman of family.

Martial Arts edit

  • Sensei - used for martial arts instructors
  • Sempai - used for junior karate instructors and karate instructors in training
  • Karate-ka - used for karate students
  • Judge - used for the judges and referees at martial arts tournaments
  • Master - used for kung-fu instructors or people who have studied the art their entire life

Academic edit

Religious edit

Honorary titles edit

Rulers edit

Historical titles for heads of state edit

The following are no longer officially in use, though some may be claimed by former regnal dynasties.

Appointed edit
  • Caesar (an honorific family name passed through Roman emperors by adoption)
  • Legate
  • Satrap
  • Tetrarch
Elected or popularly declared edit
Hereditary edit

When a difference exists below, male titles are placed to the left and female titles are placed to the right of the slash.

Aristocratic edit

Historical edit





Other edit

Historical edit

Post-nominal letters edit

Members of legislatures often have post-nominal letters expressing this:

University degrees edit

  • Associate
    • AA – Associate of Arts
    • AAS – Associate of Applied Science
    • AS – Associate of Science
  • Bachelor
    • BA – Bachelor of Arts
    • BArch – Bachelor of Architecture
    • BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration
    • BSBA – Bachelor of Science of Business Administration
    • BBiotech – Bachelor of Biotechnology
    • BDS / BChD – Bachelor of Dental Surgery
    • BDentTech – Bachelor of Dental Technology
    • BDes – Bachelor of Design
    • BD / BDiv – Bachelor of Divinity
    • BEd – Bachelor of Education
    • BEng – Bachelor of Engineering
    • BEnvd – Bachelor of Environmental Design
    • BFA – Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • LLB – Bachelor of Laws
    • BMath – Bachelor of Mathematics
    • MB, ChB / MB, BS / BM, BCh / MB, BChir – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
    • BMus – Bachelor of Music
    • BN – Bachelor of Nursing
    • BPhil – Bachelor of Philosophy
    • STB – Bachelor of Sacred Theology
    • BSc – Bachelor of Science
    • BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • BSW – Bachelor of Social Work
    • BTh / ThB – Bachelor of Theology
    • BVSc – Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • Designer [Dz]
  • Doctor
    • DA – Doctor of Arts
    • DBA – Doctor of Business Administration
    • D.D. – Doctor of Divinity
    • Ed.D. – Doctor of Education
    • EngD or DEng – Doctor of Engineering
    • DFA – Doctor of Fine Arts
    • DMA – Doctor of Musical Arts
    • D.Min. – Doctor of Ministry
    • D.Mus. – Doctor of Music
    • D.Prof – Doctor of Professional Studies
    • DPA – Doctor of Public Administration
    • D.Sc. – Doctor of Science
    • JD – Doctor of Jurisprudence
    • LL.D. – Doctor of Laws
    • MD – Doctor of Medicine
    • DO – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    • Pharm.D. – Doctor of Pharmacy
    • Ph.D. / D.Phil. – Doctor of Philosophy
    • PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
    • SJD – Doctor of Juridical Science
    • Th.D. – Doctor of Theology
    • Doctorates within the field of medicine:
  • Master
    • MArch – Master of Architecture
    • MA – Master of Arts
    • MAL – Master of Liberal Arts
    • MBA – Master of Business Administration
    • MPA – Master of Public Administration
    • MPS – Master of Public Service
    • MPl – Master of Planning
    • MChem – Master in Chemistry
    • MC – Master of Counselling
    • M. Des – Master of Design
    • M.Div. – Master of Divinity
    • MDrama – Master of Drama
    • MDS – Master of Dental Surgery
    • MEd – Master of Education
    • MET – Master of Educational Technology
    • MEng – Master of Engineering
    • MFA – Master of Fine Arts
    • MHA – Master of Healthcare Administration
    • MHist – Master of History
    • MLitt - Master of Letters
    • LL.M. – Master of Law
    • MLA – Master of Landscape Architecture
    • MMath – Master of Mathematics
    • MPhil – Master of Philosophy
    • MRes – Master of Research
    • MSc – Master of Science
    • MScBMC – Master of Biomedical Communications
    • MPhys – Master of Physics
    • MPharm – Master of Pharmacy
    • MPH – Master of Public Health
    • MSBA - Master of Science in Business Analytics
    • MSE – Master of Science in Engineering
    • MSRE – Master of Science in Real Estate
    • MSW – Master of Social Work
    • Magister – Magister
    • S.T.M. – Master of Sacred Theology
    • MTh/Th.M. – Master of Theology
    • MURP – Master of Urban and Regional Planning

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ from Old High German furisto, "the first", a translation of the Latin princeps

References edit

  1. ^ "GoTitleFree: Freedom from marital status titles". Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Personal names around the world". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Ask users for Names". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  4. ^ Prince of Wales is a title granted, following an investiture, to the eldest son of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom – he is not a monarch in his own right.
  5. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter (October 1, 1910). "Catholic Encyclopedia". New Advent. Archived from the original on May 8, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  6. ^ "IOM Nursing Educational Recommendations 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09.
  7. ^ "ieee usa policy Engineer title" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-09.
  8. ^ "Guide de pratique professionnelle" [Guide to professional practice]. Guide de pratique professionnelle (in French). Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. 2011. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  9. ^ "Nurse Title Protection Language by State". 20 October 2017.

Sources edit

External links edit