[froi-lahyn; Eng. froi-lahyn or, often, fraw-, frou-]
In German, (: [frɔɪlaɪn]) Fräulein (literally, "little woman" or "little Mrs.", colloquial form Frollein) is used as a title for young girls. Historically, it was used as a title for unmarried women as opposed to Frau for married women. It is used with the first name or last name (Fräulein Anna or Fräulein Schmidt). The German suffix "-lein" like the German suffix "-chen" is a diminutive.

The word is no longer considered appropriate and has therefore been dropped. It is now considered preferable to address all women as Frau (plus last name). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Fräulein can still be used when addressing very young girls. Some sources assert that Fräulein is still used to address waitresses, but the Duden, the definitive guide to the usage of the German language, states that this is no longer the case.

Fräulein can be translated as Miss in English; 小姐 in Chinese; Signorina in Italian; Mademoiselle in French; Senhorita in Portuguese; Señorita in Spanish; Mejuffrouw in Dutch; and Gospođica'' in Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian.

Usage in culture

Literature and film have depicted the usage very well, in some cases already in the title. Examples are E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale Das Fräulein von Scuderi (1819), Elizabeth von Arnim's epistolary novel Fräulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther (1907), and the comedy film Fräulein vom Amt (1954), whose title was a common phrase denoting a female operator at a telephone exchange. In an earlier comedy film, Unser Fräulein Doktor (1940), Jenny Jugo plays Dr. Elisabeth Hansen, a young attractive teacher at a Gymnasium (German highschool) who has to fight to be taken seriously as an intellectual.

In English-language film, fräulein is being used as a hint that the characters are actually speaking German. An example of this is The Sound of Music.

"Fräulein" is the title of a 1957 song by Bobby Helms.

"Fräulein" is also the title of a 1960s song sung in German by Chris Howland.

"Fräulein", #3, is also a member of the Arch Rival Roller Girls, a women's flat track roller derby league in St. Louis, Missouri.

German NDW pop singer Fräulein Menke included the term "Fräulein" into her stage name.

Used in the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Toht called Indy's girl Marion "Fräulein".

The character Klavier Gavin, a prosecutor in the Ace Attorney series of video games, makes frequent use of the term fräulein when addressing or referring to the game's female characters.

See also


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