Definitions

miss ionize

Miss

[mis]
Miss (pronounced [mɪs]) is a title typically used for an unmarried woman (not entitled to a higher title). It is a contraction of mistress, originating during the 17th century; however, a period (to signify the contraction) is generally not used. Its counterpart, Mrs., is used for married women. Ms. is used for women regardless of marital status.

Can also be defined as to lose something, like a noun; such as a place, person, or thing.

Usage

Miss can be used in direct address to a woman, for example, May I help you, Miss? By British tradition, Miss is often used by schoolchildren to address female teachers without using their name, regardless of marital status. This is also seen in some Commonwealth nations such as Australia, Canada, India.

In some styles of etiquette, the eldest daughter of a family was addressed on paper simply as Miss Doe, with the younger daughters being addressed as Miss Jane Doe and Miss Rebecca Doe. In person, as in when making introductions, the styling would have been extended to unmarried cousins with the same surname.

In the American South, Miss is also traditionally used irrespective of marital status and added to a woman's first name in direct or indirect address, as Miss Ellen from Gone with the Wind or Miss Ellie from Dallas. This form was also used in upper class households in all English-speaking countries by servants to address or refer to the unmarried ladies of the household, and occasionally in family-run businesses in the same manner, though more commonly it was used to address servants if they were addressed by title at all.

Miss was formerly the default title for a businesswoman, but it has largely been replaced by Ms. in this context. It was (and to some extent remains) also a default title for celebrities, such as actresses (Miss Helen Hayes, Miss Amelia Earhart). Such default usage has also proved problematic; the poet Dorothy Parker was often referred to as Miss Parker, even though Parker was the name of her first husband and she herself preferred Mrs. Parker. Later in the century, the use of "Miss" or "Mrs" became a problem for the New York Times in referring to political candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a married woman who did not use her husband's surname, since Mrs has only been used with a woman's maiden name in limited circumstances in public life before the 1980's. (See more at Mrs.) Current American etiquette states that Ms. is preferred for a woman who has kept her maiden name after marriage and where one is not sure of how the woman wants to be addressed. While Miss is still used, it is most frequently used to refer to girls under eighteen.

The prescription that all women (regardless of marital status, profession or age) should be addressed as Ms., has been mooted. However, in actual contemporary usage, some women still prefer to be referred to as Miss. For example, the American media personality, Miss Jones. An example of Miss used in a contemporary formal setting, and to address a woman considerably older than 18, is found in the 2007 film Lions for Lambs. The senator played by Tom Cruise addresses a senior journalist played by Meryl Streep. Her character, Janine Roth, is addressed as Miss Roth. 21st century etiquette typically consults a woman for her preference of title, while using Ms. if this is impractical. This is common practice in forms that provide options for title — for example, Dr, Ms, Mrs or Miss.

Another notable use of Miss is as the title of a beauty queen (given that in most pageants it is a requirement that contestants be unmarried), such as Miss America, Miss Universe, or Miss Congeniality.

Other languages, such as French, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Portuguese, have borrowed the English Miss to refer to the winner of a beauty pageant.

Miss can be used in the plural, as Misses. The usage The Misses Doe was often used in the United Kingdom to refer to unmarried sisters, but this usage is now largely obsolete.

Foreign equivalents

  • Afrikaans: Mejuffrou
  • Albanian: Zonjushë
  • Arabic: آنسة' (Ānisah)
  • Armenian: օրիորդ (Oriord)
  • Azeri: Xanımqız
  • Bosnian: Gospođica (Gđica)
  • Bulgarian: Госпожица (Gospozhitsa)
  • Chinese: 小姐 (Xiáojiě)
  • Croatian: Gospođica (Gđica)
  • Czech: Slečna
  • Danish: Frøken (Frk.)
  • Dutch: Juffrouw (Juf.)
  • Esperanto: Fraŭlino (F-ino)
  • Estonian: Preili (Prl.)
  • Faroese: Frøkun (Frk.)
  • Filipino: Binibini (Bb.)
  • Finnish: Neiti (Nti)
  • French: Mademoiselle (Mlle)
  • Georgian: ქალიშვილი (K'ališvili)
  • German: Fräulein (Frl.)
  • Greek: Δεσποινίς (Dhespinís) (Δεσ Dhes)
  • Hebrew: גברת (Geveret)
  • Hindi: सुश्री (Sushri)
  • Hungarian: Kisasszony
  • Icelandic: Ungfrú (Ung.)
  • Ido: Damzelo, although Sioro can be used for any adult person, married or not, male or female.
  • Indonesian Nona (Nn.)
  • Irish: Ógbhean
  • Italian: Signorina (Sig.na)
  • Japanese: お嬢 (おじょう) (Ojou)
  • Korean: 숙녀 (Suknyeo)
  • Latvian: Jaunkundze (Jk-dze)
  • Lithuanian: Panelė
  • Luxemburgish: Joffer
  • Macedonian: Госпоѓица (Gospoǵica) (Г-ѓица G-ǵica)
  • Malaysian: Cik
  • Maltese: Sinjorina
  • Manx: Cronnaghey
  • Norwegian Frøken (Frk.)
  • Occitan: Domaisèla, Misè
  • Persian: دوشیزه (dushize)
  • Polish: Panna
  • Portuguese: Senhorita (Srta.)
  • Romanian: Domnişoara (D-ra)
  • Russian: Девушка (Devushka)
  • Sanskrit: कुमाऋ (Kumāri)
  • Scots Gaelic: Maighdeann (Mh.)
  • Serbian: Gospođica (Gđica)
  • Slovak: Slečna
  • Slovenian: Gospodična (Gdč.)
  • Spanish: Señorita (Srta)
  • Swedish: Fröken (Frk.)
  • Thai: นางสาว (Nang-sao)
  • Turkish: Bayan
  • Ukrainian: Пані (Pani)
  • Vietnamese: quý cô
  • Welsh: Bonesig

See also

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