If one needs to address a man, woman or girl whose name one doesn't know 'sir', 'madam' or 'miss' will do; but how would one address a boy? 'Master X' if one knows his name is X, but what if one doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

Pigeons were widely suspected of secret intercourse with the enemy; counter-measures included the use of British birds of prey to intercept suspicious pigeons in mid-air.
Christopher Andrew, 'Defence of the Realm', Allen Lane
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If one needs to address a man, woman or girl whose name one doesn't know 'sir', 'madam' or 'miss' will ... one knows his name is X, but what if one doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

How about "Young Sir" or "Young Man", or "Young Fellow", or "little punk" (just kidding :-)

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If one needs to address a man, woman or girl whose name one doesn't know 'sir', 'madam' or 'miss' will ... one knows his name is X, but what if one doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

Esquire.
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If one needs to address a man, woman or girl ... doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

Esquire.

You would? As in "Excuse me, Esquire, please stop riding your bike across my lawn"?

Cheers, Harvey
CanEng and BrEng, indiscriminately mixed
If one needs to address a man, woman or girl ... doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

Esquire.

Um... well... yes, but it sounds even odder than 'sir'!

Pigeons were widely suspected of secret intercourse with the enemy; counter-measures included the use of British birds of prey to intercept suspicious pigeons in mid-air.
Christopher Andrew, 'Defence of the Realm', Allen Lane
If one needs to address a man, woman or girl ... doesn't know his name? 'Sir' seems odd for a child.

How about "Young Sir" or "Young Man", or "Young Fellow",

Yes, in informal situations any of those will do.
or "little punk" (just kidding :-)

Pigeons were widely suspected of secret intercourse with the enemy; counter-measures included the use of British birds of prey to intercept suspicious pigeons in mid-air.
Christopher Andrew, 'Defence of the Realm', Allen Lane
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On 08 Dec 2009, White Spirit wrote

Esquire.

You would? As in "Excuse me, Esquire, please stop riding your bike across my lawn"?

Esquire is used in correspondence. The traditional form of address would be 'Young Master'.
On 08 Dec 2009, White Spirit wrote You would? As in "Excuse me, Esquire, please stop riding your bike across my lawn"?

Esquire is used in correspondence.

Yes, I know that; I was poking at what struck me as a bit of a non sequitur. (It was clear to me that the OP was asking about spoken, not written, modes of address.)

Cheers, Harvey
CanEng and BrEng, indiscriminately mixed
... (It was clear to me that the OP was asking about spoken, not written, modes of address.)

Correct.

Pigeons were widely suspected of secret intercourse with the enemy; counter-measures included the use of British birds of prey to intercept suspicious pigeons in mid-air.
Christopher Andrew, 'Defence of the Realm', Allen Lane
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