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Raymond S. Wise typed thus:

That's true. But the same pronunciation used as a noun ... determiner: "I'll ask the missus." "That's his missus, all right."

(where's the thread on class?) This is an ugly term which has never passed my lips. . "the missus" sounds like some sort of chattel to rank with "the car" and "the dog".

Wouldn't you say it was the definite article rather than the noun which makes it such an offensive construction? 'I'll ask the wife' is every bit as appalling to me as 'I'll ask the missus'. Or indeed 'I'll ask the old ball & chain', 'I'll ask the trouble and strife' et al

John Dean
Oxford
First post to this froup (though I have lurked for ... been held, say, 50 years ago). Any other thoughts/ possibilities?

Missus.

Mrs. is a shortened form of Mistress. Mister is a variation of Master. He runs the finances and the farm; she runs the household.

According to English Common Law, the wife never "belonged to" the husband, but a woman's husband was, for some time, "he whom she must not gainsay" (he was boss). He owned the personalty (personal property or movables), but if she inherited property (real property or land), it was hers, never his, and it was inherited by her heirs, who, if he and she had no children together, were not his.

I know that lots of people think that a wife belonged to her husband, that he could beat the hell out of her if he wanted to, that he owned every single thing she had and she owned nothing but that is all myth, often attributed to Blackstone, who actually wrote no such thing! For the Common Law of the time of Henry III, see Bracton: http://hlsl.law.harvard.edu/bracton/ and for Blackstone himself (First Edition, 1765-69): http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/blackstone/blacksto.htm#intro Glanvill (1187-89), Britton (temp. Edw I), Littleton (temp. Henry VII), and Coke (1631) aren't available on the Web yet.

Cece
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I always thought that Mistress meant something half-way between a misterand a mattress. Alan

Only in the dictionary, Alan.

Your reply is as daft as Alan's was funny.
Adrian
Mr. for Master Mrs. for Mistress Miss for Mistress Ms. for

Mr + Mr = Mrs? Doesn't look right. What is the solution for this sum?

Messrs.
Mrs+Mrs = Mesdames (which looks very twee but I've often seen it in local newspapers)
Adrian
Mr. for Master Mrs. for Mistress Miss for Mistress Ms. for

On a serious - and non-argumentive - note, I've always thought that "Ms" was one of the better products of the "hear me roar" movement.

You can think that. I'd say it's made things worse: we now have three ways of titling an untitled woman instead of two. I think the one word "Miss" should suffice for all women.
Anyway, whenever a form asks me for my "title" I always cross out that whole line.
Adrian
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and

Only in the dictionary, Alan.

Your reply is as daft as Alan's was funny. Adrian

Fall off the swede lorry, did we?
Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany

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First post to this froup (though I have lurked for a while). I was thinking about salutations... Mr is a shortened form of Mister, Dr is a shortened form of Doctor, of what is Mrs the shortened form? How do you spell Mrs?

Mistress.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
First post to this froup (though I have lurked for a while). I was thinking about salutations... Mr is a ... - or at least that's a view that would have been held, say, 50 years ago). Any other thoughts/ possibilities?

"Mistress". If you don't believe me, you can look it up at .
My thought was that someone else would have answered this by now, but then I realized there was a possibility that people had just given you the kind of chaff that Peter Tillman did.

Jerry Friedman
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Adrian Bailey filted:
Mrs+Mrs = Mesdames (which looks very twee but I've often seen it in local newspapers)

And pronounced "meh-dom", which H Allen Smith said he couldn't bring himself to use unless he were cutting a caper..r
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