How to Address a Married Woman?



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HONOR & RESPECT

Abbess,
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Abbot,
    Christian Orthodox        
Accountant        
Acting Official       
Adjutant General     
Admiral
        

Admiral, Texas Navy   
Adventist Minister       
Alderman
        

Archbishop, Catholic        
Archbishop,
   Christian Orthodox        
Archdeacon, Episcopal        
Archimandrite        
Architect
Archpriest        
Ambassador, Goodwill
Ambassador of one country
   to another country      
Ambassador of the U.S.
   to another country
   by a U.S. citizen       
Ambassador of the U.S.
   to the U.K.  
American Indian Chief        
Assemblyman
   U.S., State / or           

   Assemblywoman            
Associate Justice,
   U.S. Supreme Court          
Associate Justice of a
   State Supreme Court
Astronaut      
Attorney
         
Attorney General           
Attorney General,
       Assistant   
Attorney, U.S.         
Australian Officials    
Awards, Name on an

Baron, Baroness           
British Officials,
   Royalty, Nobility     
Brother, Catholic
         
Brother,
   Christian Orthodox          
Bishop, Catholic            
Bishop,
   Christian Orthodox         
Bishop, Episcopal        
Board Member     
Boy        
Brigadier General       
Business Cards      

Canadian Officials    
Candidate    
Captain,
   USA, USAF, USMC     
Cardinal
             
Certificate, Name on a 
Chairman
    Federal Reserve      
Chairwoman      
Chancellor      
Chaplain in the
    Armed Services        
Chaplain of Congress          

Chargé d’Affaires         
Chief Executive Officer 
Chief Judge          
Chief Justice,
      U.S. Supreme Court 
Chief Justice, of a State
      Supreme Court             

Chief of Police          
Chief of Staff     

Chief Operating
   Officer          
Child
           
Chiropractor     
City Manager
   
Clergy & Religious
    Officials     
Club Official          
Colonel, Kentucky      
Colonel, USA, USAF,
    or USMC     
Commandant       
Commissioner, Court     
Commissioner
         
Commodore of a         
      Yacht Club         
Congressman, U.S.               
Congresswoman, U.S.   
Consul and or
   Consul General   
 
Consultant      
Corporate Executive         
Councilman
    Councilwoman      
Counselor (Diplomat)      
Countess     
County Officials       
Couples     
    U.S. Military
    U.S. Officials
    Private Citizens    
    Same Sex
Curator        

Dalai Lama          
Deacon         
Dean, academic            
Dean, clergy            
Deceased Persons        
Degree, honorary      
Delegate, U.S., State
            

Dentist             
Deputy Chief of Mission      
Deputy Marshal          
Designate,
Elect,
    Pro Tempore      
Diploma, Name on a   
Diplomats
     

Director      
District Attorney
          
Doctor, Chiropractor     
Doctor of Dentistry
          
Doctor of Medicine              
Doctor, Military           
Doctor of
   Veterinary Medicine          
Doctor, Optometrist   
Doctor of Osteopathy            
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Doctorate        
Doctorate, honorary      

Earl            
Elect, Designate
  
Pro Tempore      
Emeritus/emerita
     
Eminence     
Emperor    
Engineer    
Esquire, Esq.       
Excellency           

Family     
Fiancee      
Firefighter    
First, Second,
   Third , etc .        
First Lady, Spouse
   of the President of
   the United States 
First Lady, Member
    of Her   
    White House Staff      
First Lady, Spouse
   of a U.S. Governor
   or Lt. Gov.    
First Lady, Spouse
   of a U.S. Mayor    

First Lady
   of a Church      

First Lieuten
ant
   
Former Officials    
Freeholder       

Gay Couple      
Geshe

General
    USA, USAF, USMC
Girl       

Goodwill Ambassador      
Governor General         
Governor, Lieuten
ant
 
Governor, Lt., Spouse   

Governor, Tribal Council          
Governor, U.S. State       
Governor, Former    
Governor
    Spouse of     
Governor's Staff,
    Member of
     
Governors, Board of 

High Commissioner    
Honorable, The
          
Honorary Ambassador       
Honorary degrees
Honorary doctorate
   
Honourable, The
   
 
   

Indian Chief         
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Interim Official   
Introductions       
Invitations
  
   Writing &  
   Addressing  
Invitations
   
Military:
    Writing &
    Addressing

Judge, former     
Judge of US City

     County or State     
Judge, US Federal            
Junior, Senior,
    I, II, III, etc
.       

Justice, Associate

     Federal
     Supreme Court

Justice, Associate

     State
     Supreme Court

King     
Knight      

Late, The
   (deceased persons)
       
Lawyer      
Lesbian Couple    
Lieutenant      
Lieutenant Colonel,     
   USA, USAF, USMC      
    
Lieutenant General,
   USA, USAF, USMC      

Lieutenant Governor    
     

Ma'am          
Major
   USA, USAF, USMC  
Major General,
   USA, USAF, USMC   
Man, business
          
Man, social
         
Marquess / Marchioness
 
 
Married Women       
Marshal for a
   Judicial District, U.S. 
Mayor, U.S. City   
Mayor, Canadian City    
Mayor Pro Tempore
     
Mayor, Vice    
Medic      
Minister,
   Protestant Clergy       
Miss      
Monk,
   Christian Orthodox     
Monsignor       
Most Reverend, The        
Mother Superior
    
Mr. (Social)      
Mr. (Business)      
Mrs., Ms. (Use, Social Forms)      
Mrs. vs. Ms.     
Mr. & Mrs. / Couples   
   

Name Badges or Tags     
Nobility, UK/British
       
Nobility, Other & Former     
Nun, Catholic
  
Nun, Orthodox
Nurse           

Officer, Police     
Optometrist     

Pastor, Christian Clergy  
Patriarch,
   Christian Orthodox  
Patriarch,
   Ecumenical Patriarch
   of Constantinople  
People with Two Titles      
Permanent
     Representative        
Petty Officer
      
Pharmacist     
Physician
        
PhD     
Place Cards            
Plaque, Name on a    
Police Chief
Police Officer                     
Pope, Catholic
  
Pope, Coptic
      
Postmaster General         
Post-Nominal
    Abbreviations    
Presbyter, Orthodox
   
President, corporate
President of
    College or
    University   
President of a
    Secondary
    School      
President of a
    US State Assembly 
President (current)
   of the U.S.A.          
President (former)
   of the U.S.A.     
     
President of the
    U.S.A., spouse of  
President-elect
    of the U.S.   
Priest, Catholic          
Priest,
    Christian Orthodox 
Priest, Episcopal        
Prime Minister
       
Principal      
Professionals
   & Academics         
Professor
     
Pro Tempore,
   Elect, Designate    
Psychologist      

Queen

Rabbi               
Ranger, Texas        
Representative,
   U.S., Federal           
Representative,
   U.S., State            
Reservist, Military      
Resident
    Commissioner 
Retired Military
   1. Formula For
       How to Address     
   2. Use of Rank by
       Retired Military    
 

   3. Q&A on
       How to Address
       Retired Military   
Retiree        
Reverend, The
      
Right Reverend, The         

Same Sex Couple      
Salvation Army    
School Board Member
     
Second
Lieutenant        
Secretary,
   U.S. Department,
   Member of the Cabinet
Secretary
   of Defense, U.S.       
Secretary, Assistant       
Secretary General
   of the U.N.            
Senator, U.S., Federal       
Senator, U.S., State         
Senator, Canadian       
Senior, Junior,
     I, II, III, etc.         
Senior Judge 
      
Sergeant       
Sergeant at Arms
          
Seventh Day
     Adventist Minister       
Sheriff       
Sister, Catholic       
Sir       

Solicitor General      
Speaker of the U.S.
   House of
   Representatives.           
Specialist       
Spouse of the
    President of the U.S.       
Spouse of the
    Vice President
    of the U.S.           
Spouse of an
    Elected Official            
State Attorney     
Surgeon General          

Texas Ranger        
Titles & Forms of
    Address, Useless?        
Tombstones, Names on
Town Justice
     
Town Manager       
The Honorable     
Tribal Officials     
Two Titles,
    Person With

Under Secretary    
US Attorney
       
US Federal Officials
     
US State Officials     
US Municipal Officials

Venerable, The        
Veteran (not Retired)         
Veterinarian
           
Very Reverend, The         
VFW Officer/Official    
Vice Mayor       
Vice President
    of the U.S.
Spouse of the
    Vice President
   
of the U.S.
Vice President-elect
    of the U.S.      
 
Viscount and/or
   Viscountess        

Warrant Officer       
Widow
     
White House Staff    
Woman, business        
Woman, social        

Yacht Club Officer      


 

How to Address Married Women?
Questions & Answers, Frequently Asked Questions, and Blog


Site updated by Robert Hickey on August 17, 2016

How to Address Married Women?

Which is the Right Honorific for a
Married Woman to Use: Ms. or Mrs?

     I am married and took my husband's family name. At work so I use Ms. Ann Wells, but some of my married coworkers want to be
Mrs. (Woman's Given Name)+(Family Name).
     I like
Ms. at work because I think it's odd to state my marital status – since when they use Mr. the men don't state their marital status.
     But I do admit that sometimes, like when I am speaking to my kids teachers, it seems odd to be
Ms. Wells.
     -- Ms./Mrs. Ann Wells


Dear Ms./Mrs. Wells:
    
I observe married women use various honorifics depending on the situation.
          Ms. (Her Given Name)+(Family Name) ...  where their marital status is not pertinent but they want to specify an honorific.
Using Ms. implies they are not to be automatically on a first-name basis and prefer be formally addressed in conversation as Ms. (Family Name) Many women (both married and single) use this form at work.  I observe more younger women use Ms. all the time – perhaps since they've grown up with Ms. – than do older women.
          Mrs. (Husband's first name) (Family Name) .... in formal situations or when you are involved as a spouse/part of a couple. This definitely implies that others will call you
Mrs. Surname.  Widows are formally addressed as Mrs. (husband's first name) (Family Name) (unless they remarry) for the rest of their lives if they want to be.
          Mrs.
(Her Given Name)+(Family Name) ...is often the choice of women in the context of being a Mom -- dealing with school teachers (as you do), pediatricians, etc.  This form provides the given name for those with whom they would be on a first-name basisPart of presenting your name is giving guidance to the other person as what you want to be called in conversation. 
         [Another note about
Mrs. (Her Given Name)+(Family Name): Traditional etiquette references state that using Mrs. + (Woman's Given name) + (Family name) is the form used by a divorced woman, who wants to keep using her former husband's family name, but can no longer use Mrs. (Husband's Given Name) (Family Name) because her former husband might have remarried and there would be a new Mrs. (Husband's Given Name) (Family Name). Thus, she uses her given name with Mrs.  But some still married women don’t care what was ‘traditional’ in etiquette books and like to use Mrs. … thus stating their marital status and including their given name.
          (Woman's Given Name)+(Family Name) .... is casual. Not every situation is formal and there is nothing wrong with casual. You also use this form when signing your own name: One never gives oneself an honorific in a signature.
     To me -- you are all of those names at different times. You choose the one that's right for the circumstance, and if someone addressed you incorrectly just correct them. It's that easy.
     O
ne of the basics of forms of address is that your name belongs to you .... and EVERYONE is entitled to be addressed as they prefer!
   
-- Robert Hickey

Use of Mrs. vs. Ms. When I
Keep My Maiden Name
When I Marry?

     My name is Hope Miller.  My husband’s surname is James Clark but I did not change my name when we married.  So, which is the correct way to address someone in this situation:  Ms. Hope Miller or Mrs. Hope Miller? 
     Is it acceptable to address me as Mrs. Hope Clark even though I am not legally a "Clark"? 

      
-- Hope Miller

Dear Ms. Miller:
    You need a legal name for your taxes, passports, purchasing real estate, etc., but you can pretty much use whatever name you want to socially as long as you pay your bills!
    For example, an actress might have
legal name, a stage name and a married name ... answer to all of them ... use each in the appropriate situation.
    Most frequently women who use a different surname than their husband, use in professional situations (when their marital status is not pertinent): Ms. Hope Miller
    Mrs. Hope Miller is a bit odd to me since Mrs. traditionally means Wife Of .... though certainly many women using their birth name use it to insert their marital status into their name, and people will guess that their husband and children's name is "Miller".
    About using your husband's family name: You might indeed use the go-by name Hope Clark or Mrs. Clark ... with your children's teachers or at a neighborhood party.  It's not your legal name ... but it might be who you are at the moment.  
    I list all the traditional forms and several questions on this topic at http://www.formsofaddress.info/Social_M_W.html

       -- Robert Hickey

What's My New Name When I Remarry?
I am 54 years old, have been married prior and have been divorced for many years. I retained my married name due to having a child in school at the time. Since then I have gone to college, had a successful career and have a security clearance.
        I am about to get married and my fiance would like me to take his name. Both for simplicity and preference, I would prefer to maintain the name by which my education and reputation are known. If I do so, would I be addressed as Mrs. his-last-name but my legal name could remain the same? If not, given what I have indicated above, got any recommendations?
          -- R.S.

Dear R.S.,
        There are many of options.
        You will have a legal name and as long as you pay the taxes for all of your income, the government doesn't care what go-by name(s) you use. 
        I heard a protocol colleague say that her university had once hosted Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews to their campus to honor Blake Edwards, and during the visit Julie Andrews asked to be addressed as Mrs. Edwards.  To me that indicated she knew she had many names, and she was comfortable with using the one pertinent to whatever situation she encountered.
        Today, many couples have different last names and simply list their names fully, one after the other. You see lots of women professionals use this form.
        Mr. James Smith
                and Ms. Nancy Wilson
        Mr. James Smith
                and Dr. Nancy Wilson

        Whether or not they are married is not specified in this form, only that they present themselves as a couple.
        You can keep your current legal name and just accept that sometimes you will be addressed by a number of names:
        Ms. (Your Current Surname)
        Mrs. (HIs First and Surname)
        Mrs. (His Surname)

        Re: Mrs. (Woman's First and Surname) e.g., Ms. Rachel Snyder
        This is the form traditionally used by divorced women who would no longer use Mrs. David Smith since there could be another Mrs. David Smith if he remarried. That's not to say I don't encounter currently married women using this form: I do.  But if you look in etiquette books they say it's a form for a divorced woman.
        -- Robert Hickey

How Do I Address a Spouse in Conversation?
I was wondering if you could help me with the distinction between use of “Miss,” "Ms.," and “Mrs.” We have a visitor coming to visit our headquarters with his spouse and we are told that we should call her either Mrs. (Husband's first name and last name) or (Her first name and his last name). e.g. Mrs. Paul Smith or Carla Smith ... but not to call her Mrs. Carla Smith as that would imply she is divorced.  Is that right?
            -- Wondering about Married Women

Dear Wondering,
   Here are some things to consider: If she is coming as the "wife of" a visitor, then in writing she would traditionally be:
             Mrs. (Husband's complete name)
   And in conversation use:
            Mrs. (Husband's last name)

   Women who are included as a spouse are typically O.K. with being
Mrs. (Husband's Full Name). They are being included because they are a spouse, not on their own.
   
In an oral introduction you could May I introduce Mrs. (Surname) or May I introduce (Woman's first name) (Surname) .... no honorific .... either is O.K.
    This is how it is done for First Ladies. For instance the wife of "Bush-43" was either Mrs. George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush or Laura Bush.
    Hillary didn't mind Mrs. Clinton, but did not want to be addressed as Mrs. William J. Clinton .... and requested to be addressed as Mrs. Clinton
and referred to as First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    If she chose the form of address many working women use, she likely would have used Ms. Hillary Clinton, (... or perhaps Ms. Hillary Rodham if when practicing law if she wanted to continue use of her maiden name.)
        Yes ... Mrs. (woman's first name) (surname)  ... is the format traditionally used by divorced women in the U.S.
    Widow's traditionally continue to be "Mrs. (Deceased husband's full name)" .... as long as they don't remarry.
                       -- Robert Hickey

How to Introduce Married Women from The Podium?
Dear Mr. Hickey,
    How should I introduce members of the book committee (I am the chair) to the full club membership at a meeting?  Some of committee members use Mrs. (their husband’s full name), others Mrs. (their full name), and others avoid the issue by using just their (First and last name).  What should I do?   
    -- Mrs. Michael Dillon ... aka ... Jane Dillon

Dear Mrs. Dillon,
    I recently spoke at at meeting of the Centennial Club in Nashville, Tennessee, and noted a speaker using a formula that worked. She clearly thought of it as a formal social situation and wanted to include the Mrs. (Husband's Name) form ... but wanted to include their given name too since they were all on a first-name basis. What she did was to give the woman's married name followed by her given name.
    While it may seem a bit elaborate, it enabled the speaker to be both formal and casual at the same time
:
           Mrs. Michael Dillon .... Jane
           Mrs. Thomas Franklin ... Cindy
           Mrs. Robert Elizer ... Harriet
           Mrs. Richard Montgomery ... Francis

    -- Robert Hickey


Not Finding Your Question Answered?
Below are other topics covered in my blog and at right is a list of officials, Between the two I probably have what you are looking for.
     After hunting around a bit, if you don't see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day (unless I am traveling.)
      If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – with your name and any personal specifics changed.
      -- Robert Hickey

USE OF NAMES & HONORIFICS   
Mr., Miss, Jr., III, & Names        
Married Women       
Deceased Persons         
People with Two Titles
Post-Nominal Abbreviations and Initials         
Sequence Post-Nominal Abbreviations: Sr., Jr., etc.    
 
Couples: Private Citizens / Joint Forms of Address 
Couples: U.S. Military / Joint Forms of Address     
Couples: U.S. Officials / Joint Forms of Address      

USE OF SPECIFIC OFFICIAL TITLES        
Former Officials            
Professionals and Academics        

United States Federal Officials, Currently In Office             
United States State Officials, Currently In Office              
United States Municipal Officials, Currently In Office             
       All About The Honorable with U.S. Officials         
       Former United States Officials of all types             
United States Armed Services
       Addressing Active Duty Personnel              
       Addressing Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Veterans      

Tribal Officials 
           
Clergy and Religious Officials           
Canadian Officials         
Australian Officials          
British Officials, Royalty, and Nobility        
Diplomats and International Representatives
           
Foreign National Officials and Nobility        

SPECIFIC SITUATIONS
Author's Name on His/Her Book       
Business Cards, Names on
,       
Couples           
  
Introductions, Names in
           
Invitations: Names on
       
Invitations: Names of Armed Service Personnel on        
Name Badges & Tags            
Names on Programs, Signs, & Lists            
Naming a Building or Road            
Place Cards            

Plaques, Awards, Diplomas, Certificates, Names on    
Precedence: Ordering Officials 
         
Tombstones, Names on      


Site updated by Robert Hickey on August 17, 2016


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Robert Hickey is the author of Honor & Respect:
The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address
Published by The Protocol School of Washington®
Foreword by Pamela Eyring

Copyright © 2016 Robert Hickey.     All Rights Reserved.
Book Photo: Marc Goodman.





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