Posted by Isobel on November 21, 1997 at 10:38:57:
In response to A question on word usage, written by Mark on November 21, 1997 at 10:24:44
] One thing that has always stuck out in my mind as I read Pride and Prejudice is the way the Bennet girls all call their mother, "Ma'am". I first thought it was the Regency period's version of "Mom", but then after reading other Austen books, I didn't notice other girls using that term for their mothers. Perhaps I just didn't notice.
] Can any of our Regency experts or more thoroughly rounded Janeites enlighten me on this? I would be much obliged.
Ma'am is an abbreviation of Madam, which the Bennet girls call their mother just as they call their father Sir. Otherwise they use Mamma and Papa, which are equally typical of their time.
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