Posted by Stolzi on November 21, 1997 at 12:18:19:
In response to Ma'am, written by Isobel on November 21, 1997 at 10:38:57
] ] 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.
Good heavens, it's not that ancient, or that Regency. 50 years ago in the South, I was brought up to say "ma'am" and "sir" to my parents, and indeed to any adults.
20 years ago, Marine Guards at embassies addressed all of us embassy employees and spouses, also, as "ma'am" and "sir."
It also is the correct way to address Royalty even today, when one is on a good enough footing to skip the "Your Majesty" bit. I've been interested though to discover that it's pronounced "Marm" over there and in those contexts.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.