The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







MISS may also refer to the American Man In Space Soonest program.

Miss is a title, typically used for an unmarried woman.

Miss is a contraction of Mistress, originating during the Victorian era. Its counterpart, Mrs., was used for married women.

In some styles of etiquette, the eldest daughter of a family was addressed on paper or in introductions simply as Miss Doe, with the younger daughters being addressed as Miss Jane Rebecca Doe. In spoken address, the title is used with the last name.

In some regions such as the American South, Miss is also traditionally added to a woman's first name in direct or indirect address, as Miss Ilsa.

Miss can be used in direct address to a woman, for example, May I help you, miss? Some women consider this disrespectful and prefer ma'am. In the United Kingdom, Miss is often used to address female teachers without using their name, regardless of marital status.

Miss was formerly the default title for a businesswoman. It was (and to some extent remains) also a default title for celebrities, such as actresses. (The poet Dorothy Parker was often referred to as Miss Parker, even though Parker was the name of her first husband and she herself preferred Mrs. Parker.)

Another notable use of Miss is as the title of a beauty queen, such as Miss America, Miss World, or Miss Congeniality.

Other languages, such as French and Spanish, have borrowed the English Miss to refer to the winner of a beauty pageant.

The use of Miss has declined in popularity to some extent, except in reference to young girls. In the professional world it has been almost entirely replaced by Ms., which does not indicate a woman's marital status.

See also

Last updated: 08-20-2005 07:21:31
Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12