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A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the first and last name (for example, Graf in German, Cardinal in Catholic usage (Richard Cardinal Cushing) or clerical titles such as Archbishop). Some titles are hereditary.


Titles include:

Titles in English-speaking areas

The following titles are the default titles:

  • Mr. – Adult man (regardless of marital status)
  • Mrs. – Adult woman (usually just for married women, widows, and divorcées)
  • Ms. – Adult woman (regardless of marital status)
  • Mx. - Nonbinary, gender-neutral (does not indicate gender)
  • Miss – Formal title for unmarried women and for female children
  • Master – For male children: Young boys were formerly addressed as "Master [first name]." This was the standard form for servants to use in addressing their employer's minor sons.
  • Maid – Archaic: When used as a title before a name (and not as a general term for a young domestic worker housemaid girl), this was a way to denote an unmarried woman, such as the character Maid Marian.
  • Madam (also madame) –Adult woman

Aunt, Auntie, or Uncle may be used as titles by nieces and nephews, or by children to adults whom they know.

Other titles are used for various reasons, such as to show aristocratic status or one's role in government, in a religious organization, or in a branch of the military.

Legislative and executive titles

Some job titles of members of the legislature and executive are used as titles.

Aristocratic titles

  • Prince/Princess – From the Latin princeps, meaning "first person" or "first citizen." The title was originally used by Augustus at the establishment of the Roman Empire to avoid the political risk of assuming the title Rex ("King") in what was technically still a republic. In modern times, the title is often given to the sons and daughters of ruling monarchs. Also a title of certain ruling monarchs under the Holy Roman Empire and its subsidiary territories until 1918 (still survives in Liechtenstein, and also in Monaco although that is elsewhere), and in Imperial Russia before 1917. The German title is Fürst ("first"), a translation of the Latin term;[A] the equivalent Russian term is князь (knyaz).
  • Archduke/Archduchess – A title derived from the Greek Archon ("ruler; higher") and the Latin Dux("leader"). It was used most notably by the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled Austria and Hungary until 1918.
  • Grand Duke/Grand Duchess - "Big; large" + Latin Dux (leader). A variant of "Archduke," used particularly in English translations Romanov Dynasty Russian titles. Also used in various Germanic territories until World War I. Still survives in Luxembourg.
  • Duke/Duchess - From the Latin Dux, a military title used in the Roman Empire, especially in its early Byzantine period when it designated the military commander for a specific zone.
  • Marquis or Marquess (the feminine equivalent is Marquise or Marchioness) from the French marchis, literally "ruler of a border area," (from Old French marche meaning "border"); exact English translation is "March Lord," or "Lord of the March."
  • Count/Countess - From the Latin comes meaning "companion." The word was used by the Roman Empire in its Byzantine period as an honorific with a meaning roughly equivalent to modern English "peer." It became the title of those who commanded field armies in the Empire, as opposed to "Dux" which commanded locally based forces.
  • Earl (used in the United Kingdom instead of Count, but the feminine equivalent is Countess) From the Germanic jarl, meaning "chieftain," the title was brought to the British Isles by the Anglo-Saxons and survives in use only there, having been superseded in Scandinavia and on the European continent.
  • Viscount/Viscountess - From the Latin vicarius (Deputy; substitute. Hence "vicar" and prefix "vice-") appended to Latin comes. Literally: "Deputy Count".
  • Baron/Baroness - From the Late Latin Baro, meaning "man, servant, soldier" the title originally designated the chief feudal tenant of a place, who was in vassalage to a greater lord.

In the United Kingdom, "Lord" and "Lady" are used as titles for members of the nobility. Unlike titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs", they are not used before first names except in certain circumstances, for example as courtesy titles for younger sons, etc., of peers. In Scotland "Lord of Parliament" and "Lady of Parliament" are the equivalents of Baron and Baroness in England.

  • Lord from Old English hlāford, hlāfweard, meaning, literally, "bread-keeper," from hlāf ("bread") + weard ("guardian, keeper") and by extension husband, father, or chief. (From which comes modified titles such as First Sea Lord and Lord of the Manor.) The feminine equivalent is Lady from the related Old English hlǣfdīġe meaning, literally, "bread-kneader", from hlāf ("bread") + dīġe ("maid"), and by extension wife, daughter, or mistress of the house. (From which comes First Lady, the anachronistic Second Lady, etc.)
  • Emperor/Empress – From the Latin Imperator, meaning he/she who holds the authority to command (imperium).
  • King/Queen – Derived from Old Norse/Germanic words. The original meaning of the root of "king" apparently meant "leader of the family" or "descendant of the leader of the family," and the original meaning of "queen," "wife." By the time the words came into English they already meant "ruler."
  • Tsar/Tsarina (Tsaritsa) – Slavonic loan-word from Latin.
  • Caesar: the name of Julius Caesar taken by his heir Augustus and thereafter by Augustus' successors as Roman Emperor through the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Germanic loan-word for Caesar is Kaiser.
  • Leader – From Old English lædan, meaning "to guide", derived from Old Norse and Germanic. The head of state of North Korea is titled Great Leader. The de facto head of state of Iran is titled Supreme Leader.
  • Chief - A variation of the English "Prince", used as the short form of the word "Chieftain" (except for in Scotland, where "Chieftain" is a title held by a titleholder subordinate to a chief). Generally used to refer to a recognised leader within a chieftaincy system. From this come the variations paramount chief, clan chief and village chief. The feminine equivalent is Chieftess.
Male version Female version Realm Adjective Latin Examples
Pope There is no formal feminine of Pope (Popess) Papacy Papal Papa Monarch of the Papal States and later Sovereign of the State of Vatican City
Emperor Empress Empire Imperial
Imperial and Royal (Austria)
Imperator (Imperatrix) Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, First and Second French Empire, Austria, Mexican Empire, Empire of Brazil, German Empire (none left in Europe after 1918), Empress of India (ceased to be used after 1947 when India was granted independence from the British Empire), Japan (the only remaining enthroned emperor in the world).
King Queen Kingdom Royal Rex (Regina) Common in larger sovereign states
Viceroy Vicereine Viceroyalty Viceroyal Proconsul Historical: Spanish Empire (Peru, New Spain, Rio de la Plata, New Granada), Portuguese Empire, (India, Brazil), British Empire
Grand Duke Grand Duchess Grand duchy Grand Ducal Magnus Dux Today: Luxembourg; historical: Lithuania, Baden, Finland, Tuscany et al.
Archduke Archduchess Archduchy Archducal Arci Dux Historical: Unique only in Austria, Archduchy of Austria; title used for member of the Habsburg dynasty
Prince Princess Principality, Princely state Princely Princeps Today: Monaco, Liechtenstein, Asturies, Wales;[1] Andorra (Co-Princes). Historical: Albania, Serbia
Duke Duchess Duchy Ducal Dux Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of York, Duke of Devonshire et al.
Count Countess County Comital Comes Most common in the Holy Roman Empire, translated in German as Graf; historical: Portugal, Barcelona, Brandenburg, Baden, numerous others
Baron Baroness Barony Baronial Baro There are normal baronies and sovereign baronies, a sovereign barony can be compared with a principality, however, this is an historical exception; sovereign barons no longer have a sovereign barony, but only the title and style
Chief Chieftess Chieftaincy, Chiefdom Chiefly Capitaneus The clan chiefs of Scotland, the grand chiefs in the Papua New Guinean honours system, the chief of the Cherokee nation, the chiefs of the Nigerian chieftaincy system, numerous others
  • Popess
    The title of a character found in Tarot cards based upon the Pope on the Roman Catholic Church. As the Bishop of Rome is an office always forbidden to women there is no formal feminine of Pope, which comes from the Latin word papa (an affectionate form of the Latin for father).
    The mythical Pope Joan, who was reportedly a woman, is always referred to with the masculine title Pope, even when her female identity is known. Further, even if a woman were to become Bishop of Rome it is unclear if she would take the title Popess. A parallel might be drawn with the Anglican Communion, whose female clergy use the masculine titles of priest and bishop as opposed to priestess or bishopess.
    Nonetheless some European languages, along with English, have formed a feminine form of the word pope, such as the Italian papessa, the French papesse, the Portuguese papisa, and the German Päpstin.

Titles used by knights, dames, baronets and baronetesses

These do not confer nobility.

"Sir" and "Dame" differ from titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs" in that they can only be used before a person's first name, and not immediately before their surname.

  • Chevalier (French)
  • Cavaliere (Italian)

Judicial titles


Ecclesiastical titles (Christian)

Titles are used to show somebody's ordination as a priest or their membership in a religious order. Use of titles differs between denominations.



Christian priests often have their names prefixed with a title similar to The Reverend.

Used for deceased persons only


Academic titles

  • Dr. – Short for doctor, a title used by those with doctoral degrees, such as DPhil, MD, DO, DDS, PhD, EdD, DCN, DBA, DNP, PharmD, DVM, and LLD. Those with JD degrees, although technically allowed, do not use this as a title by convention.
  • Prof. – Professor
  • Doc. - Docent
  • Eur Ing - Short for European Engineer, an international professional qualification and title for highly qualified engineers used in over 32 European countries.

Military titles

Military ranks are used before names.

Maritime and seafarer's professions and ranks

The names of shipboard officers, certain shipping line employees and Maritime Academy faculty/staff are preceded by their title when acting in performance of their duties.

  • Captain (nautical) ship's highest responsible officer acting on behalf of the ship's owner (Master) or a person who is responsible for the maintenance of the vessels of a shipping line, for their docking, the handling of cargo and for the hiring of personnel for deck departments (Port Captain).
  • Chief- a licensed mariner in charge of the engineering (Chief Engineer) or deck (Chief Mate or Officer) department
  • Mate- licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship (see Second Mate & Third Mate)
  • Cadet unlicensed trainee mate/officer or engineer under training

Law enforcement

The names of police officers may be preceded by a title such as "Officer" or by their rank.

Protected professional titles

In North America, several jurisdictions restrict the use of some professional titles to those individuals holding a valid and recognised license to practice. Individuals not authorised to use these reserved titles may be fined or jailed. Protected titles are often reserved to those professions that require a bachelor's degree[2] or higher and a state, provincial, or national license.

Other organizations

Some titles are used to show one's role or position in a society or organization.

Some titles are used in English to refer to the position of people in foreign political systems

Social titles

Titles used in Rajasthan and other neighbourhood states of India in honour of Rajputs (only):

  • Hukum – used in general to address any Rajput. Also used as suffix after following titles.
  • Daata – used for highset man member of a Rajput family.
  • Banna – used for Rajput boys.
  • Baisa – used for Rajput girls.
  • Babosa - used for eldest man of family.
  • Bhabha - used for eldest woman of family.

Non-English speaking areas

Default titles in other languages

French German Dutch Spanish Hindi Italian Swedish
(see note)
Portuguese Greek
Male Monsieur Herr Meneer Señor Śrīmān/Śrī Signor Herr Senhor Κύριος-ε (Kyrios)
Female Madame Frau Mevrouw Señora Śrīmatī Signora Fru Senhora Κυρία
Unmarried female Mademoiselle Fräulein Juffrouw/Mejuffrouw Señorita Suśrī Signorina Fröken Senhorita Δεσποινίς
  • Note: Titles are seldom used in Sweden; people are usually referred to by their first name



Honorary titles


Historical titles for heads of state

The following are no longer officially in use, though some may be claimed by former regnal dynasties.

  • Caesar (an honorific family name passed through Roman emperors by adoption)
  • Legate
  • Satrap
  • Tetrarch
Elected or popularly declared

When a difference exists below, male titles are placed to the left and female titles are placed to the right of the slash.









Post-nominal letters

Members of legislatures often have post-nominal letters expressing this:

University degrees

  • Associate
    • AA – Associate of Arts
    • AAS – Associate of Applied Science
    • AS – Associate of Science
  • Bachelor
    • BA – Bachelor of Arts
    • BArch – Bachelor of Architecture
    • BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration
    • BSBA – Bachelor of Science of Business Administration
    • BBiotech – Bachelor of Biotechnology
    • BDS / BChD – Bachelor of Dental Surgery
    • BDentTech – Bachelor of Dental Technology
    • BDes – Bachelor of Design
    • BD / BDiv – Bachelor of Divinity
    • BEd – Bachelor of Education
    • BEng – Bachelor of Engineering
    • BEnvd – Bachelor of Environmental Design
    • BFA – Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • LLB – Bachelor of Laws
    • BMath – Bachelor of Mathematics
    • MB, ChB / MB, BS / BM, BCh / MB, BChir – Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
    • BMus – Bachelor of Music
    • BN – Bachelor of Nursing
    • BPhil – Bachelor of Philosophy
    • STB – Bachelor of Sacred Theology
    • BSc – Bachelor of Science
    • BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • BSW-Bachelor of Social Work
    • BTh / ThB – Bachelor of Theology
    • BVSc – Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • Designer [Dz]
  • Doctor
    • DA – Doctor of Arts
    • DBA – Doctor of Business Administration
    • D.D. – Doctor of Divinity
    • Ed.D. – Doctor of Education
    • EngD or DEng – Doctor of Engineering
    • DFA – Doctor of Fine Arts
    • DMA – Doctor of Musical Arts
    • D.Min. – Doctor of Ministry
    • D.Mus. – Doctor of Music
    • D.Prof – Doctor of Professional Studies
    • DPA – Doctor of Public Administration
    • D.Sc. – Doctor of Science
    • JD – Doctor of Jurisprudence
    • LL.D. – Doctor of Laws
    • MD – Doctor of Medicine
    • DO – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    • Pharm.D. – Doctor of Pharmacy
    • Ph.D. / D.Phil. – Doctor of Philosophy
    • PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
    • Th.D. – Doctor of Theology
    • Doctorates within the field of medicine:
  • Master
    • MArch – Master of Architecture
    • MA – Master of Arts
    • MAL – Master of Liberal Arts
    • MBA – Master of Business Administration
    • MPA – Master of Public Administration
    • MPS – Master of Public Service
    • MPl – Master of Planning
    • MChem – Master in Chemistry
    • MC – Master of Counselling
    • M. Des – Master of Design
    • M.Div. – Master of Divinity
    • MDrama – Master of Drama
    • MDS – Master of Dental Surgery
    • MEd – Master of Education
    • MET – Master of Educational Technology
    • MEng – Master of Engineering
    • MFA – Master of Fine Arts
    • MHA – Master of Healthcare Administration
    • MHist – Master of History
    • MLitt - Master of Letters
    • LL.M. – Master of Law
    • MLA – Master of Landscape Architecture
    • MMath – Master of Mathematics
    • MPhil – Master of Philosophy
    • MRes – Master of Research
    • MSc – Master of Science
    • MScBMC – Master of Biomedical Communications
    • MPhys – Master of Physics
    • MPharm – Master of Pharmacy
    • MPH – Master of Public Health
    • MSBA - Master of Science in Business Analytics
    • MSE – Master of Science in Engineering
    • MSRE – Master of Science in Real Estate
    • MSW – Master of Social Work
    • Magister – Magister
    • S.T.M. – Master of Sacred Theology
    • MTh/Th.M. – Master of Theology
    • MURP – Master of Urban and Regional Planning

See also


  1. ^ from Old High German furisto, "the first", a translation of the Latin princeps


  1. ^ Prince of Wales is a title granted, following an investiture, to the eldest son of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom – he is not a monarch in his own right.
  2. ^ "IOM Nursing Educational Recommendations 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09.
  3. ^ "ieee usa policy Engineer title"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on 2016-10-09.
  4. ^ "Nurse Title Protection Language by State".


External links