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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, Gomi in German, Cardinal in Catholic usage (Richard Cardinal Cushing) or clerical titles such as Archbishop). Some titles are hereditary.

Types

"Honorary title" redirects here. For the term in academia specifically, see Honorary title (academic).

Titles include:

Titles in English-speaking areas

Common titles

Controversy around usage of common titles

Some people object to the usage of titles to denote marital status, age or gender. In 2018, a campaign named GoTitleFree[1] was launched to encourage businesses to stop requesting, storing and using marital status titles in their registration forms, and when speaking with customers, launched on the grounds that titles often lead to assumptions about a woman's age or availability for marriage, and exclude non-binary people. This is in line with established practice advocated by the World Wide Web Consortium[2] and the Government Digital Service[3] which sets the standard for UK government online services. This in turn means that titles are optional on UK passports and driving licences.

Familial

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

Legislative and executive titles

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

Aristocratic titles

See also: Royal and noble ranks

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.

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, Viceregal 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;[4] 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

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.

Judicial titles

Historical

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.

Religious

Priests

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

Used for deceased persons only

Other

Academic titles

Main article: Titles in academia

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.

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[5] 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

Non-English speaking areas

Default titles in other languages

See also: Mrs. § Non-English equivalents, and Mr. § Foreign equivalents

French German Dutch Spanish Italian Swedish (see note) Portuguese Greek Hindi
Male Monsieur Herr Meneer Señor Signor Herr Senhor Κύριος-ε (Kyrios) Śrīmān/Śrī
Female Madame Frau Mevrouw Señora Signora Fru Senhora Κυρία Śrīmatī
Unmarried female Mademoiselle Fräulein Juffrouw/
Mejuffrouw
Señorita Signorina Fröken Senhorita Δεσποινίς Suśrī

Rajput social titles

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

Martial Arts

Academic

Religious

Honorary titles

Rulers

See also: Royal and noble ranks

Historical titles for heads of state

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

Appointed
Elected or popularly declared
Hereditary

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

Aristocratic

See also: Royal and noble ranks

Historical

Russian:

German:

Spanish:

Others:

Other

Historical

Post-nominal letters

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

University degrees

See also

Notes

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

References

  1. ^ "GoTitleFree: Freedom from marital status titles". Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Personal names around the world". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Ask users for Names". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "IOM Nursing Educational Recommendations 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-08-09.
  6. ^ "ieee usa policy Engineer title" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-09.
  7. ^ "Nurse Title Protection Language by State".

Sources