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Miss is a respectful and formal address traditionally used only for an unmarried woman.

The English Miss corresponds to the French Mademoiselle or the German Fräulein. Originating in the 17th century, it is a contraction of mistress, which was used for all women. Its counterparts are Mrs., usually used only for married women, and Ms., which can be used for married or unmarried women; especially married women using their maiden name for professional reasons.

Today, "Miss" is the proper form for addressing all young ladies, from minor girls to young women. In the United States, the titles of "Ma'am" or "Madam" are sometimes used instead of "Miss", and the usage of "Miss" as a title is most frequently seen when referring to girls under eighteen.

Though Miss is less commonly used as a title by unmarried adult women in the United States than in the past, some still prefer to be referred to as such. Twenty-first century etiquette honors an adult woman's personal preference of title. However, if the preference is not known, "Ms." is used. "Ms." is the preferred choice as the female title in business. It is the equivalent to the male title "Mr." as neither is marital status specific.

In the British school system, male teachers are addressed Sir and female teachers are meant to use Mrs. or Miss as appropriate, however to many teacher's annoyance many students reflexive default to Miss—a remnant of the old days where female teachers would have to give up teaching when they got married. In the Southern United States, Ma'am is used instead, being more status neutral.

In BDSM and spanking[edit]

All Right, Miss Vanessi... You asked for it and you're going to get it!
  — The famous line before the spanking scene in the musical Kiss Me, Kate

In BDSM, Miss is sometimes used for submissives (to address them like a girl or young woman), and sometimes also for dominants (to address them like a teacher, for example).

Examples of people with the title Miss:

See also[edit]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Miss. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.