Medieval Forms of Address- Life in Medieval Days

In modern times we are extremely loose in how we talk with people. Students in school sometimes call their teachers by their first name. We do not have an "upper class" that is required to be spoken to in certain terms. The closest set come to having a "Lord" type of title is that random strangers do not (usually) go up to President Obama and call him "Barak" - they call him "Mr. President". That is his title.

There is some of this same behavior in the military and police. A Captain would be called Captain Smith by his team. However, even there sometimes people can become familiar and start calling a person by their first name. In medieval times this would have been less likely.

So, similar to a president, the King or Queen of a country would not be casually spoken to by their first name. People would call them "Your Majesty" - and their children would be "Your Highness". Only knights would earn the "Sir" before their name. Lords and Ladies would have that appropriate title before their name - "Lord Brown" or "Lady Brown".

In modern times we give the the title of "Mister" and "Mistress (Mrs)" to even casual people - but that wasn't true in medieval times. In medieval times, the regular peasant types simply went by their names. If anything they might be distinguished by what they did. John the Baker. George the Butcher. There was no "Mister John" or "Mister George". If someone wanted to show high respect, a wife would be called "Goodwife Sally". There was also a "Goodman".

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