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Wikipedia says it used to stand for mistress. But you don't read it as mistress, do you?

What is the pronunciation like? I think it would depend on the expansion.

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The title Mrs. is pronounced /ˈmɪsɪz/ (MISS-iz). It is not ever spelled out to anything in formal contexts.

In informal contexts, it is often spelled out as “missus”. There are 258 incidences of “missus” in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, nearly all in fiction, except for a handful in quotations in magazine and newspaper articles.

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+1 for the link to the Corpus of Contemporary American English, nice resource –  Edward Tanguay Aug 15 '10 at 21:47
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It is pronounced "misses", though there is no standard expansion that I am aware of. Its meaning now derives from tradition rather than from any word it might stand for.

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