I asked what she dreamed. Jenny Tier Bishop laughed and ruffled my wet hair. "You," she said, "are an inquisitive little boy." "Yes, ma'am," I said. These sentences are from "Dreams Do Come True" by Jim Bishop. I'd like to know what the full form of "ma'am" is in the sentence. Is it an English word or Irsh word or other? Thanks in advance.
closed as off-topic by chasly from UK, Elian, tchrist♦, Mari-Lou A, JHCL Oct 18 '15 at 17:11
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Ma'am comes from the word "madam."
also maam, 1660s, colloquial shortening of madam (q.v.). At one time the ordinary respectful form of address to a married woman; later restricted to the queen and royal princesses or used by servants to their mistresses.