1

The Wikipedia article on honorifics states that

Some honorifics act as complete replacements for a name, as "Sir" or "Ma'am", or "Your Honor"

I had initially thought that titles generally needed a name appended onto the end (Mr Smith, Mrs Jones, Dr Williams) and that honorific was used for a term of address (e.g. Ma'am, Sir (when used to address a teacher, not when used to specify a male who has been knighted!)), but it seems I was obviously wrong!

Is there a word to specifically denote those words / terms which I thought were honorifics (i.e. Ma'am, Sir, Your Honour)?

  • 1
    In the introduction to that article, you will see the link to style, wherein it is noted that honorific is an alternative term, both referring to an official or legally recognized title. Perhaps the article at Honorific needs to be moved to Honorific title. – choster Apr 5 '16 at 0:54
  • T. C. Harris seems at least largely correct. This is an old Question, in no way helped by Wikipedians allowing that author to get away with defining those terms as “honorific” as though that were a noun. It’s not and they aren’t and there ain’t no such critter. “An honorific style of address” would be one thing, the “style of address” being what mattered. “An honorific” is an adjective without a noun. On titles and formal styles of address read, eg, Debrett’s Correct Form or Burke’s Peerage or just an office version of Webster’s Dictionary… and please note their length! – Robbie Goodwin Jun 5 '18 at 22:00
  • 1
    @RobbieGoodwin Honorific is absolutely a noun as well as an adjective. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 2 at 9:07
1

The question asks: Is there a word specifically to denote those words/terms which had been thought to be honorifics (i.e. Ma'am, Sir, Your Honour)?

Yes, there is a word specifically to denote those words/terms, and that word is none other than: Honorific

  • 1
    If there is no real question here (and I agree), there should be no 'answers', merely close-votes. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '18 at 10:57
  • If there were no real answer here (and you agree), then it would be an 'answer' for which there should be no comments only 'comments' or close-votes? That's a question now, isn't it, and this is merely a rhetorical question, or not. – T. C. Harris Jun 5 '18 at 19:26
  • So, where there be no "real" question in the OP (and you agree so, in order, for example, to meet that apparent, parenthetic qualification in your comment, @Edwin), then there will always & forever be 'answers' or at least an 'answer' or some sort of 'answer' as there cannot ever be a real answer when there is no real question; -Merely close-voting should seem rather close-minded (would you agree, for instance, that rhetorical questions are not real questions & require no question-mark). This is conversation: Mayn't (rhetorical or no) non-questions receive responses nonetheless. You agree not? – T. C. Harris Jun 5 '18 at 19:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.