I don’t want to use Miss. What are my other alternatives?

I cannot go with Mrs because I don’t want to have to use her name.

Is it Madam then? It sounds so French and old-fashioned: Bonjour, madame.

Are there any other options?

  • 1
    Is this for a specific person? Or some situation you commonly encounter? You'll get better answers if you're very specific about what you need. In general, there is the contracted form ma'am. It is not old- fashioned, but should be used with care as it may carry connotations that you think the person you're addressing is old (or at least older than you). This varies dramatically by location.
    – 1006a
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 17:37
  • 1
    In the US "ma'am" is generally acceptable, except in situations where it might seem stand-offish or condescending. Use it where you'd use "sir" for the male.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 22:59

2 Answers 2


You can address her as Ma'am.

Hello ma'am, how are you doing today?

  • In all seriousness I've used 'Ma'am' to at very least 50,000 unknown women customers with no problem but that a dozen or so thought I said 'Mum'. None was offended and all were more than mollified when I explained 'No, Ma'am… that's Ma'am like the queen…' I've used Miss far less on the grounds they looked younger or more carefree (no ring fingers visible) and maybe three or four have corrected it, quite sharply, to Madame. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 0:35

Sometimes now, in the USA, it's best not to even use it. For now, it seems more acceptable not to use any gender specific word. I'd advise against it if the person happens to be 'western'. Just a tip as others have answered.

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