Vol. 50 No. 4 (2002)
Research Article

A Further Note on the “Title + First Name” Form of Address

Published 2002-12-01



In the March, 2002 issue of this journal I published an essay in which I stated that the “title + first name” form of address (Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura) had only recently been created. But that is clearly untrue: the “title + first name” formula is at least as old as the mid-nineteenth century in American English (and very likely dates to colonial times), and is well-attested much earlier in British English. In fact, worldwide the phenomenon probably dates to the advent of first names. This brief essay provides examples of the “title + first name” form of address from throughout history, speculates on some of the functions it has probably served, and calls for additional research on many aspects of the phenomenon.


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