People address a woman as a Miss or Mrs or Ms without knowing the difference between Ms and Miss. The word Mrs is explained here although people know what it represents. Mrs, Miss, and Ms represent stripped down versions of the word “Mistress”. There’s a difference between these, and a mistake can alter a person’s perception about you, or offend someone. Here are the key differentiating factors between these three words:
- When a woman prefixes Ms with her name it means that she does not wish to reveal her marital status. For example, a woman who is divorced or a woman who is middle-aged and is unmarried may prefix their name with Ms.
- Miss refers to an unmarried woman.
- A woman who is divorced prefixes her name with either Ms or Mrs.
- Mrs, as you know, can refer to a married or divorced woman.
- Ms can be used by both single and married women. So, Ms can be taken to mean either Mrs or Miss.
- You must use Ms to address a woman who is not known to you. This is because you don’t know her marital status and if you address her as Miss (unmarried) or Mrs (married or divorced) she may take offence if her status is otherwise. Ms is the safest term to address a woman who is not known to you. Keep addressing her as Ms until she specifically states her preference.
- The word Mrs has no long form.
- Some single moms prefix their name with a Mrs to gain acceptance in society.
- A few lesbian couples use Mrs and Mrs.