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A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the first and last name (for example, Graf in German, Cardinal in Catholic usage – Richard Cardinal Cushing – or clerical titles such as Archbishop). Some titles are hereditary.



Titles include:

Titles in English-speaking areas

Common titles

Controversy around usage of common titles

Some people object to the usage of titles to denote marital status, age or gender. In 2018, a campaign named GoTitleFree [1] was launched to encourage businesses to stop requesting, storing and using marital status titles in their registration forms, and when speaking with customers, launched on the grounds that titles often lead to assumptions about a woman's age or availability for marriage, and exclude non-binary people. This is in line with established practice advocated by the World Wide Web Consortium [2] and the Government Digital Service [3] which sets the standard for UK government online services. This in turn means that titles are optional on UK passports and driving licences.


Family titles in English-speaking countries include:

  • Uncle – one's parent's brother (may also include great uncles)
  • Aunt or Aunty – one's parent's sister (may also include great aunts)
  • Granny, Gran, Grandma or Nana – one's grandmother (may also include great-grandmothers)
  • Pop, Grandpa, Gramps or Grandad – one's grandfather (may also include great-grandfathers)

Legislative and executive titles

Some job titles of members of the legislature and executive are used as titles.

Aristocratic titles

In the United Kingdom, "Lord" and "Lady" are used as titles for members of the nobility. Unlike titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs", they are not used before first names except in certain circumstances, for example as courtesy titles for younger sons, etc., of peers. In Scotland "Lord of Parliament" and "Lady of Parliament" are the equivalents of Baron and Baroness in England.

Male version Female version Realm Adjective Latin Examples
Pope There is no formal feminine of Pope Papacy Papal PapaMonarch of the Papal States and later Sovereign of the State of Vatican City
Emperor Empress Empire Imperial
Imperial and Royal (Austria)
Imperator (Imperatrix) Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, First and Second French Empire, Austria, Mexican Empire, Empire of Brazil, German Empire (none left in Europe after 1918), Empress of India (ceased to be used after 1947 when India was granted independence from the British Empire), Japan (the only remaining enthroned emperor in the world).
King Queen Kingdom RoyalRex (Regina)Common in larger sovereign states
Viceroy Vicereine Viceroyalty Viceroyal, ViceregalProconsulHistorical: Spanish Empire (Peru, New Spain, Rio de la Plata, New Granada), Portuguese Empire, (India, Brazil), British Empire
Grand Duke Grand Duchess Grand duchy Grand DucalMagnus DuxToday: Luxembourg; historical: Lithuania, Baden, Finland, Tuscany et al.
Archduke Archduchess Archduchy ArchducalArci DuxHistorical: Unique only in Austria, Archduchy of Austria; title used for member of the Habsburg dynasty
Prince Princess Principality, Princely state PrincelyPrincepsToday: Monaco, Liechtenstein, Asturies, Wales; [4] Andorra (Co-Princes). Historical: Albania, Serbia
Duke Duchess Duchy DucalDux Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of York, Duke of Devonshire et al.
Count Countess County ComitalComesMost common in the Holy Roman Empire, translated in German as Graf; historical: Portugal, Barcelona, Brandenburg, Baden, numerous others
Baron Baroness Barony BaronialBaroThere are normal baronies and sovereign baronies, a sovereign barony can be compared with a principality, however, this is an historical exception; sovereign barons no longer have a sovereign barony, but only the title and style
Chief Chieftainess Chiefdom, Chieftaincy ChieflyCapitaneusThe clan chiefs of Scotland, the grand chiefs in the Papua New Guinean honours system, the chief of the Cherokee nation, the chiefs of the Nigerian chieftaincy system, numerous others

Titles used by knights, dames, baronets and baronetesses

These do not confer nobility.

"Sir" and "Dame" differ from titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs" in that they can only be used before a person's first name, and not immediately before their surname.

Judicial titles


Ecclesiastical titles (Christian)

Titles are used to show somebody's ordination as a priest or their membership in a religious order. Use of titles differs between denominations.



Christian priests often have their names prefixed with a title similar to The Reverend.

Used for deceased persons only


Academic titles

Military titles

Military ranks are used before names.

Maritime and seafarer's professions and ranks

The names of shipboard officers, certain shipping line employees and Maritime Academy faculty/staff are preceded by their title when acting in performance of their duties.

Law enforcement

The names of police officers may be preceded by a title such as "Officer" or by their rank.

Protected professional titles

In North America, several jurisdictions restrict the use of some professional titles to those individuals holding a valid and recognised license to practice. Individuals not authorised to use these reserved titles may be fined or jailed. Protected titles are often reserved to those professions that require a bachelor's degree [6] or higher and a state, provincial, or national license.

Other organizations

Some titles are used to show one's role or position in a society or organization.

Some titles are used in English to refer to the position of people in foreign political systems

Non-English speaking areas

Default titles in other languages

MaleMonsieurHerrMeneerSeñorSignorHerrSenhorΚύριος-ε (Kyrios)Śrīmān/Śrī
Unmarried femaleMademoiselleFräuleinJuffrouw/

Rajput social titles

Titles used in Rajasthan and other neighbourhood states of India in honour of Rajputs (only):

  • Hukum – used in general to address any Rajput. Also used as suffix after following titles.
  • Daata – used for highest male member of a Rajput family.
  • Banna – used for Rajput boys.
  • Baisa – used for Rajput girls.
  • Babosa – used for eldest man of family.
  • Bhabha – used for eldest woman of family.

Martial Arts



Honorary titles


Historical titles for heads of state

The following are no longer officially in use, though some may be claimed by former regnal dynasties.

  • Caesar (an honorific family name passed through Roman emperors by adoption)
  • Legate
  • Satrap
  • Tetrarch
Elected or popularly declared

When a difference exists below, male titles are placed to the left and female titles are placed to the right of the slash.









Post-nominal letters

Members of legislatures often have post-nominal letters expressing this:

University degrees

See also


  1. from Old High German furisto, "the first", a translation of the Latin princeps

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emperor</span> Type of monarch

The word emperor can mean the male ruler of an empire. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother/grandmother, or a woman who rules in her own right and name. Emperors are generally recognized to be of the highest monarchic honour and rank, surpassing kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or almost equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe. The emperor of Japan is the only currently reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as "Emperor".

A prince is a male ruler or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The female equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun prīnceps, from primus (first) and caput (head), meaning "the first, foremost, the chief, most distinguished, noble ruler, prince".

Grand duke is a European hereditary title, used either by certain monarchs or by members of certain monarchs' families. In status, a grand duke traditionally ranks in order of precedence below an emperor, King, grand prince, archduke, or prince-archbishop, and above a sovereign prince or sovereign duke. The title is used in some current and former independent monarchies in Europe, particularly:

Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others, acting as a master, chief, or ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the peerage in the United Kingdom, or are entitled to courtesy titles. The collective "Lords" can refer to a group or body of peers.

A style of office or form of address, also called manner of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address for a person or other entity, and may often be used in conjunction with a personal title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges, and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emir</span> Title of high office in the Muslim world

Emir, sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or political office, or other person possessing actual or ceremonial authority. The title has a long history of use in the Arab World, East Africa, West Africa, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. In the modern era, when used as a formal monarchical title, it is roughly synonymous with "prince", applicable both to a son of a hereditary monarch, and to a reigning monarch of a sovereign principality, namely an emirate. The feminine form is emira, with the same meaning as "princess". Prior to its use as a monarchical title, the term "emir" was historically used to denote a "commander", "general", or "leader". In contemporary usage, "emir" is also sometimes used as either an honorary or formal title for the head of an Islamic, or Arab organisation or movement.

Khan is a historic Mongolic and Turkic title originating among nomadic tribes in the Central and Eastern Eurasian Steppe to refer to king. It first appears among the Rouran and then the Göktürks as a variant of khagan and implied a subordinate ruler. In the Seljuk Empire, it was the highest noble title, ranking above malik (king) and emir (prince). In the Mongol Empire it signified the ruler of a horde (ulus), while the ruler of all the Mongols was the khagan or great khan. The title subsequently declined in importance. During the Safavid and qajar dynasty it was the title of an army general high noble rank who ruling a province, and in Mughal India it was a high noble rank restricted to courtiers. After the downfall of the Mughals it was used promiscuously and became a surname. Khan and its female forms occur in many personal names, generally without any nobiliary of political relevance, although it remains a common part of noble names as well.

Margrave was originally the medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or a kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain feudal families in the Empire and the title came to be borne by rulers of some Imperial principalities until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. Thereafter, those domains were absorbed into larger realms or the titleholders adopted titles indicative of full sovereignty.

Princeps is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, foremost, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first person". As a title, princeps originated in the Roman Republic wherein the leading member of the Senate was designated princeps senatus. It is primarily associated with the Roman emperors as an unofficial title first adopted by Augustus in 23 BC. Its use in this context continued until the regime of Diocletian at the end of the third century. He preferred the title of dominus, meaning "lord" or "master". As a result, the Roman Empire from Augustus to Diocletian is termed the "principate" (principatus). Other historians define the reign of Augustus to Severus Alexander as the Principate, and the period afterwards as the "Autocracy".

<i>Imperator</i> Rank in ancient Rome

The title of imperator originally meant the rough equivalent of commander under the Roman Republic. Later, it became a part of the titulature of the Roman Emperors as their praenomen. The Roman emperors themselves generally based their authority on multiple titles and positions, rather than preferring any single title. Nevertheless, imperator was used relatively consistently as an element of a Roman ruler's title throughout the Principate and the Dominate. The word itself derives from the stem of the verb imperare, meaning 'to order, to command'. The English word emperor derives from imperator via Old French: Empereür.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Byzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy</span> Government of the Byzantine Empire

Throughout the fifth century, Hellenistic political systems, philosophies, and theocratic Christian-Eastern concepts had gained power in the eastern Greek-speaking Mediterranean due to the intervention of important religious figures there such as Eusebius of Caesarea and Origen of Alexandria who had been key to developing the constant Christianized worldview of late antiquity.

Captain general is a high military rank of general officer grade, and a gubernatorial title.

<i>Knyaz</i> Template (table) of early Slavic status

Knyaz or knez, also knjaz, kniaz is a historical Slavic title, used both as a royal and noble title in different times of history and different ancient Slavic lands. It is usually translated into English as prince, depending on specific historical context and the potentially known Latin equivalents of the title for each bearer of the name. These translations probably derive from the fact that the title tsar was often treated as equivalent to "king" by European monarchs. In Latin sources the title is usually translated as princeps, but the word was originally derived from the common Germanic *kuningaz (king).

Traditional rank amongst European imperiality, royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and among geographic regions, the following is a reasonably comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences. Distinction should be made between reigning families and the nobility – the latter being a social class subject to and created by the former.

<i>Basileus</i> Greek title roughly meaning monarch

Basileus is a Greek term and title that has signified various types of monarchs in history. In the English-speaking world it is perhaps most widely understood to mean 'monarch', referring to either a 'king' or an 'emperor' and also by bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. The title was used by sovereigns and other persons of authority in ancient Greece, the Byzantine emperors, and the kings of modern Greece.

Grand prince or great prince is a title of nobility ranked in honour below Emperor, equal to Archduke, King, Grand duke and Prince-Archbishop; above a Sovereign Prince and Duke.

Master of the Horse is an official position in several European nations. It was more common when most countries in Europe were monarchies, and is of varying prominence today.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles</span> List of royal and noble titles in the Ethiopian Empire

Until the end of the Ethiopian monarchy in 1974, there were two categories of nobility in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Mesafint, the hereditary royal nobility, formed the upper echelon of the ruling class. The Mekwanint were the appointed nobles, often of humble birth, who formed the bulk of the aristocracy. Until the 20th century, the most powerful people at court were generally members of the Mekwanint appointed by the monarch, while regionally, the Mesafint enjoyed greater influence and power. Emperor Haile Selassie greatly curtailed the power of the Mesafint to the benefit of the Mekwanint, who by then were essentially coterminous with the Ethiopian government.

Dominus is the Latin word for master or owner. Dominus was used as a Roman imperial title. It was also the Latin title of the feudal, superior and mesne, lords, and an ecclesiastical and academic title. The ecclesiastical title was rendered through the French seigneur in English as sir, making it a common prefix for parsons before the Reformation, as in Sir Hugh Evans in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. Its shortened form Dom remains used as a prefix of honor for ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church, and especially for members of the Benedictine and other religious orders. The title was formerly also used as is, Dominus, for a Bachelor of Arts.


  1. "GoTitleFree: Freedom from marital status titles" . Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  2. "Personal names around the world" . Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  3. "Ask users for Names" . Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  4. Prince of Wales is a title granted, following an investiture, to the eldest son of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom – he is not a monarch in his own right.
  5. Kirsch, Johann Peter (October 1, 1910). "Popess Joan". Catholic Encyclopedia. New Advent. Archived from the original on May 8, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  6. "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health Report Recommendations". Institute of Medicine. November 17, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-08-09.
  7. "The Use of the Title "Engineer"" (PDF). IEEE-USA. 15 Feb 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-09.
  8. "Titres professionnels". Guide de pratique professionnelle (in French). Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. 2011. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  9. "Title "Nurse" Protection: Summary of Language by State". American Nurses Association. July 2021. Archived from the original on Feb 26, 2018.