A title of honor or honorary title is a title bestowed upon individuals or organizations as an award in recognition of their merits.
Sometimes the title bears the same or nearly the same name as a title of authority, but the person bestowed does not have to carry out any duties, except for ceremonial ones. The title may sometimes be temporary, only valid for the individual's visit or for a single day, though they can also be permanent titles. In some cases, these titles are bestowed posthumously.
Some historical honorary titles may be bought, like certain titles of nobility. This has long been a matter of fraud, both outright and indirect. Honorary titles also serve as positions of sinecure and honorary retirement.
Some examples of honorary titles from various areas include:
Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical. The female equivalent is baroness. Typically, the title denotes an aristocrat who ranks higher than a lord or knight, but lower than a viscount or count. Often, barons hold their fief – their lands and income – directly from the monarch. Barons are less often the vassals of other nobles. In many kingdoms, they were entitled to wear a smaller form of a crown called a coronet.
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.
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder usually retains the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime, although in some cases the title is attached to a particular office, and is held only for the duration of that office.
Sir is a formal honorific address in English for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Both are derived from the old French "Sieur" (Lord), brought to England by the French-speaking Normans, and which now exist in French only as part of "Monsieur", with the equivalent "My Lord" in English. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled as knights, often as members of orders of chivalry, as well as later applied to baronets and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed as Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.
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. Some titles are hereditary.
Don, abbreviated as D., is an honorific prefix primarily used in Spain and Hispanic America, and with different connotations also in Italy, Portugal and its former colonies, and Croatia.
Esquire is usually a courtesy title.
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters, but in some contexts it may be customary to limit the number of sets to one or just a few. The order in which post-nominals are listed after a name is based on rules of precedence and what is appropriate for a given situation. Post-nominal letters are one of the main types of name suffix. In contrast, pre-nominal letters precede the name rather than following it, such as addressing a physician or professor as "Dr. Smith".
An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It is also often conflated with systems of honorific speech in linguistics, which are grammatical or morphological ways of encoding the relative social status of speakers. Honorifics can be used as prefixes or suffixes depending on the appropriate occasion and presentation in accordance with style and customs.
In the English language, an honorific is a form of address conveying esteem, courtesy or respect. These can be titles prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Mx,Sir, Dame, Dr, Cllr, Lady or Lord, or titles or positions that can appear as a form of address without the person's name, as in Mr President, General, Captain, Father, Doctor or Earl.
The Japanese language makes use of a system of honorific speech, called keigo (敬語), which includes honorific suffixes and prefixes when referring to others in a conversation. Suffixes are often gender-specific at the end of names, while prefixes are attached to the beginning of many nouns. Honorific suffixes also indicated the speaker's level and referred an individual's relationship and are often used alongside other components of Japanese honorific speech.
These are some of the honorifics used in Italy.
Hochwohlgeboren is an honorific and manner of address for members of the nobility in some parts of Europe.
Burmese names lack the serial structure of most Western names. The Burmans have no customary matronymic or patronymic system and thus there is no surname at all. In the culture of Myanmar, people can change their name at will, often with no government oversight, to reflect a change in the course of their lives. Also, many Burmese names use an honorific, given at some point in life, as an integral part of the name.
In linguistics, an honorific is a grammatical or morphosyntactic form that encodes the relative social status of the participants of the conversation. Distinct from honorific titles, linguistic honorifics convey formality FORM, social distance, politeness POL, humility HBL, deference, or respect through the choice of an alternate form such as an affix, clitic, grammatical case, change in person or number, or an entirely different lexical item. A key feature of an honorific system is that one can convey the same message in both honorific and familiar forms—i.e., it is possible to say something like "The soup is hot" in a way that confers honor or deference on one of the participants of the conversation.
The Most Excellent is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in Spain and certain Spanish-speaking countries. Following Spanish tradition, it is an ex officio style and is used in written documents and very formal occasions.
Honorifics are words that connote esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person. In the German language, honorifics distinguish people by age, sex, profession, academic achievement, and rank. In the past, a distinction was also made between married and unmarried women.
The system of Russian forms of addressing is used by the speakers of Russian languages to linguistically encode relative social status, degree of respect and the nature of interpersonal relationship. Typical linguistic tools employed for this purpose include using different parts of a person's full name, name suffixes, and honorific plural.
The Honourable or The Honorable is an honorific style that is used as a prefix before the names or titles of certain people, usually with official governmental or diplomatic positions.
In the Philippine languages, a complex system of titles and honorifics was used extensively during the pre-colonial era, mostly by the Tagalogs and Visayans. These were borrowed from the Malay system of honorifics obtained from the Moro peoples of Mindanao, which in turn was based on the Indianized Sanskritized honorifics system in addition to the Chinese system of honorifics used in areas like Ma-i (Mindoro) and Pangasinan. Indian influence is evidenced by the titles of historical figures such as Rajah Sulayman, Lakandula and Dayang Kalangitan. Malay titles are still used by the royal houses of Sulu, Maguindanao, Maranao and Iranun on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, but these are retained on a traditional basis as the 1987 Constitution explicitly reaffirms the abolition of royal and noble titles in the republic.