Miss or Ma'am?

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Do you think you are called miss if you look like you are in your 30s or younger and ma'am if you look like you are in your 40s and beyond? I have a friend who insists that because she is referred to by clerks as miss that she looks like she is in her 30s even though she is 50 something.

What do you think?
Yeah. I actually think that is true. I hate ma'am. I didn't become ma'am until about two years ago. Ugh. (I'm 49). It's really bugging me.
I don't know about the 40's vs. 30's theory. I never really took notice to it before. I have taken notice to people starting to call me ma'am and I hate it too. I've even told people that I'm not ma'am, I'm Jen. Sometimes I want to break out into my own remade versions of Wham's song re-titled, "I'm Not Your Ma'am!" LOL!!!

On a side note, is there any way to politely tell someone NOT to call you ma'am?
In the UK people call the Queen ma'am and senior female police officers, not really anyone else.
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In the UK people call the Queen ma'am and senior female police officers, not really anyone else.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
To confuse people even more how you call the Queen "ma'am", and how you call a female senior police officer or female senior military officer "ma'am" have different pronunciations.

I only know because I've been pulled up on it by ex-military types.
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Ever since a guy called me "Sir," adding to my insecurity about looking like a drag queen, I don't care if I'm ma'am or miss.
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I'm from the UK and I'm in my mid 40s, so I get a big kick out of being called either Miss or Ma'am. The latter doesn't really exist here, and I love being called Ma'am because of the novelty factor! It sound so courteous.
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It's funny because there is not much else someone who doesn't know you could call you but it's disheartening because there is some line you cross where it's "well I'm not sure what age she is but she definitely isn't a "miss" " that just says "you're old".
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Oh, my, I hope that's not true! Teenagers have been calling me "Ma'am" for several years now and I'm only 37!
I tend to go with "Ma'am" if I'm in doubt because my biggest leeriness with "Miss" is that for all I know they are married, in which case it would not be factually right. As a guy, I'm personally not wild about "Sir" or "Mister" but don't see getting called either as a reason to get upset.
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I think it depends on where you're from. I'm from a small town in Texas and I regularly use ma'am and sir as a politeness no matter the age range, especially if I'm at work. I never say miss. Very rarely will anyone correct me on it.

I personally am the opposite of what I've read here. To me "Miss" comes across as young, very young. Thats what older people would call me as a child or teen. And I don't exactly take offense to it, I understand its usually out of respect or formality, But to me Miss just feels weird. Lol. (It also might bug me because I look a LOT younger than I am. One of my supervisors calls me "little lady" teasingly every once in a while because I told him "miss" irks me)

The one I have people correct me on is the Mr. Lastname vs just a first name. And that one I do have an age range on. If you're younger than I am (mid 20's) I'll say first name, especially to a teen. If you're older, or approximately the same age I'll say Mr. or Ms.unless you introduce yourself otherwise. (And yeah I get the "Mr. Smith was my father, call me Bill" from time to time)
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I've been called ma'am for a while now. I don't recall ever being called miss.

And, Chupie, I also despise being called ma'am. It makes me feel old.

Claudine, when I was around 15 or so I wore my hair really short. This woman from the newspaper came over to talk with my mom about something and said, "I bet HE doesn't remember that". She was looking at me. Ugh.
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People are way too informal here to ever use either term and I'm glad, I think I'd cringe if someone called me ma'am!
3b in South Australia.
Mostly, I hate it, but here in Texas, you get it a lot. I wouldn't rather be called miss, though, because that sounds creepy at my age (43)

And, I have been called sir (when my hair was shorter. And when I was younger)
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I'm called Ma'am mostly and I prefer it. At my age being called Miss makes me laugh. To me Miss is a young unmarried woman. Ma'am is a woman who is either married or one who has been married. Doesn't matter the age. Being called Ma'am doesn't automatically make you old. I think it is a matter of respect.
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Every person has a unique connection to the Creator that can never be extinguished, and every person has a great soul that can manifest important things in our world. To make a person feel less than they are because of something inside themselves, be it faith, race, or sexual orientation, is the greatest sin of all."
I dislike both. Both terms are based on marital status and I resent being categorized based on my relationship with a man. If you have to call me something, then call me Ms (pronounced Mizz).
If you look old enough to vote, you're getting ma'am from me. Miss is for girls. I don't call women girls or miss the way I don't call men boys.
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Am I the only young person who actually likes being called mam? And yet, I hate the fact that several people whom I have told that I am starting school soon have asked me if I am the teacher -__-
Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity
I don't think the age of the person necessarily determines whether someone calls them Miss or Ma'am. I think the age of the other person is what determines it. An 8 year old might call a 20 year old Ma'am. A 40 year old might call a 50 year old Miss.

I don't like to be called either of those things (ditto RCW) and I don't call others either of those things. If I need to address someone I just go with something like "Excuse me, could you help me?"
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Last edited by jeepcurlygurl; 08-25-2013 at 10:34 PM.

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