Manners & Etiquette

Mrs Manners

Names and Titles

How to properly change your name when you are married.

Married Name Change Etiquette

Mrs Manners – the manners of being a “Mrs” and titles, during a married name change.

This article is about on legal name change due to marital status, but also addresses

  • how should you introduce yourself and your husband when you are newly married,
  • how to properly use your name should you wish to retain your maiden name,
  • how others should address you and you to others
  • The proper use of M.s and pronunciation
  • The correct use of “Sir” and “Madam”

    Mrs Manners Introductions

    For Social Purposes

    When your husband is not around and you are talking about him in your conversations, speak of him as, “my husband, John” especially if to a group of new friends or acquaintances, and thereafter, “John”.

    To speak of your spouse as “Mr Lastname” to fellow adults is particularly rude. You should only do so when speaking to children.

    The same is true when you introduces her husband. Never say, “Meet Mr Lastname, my husband.”

    The proper way is to use his first name as well as his last name so that others will not call you by your maiden name (if that is your preference). So introduce him as ” my husband, John Lastname.”

    A wife introduces her husband to friends as John and to acquaintances as “My husband, John”. It is best to use “My husband” and “My wife” as they are proper no matter to whom you are talking to.

    Women’s Names and Titles

    Mrs Manners – Your name and title

    A woman’s social title is generally tied to her marital status unless she chooses to retain her own name, perhaps for professional and business purposes.

    Young girls and unmarried women were referred to as “Miss.”, though an unmarried woman may also wish not to reveal her marital status, may use “Ms.”

    At marriage, I may use Mrs Colin Tan socially, but perhaps due to my previous clients or customers whom I’ve established a business relationship with, are more used to calling me Eunice Leong, they may also address me as “Ms. Eunice Leong”

    Emily Post’s Etiquette on Mrs Manners

    The name and social title a woman elects to use is a personal decision and one others should respect.

    The title “Ms.” serve a useful purpose, particularly in the business world, when one is not sure if a client or associate is married or not, or whether she is using a professional name.

    If you are writing professional to someone who works in a corporation, and you do not know if she is married or not, how she is usually addressed, or her personal preference, you may write to her as “Ms. Lila Williams”.

    When she writes back, you can find out how she prefers to be addressed by how she has signed off.

    Using me as an example, in social correspondence, you may address a married woman as “Mrs Colin Tan, or “Ms. Eunice Leong” if you know I prefer to use my own name.

    “Ms.” should be pronounced as “Mizz”. This is to differentiate the all too familiar sounding “Miss” to avoid confusion.

    “Ms.” be used for all women who prefer it to Mrs or Miss and when one is not uncertain of any woman’s title.

    A Married Woman’s Name

    Mrs Manners: Married Name Change

    Reading a whole long description about the whole business of the “Mrs” Manners when I was doing research made me quite confused. Finally I figured things out. That is why I used my name as example, hope it is much easier for you when you see this!

    My Name: (first name – Eunice, middle name – J., last name – Leong)

    Before I was married: Eunice J Leong

    When married to Mr Colin Tan,

    Married Name: Eunice Leong Tan (and never Eunice J Tan)

    or simply: Eunice Tan (Middle name is dropped.)

    If I wish to use hyphens in my name,

    I would be called: Eunice Leong-Tan

    The title “Mrs” or “Ms.” should never be signed in a signature. You may sign off as “Eunice Tan” and write below “Mrs Tan (or Mrs Colin Tan) as an alternative to “Eunice Tan / Eunice Leong-Tan”.

    If you do not wish to have your middle name dropped, you may continue to use Ms. Eunice J Leong.


    Until a widow remarries, she keeps her husband name though it is increasingly more so that a widow uses Ms. whichever she wishes.


    She may wish to use her maiden again “Ms.” or go back to “Miss” whichever is preferred.

    According to Emily Post that when divorces are common these days, the divorcee may still retain her “Mrs” status and continue using her ex-husband’s name. For example, if she used to be Mrs John Wayne, she drops her husbands’ first name, but introduces herself as “Mrs Ann Wayne.” This will supposedly is used “in interest of simplifying an awkward custom” and “establishes both her identity and her divorced status”.

    In my personal opinion, I think it is just better to simply go back to “Ms.” and reveal your divorced status to those interested, closer friends or when you simply wish to.

    Another popular option this day which is a great alternative to Ms. is to retain her own maiden name and have others call her, “Madam Laurent”, ‘Laurent’ being her maiden name.

    Mrs Manners: The Use of Sir and Madam

    Mrs Manners say, the use of “Sir” and “Madam”… They are titles of respect though they should never be used between people around the same age and status.

    It is thus perfectly all right for a sales person to call a client Sir and Madam as well as for pupils to call their teacher.

    It is also appropriate for youngsters to address their elders that way, but not to a waiter or any service staff.

    Occasionally, an older gentleman may call a similar older gentleman sir because he doesn’t know his name but that is it.

    The general rule of thumb is when there is an age difference or when one is in the position of serving the other.

    If you are not a child anymore, and you are taking a class, you should never address a teacher “Madam” by itself.

    This is because your teacher, who might be the same age, or even younger. It does not matter if she is significantly older because once you are an adult, the situation is similar to adults addressing other adults.

    If you do not know how she rather be addressed, you may call her “Madam Lastname” despite not knowing if her lastname is her married name or her maiden name. It is up to her state her preferences to you by saying, “Oh, please call me Madam Goh”, or “Please call me Jane.” etc.

    You might be interested in

  • Ms Manners – Everyday Manners
  • Missy Manners on the Art of Converstion
  • Teaching manners to your children? See Manners Lesson Plans.

    Thank you for reading ‘Mrs Manners, Names and Titles’!
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