• Plural of M
  • Abbreviation of mesyl


  • Found since the 1600s as an abbreviation of mistress (whence also Miss and Mrs), a title which initially did not indicate marital status. Suggestions that the term be revived began in 1901, and referenced the fact that dialects such as Southern US English already made no distinction between Miss and Mrs. in speech (). With the founding of Ms. magazine in 1971, the term quickly became widespread as an alternative to Miss and Mrs., which require knowing (and publicizing) the referent's marital status.
  • M + -s
  • From a shortening of its name.

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