Bonsoir, Mademoiselle

France has officially dropped Mademoiselle from the lexicon, as there is no equivalent for young men. Abbreviated Mlle., the term was often used to imply a woman’s unmarried state; symbolically, her virginal or simply youthful state.

But there is no equivalent for men, as “monsieur” is used for married & unmarried (& we assume, virginal and sexually experienced) men.

Long overdue, in my opinion, but it’s great to see this change codified.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.


  1. Now we just need to get rid of miss, fröken, fräulein, juffrouw, signorina, señorita, senhorita…

    I transitioned in France and remember a weird conversation when changing my details at the bank. Upon hearing what was going on, the bank manager was very helpful, but informed me that I couldn’t have “Madame *****” on my bank records since I was still using my maiden name. I’d have to be “Mademoiselle *****”, which looked a bit strange for someone in her 30s. Luckily, that only happened with the bank!

  2. In boy form, I’ve long insisted that my proper title is “Misters” (abbreviated “Mrs.”). If my wife got an “s” for getting married, why shouldn’t I?

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