… instead of her own name?
In the UK I think its still the proper title for a married woman, Mrs Jane Doe being for divorced women, although this is changing as well.
Often where a woman is ancilliary to the occassion, for example when she is your clients wife, I have seen that being used.
In some American upper-crusty social situations, I still see it from time to time. We recently received an invitation for our son to attending boy-girl ballroom dancing lessons, for instance, and the names of the steering committee of some two dozen women were all in that format.
“Mrs. Jane Doe” would typically be the style for a widow, IIRC.
That is how I introduce myself at my husband’s work functions, even though our last names are different. It provides context for people meeting me.
Unlike a divorcée a widow retains the style “Mrs John Doe”. Traditionally she wouldn’t style herself “Mrs Jane Doe” unless she was remarrying. “Mrs Jane Doe” was used by a British divorcée, her American sister would use “Mrs Smith Doe” (Smith being her maiden name), but the British became more common. Now if the she was the guilty party in the divorce she wouldn’t be allowed to use her husband’s name at all and go by “Mrs Jane Smith”.
My sister (who can be very old school about some things) prefers to be introduced as Mrs. Husband’s Name.
You mean besides at weddings?
My sisters been married 3 times. My grandmother would sometimes refer to her as Sister Middlename Maiden First Second Third. My sister hated it.
Wow. I need to go to bed. My first thought was, “Why would she start going by Jane Doe just because she got divorced? She’d still have a name!”
I’ve only heard it in this kind of situation: where women are trying to give a context to who they are when meeting people who already know or know of their husband (where men in the same situation would usually say, ‘Hi, I’m John Doe, Jane Doe’s husband’ or something like that).
I’ve never heard it when the husband is completely irrelevant in the situation: say, a woman starting her new job and introducing herself as ‘Mrs. John Doe’. I don’t think that ever happens any more. Thinking about it, did that ever happen in the first place?
Client’s wife, husband’s work functions- I’m getting confused.
Do you guys mean that you call the client’s wife " Mrs John Doe" or introduce yourself as “Mrs John Doe” at your husband’s work functions ?
or do you address the invitation to the client and his wife jointly as “Mr& Mrs John Doe” and introduce yourself as Jane Doe (even though you actually use Jane Smith) at your husband’s work functions?
The first set I’ve never seen - the second set is very common.
My sister, who was the “innocent” party in the divorce, took back her maiden name, for sentimental reasons. However, this was not proper etiquette.
My mother gets incensed when she gets mail addressed to Mrs. Jane Doe. She’s 83, and believes very firmly that the Mrs. part goes with the John Doe part unless you are divorced, and she is a widow. Every letter she ever sent to me while I was married was addressed Mrs. John Doe.
Some of the members of my wife’s family address all letters to her as Mrs John Doe than her name. I find this kind of funny - they’ve known her all her life and some have never met me. They do tend to be the older and more well-to-do part of her family. (The matriarch is in her 90s and has, for starters, enough money to pay for private 24-hour nursing care in her own home).
And of course some are incensed by mail addressed to Mrs. John Doe. I wonder how many people I’ve miffed by simply addressing their mail to Jane or John Doe. No one has said anything.
I suppose a safe option would be to see how they write their return addresses, although I think usually people don’t write a full name for those, if a name at all.
Ugh! Can we kill the asinine tradition where a woman is known by her husband’s name rather than her own? How dehumanizing, to be known solely as an extension of someone else and not as a full human being in your own right.
I have a cookbook put out by some Ladies’ Civic Organization. The list of Past Presidents reads Mrs. “Husband’s Full Name” until 1973, when it’s suddenly Mrs. “Wife’s Full Name.” It’s like they suddenly realized “OMIGOD! Wives have their own first names.”
My grandmother got very upset with me once when I sent her a birthday card to “Mrs. Jean Doman”. I’ve learned better and even though grandpa is dead now I address letters to “Mrs. Joseph Doman” because it’s embarrassing to receive letters icily informing you that you’re a moron from a lady who is almost a hundred when you are almost 30.
It causes a huge problem with my genealogist patrons - I had one once where we just could NOT find the woman’s name, and without the first name the Social Security Death Index was no help (common last name) and we’d never find an obit. I had to tell her to wait until they released the 1940 household level census data in a few years.
It is very, very old-fashioned in Britain too. Even the stuffy All England Club at Wimbledon abandoned the practice many years ago. I have never personally encountered it, even at formal occasions such as weddings.
I totally agree. I have never understood why a woman would change her name upon getting married. This has never been the case in Spain.
While it may have been done in English culture in the past I totally fail to see any reason why anyone would continue such a backwards tradition.