Do You Know Any Adults Who Expect You to Call Them Mr./Mrs.?

I’m in my early 40’s, and I just realized that I don’t know a single adult who expects other adults to call them Mr./Mrs. I only know one person who expects children to call her Mrs., and she’s a school teacher.

Do you know any such people?

In education, it’s pretty normal to call people Mr./Ms. unless you are pretty close, especially if they are your superior (principal, or anyone from outside-the-building administration). I also call my co-workers Mr./Ms., especially ones that are 1) older or respected or 2) para-professionals (office manager, aides, person who runs the copy room). The later is basically a “Sure, we pay you crap and put unreasonable demands on you, but I wouldn’t want you to think we DISRESPECT you because you aren’t a teacher!” It’s a token, but it’s all I’ve got. But teaching is different: because the kids call us Mr/Ms all day, we genuinely think of our Mr/Ms Name as a “real” name in a way I don’t think most people do. There’s also a school of thought that you avoid calling another teacher by their first name within earshot of students: this means you stick to Mr./Ms. 90% of the time, so it bleeds over.

I am in a new school and it’s much more Mr/Ms than my old. So some of this varies by institution. However, because it’s so common, I think it lacks some of the stiff/formal connotations it would have other places. Those are just our names.

ETA: Principals and higher are also pretty careful to always address/discuss teachers as Mr./Ms. We can’t call them by their first name unless invited, but the opposite is also true. That line is pretty firmly maintained.

Hmmm…I don’t know anyone that insists on being called ‘master’ either.

Is children referring to teachers by their last name still more common than not in the United States?

In modern usage “master” is a title for a child. It would be pretty strange (if adult) or presumptuous (if child) if they did.

I expect it from my son-in-law.

It is by me, with a prefix. Like Mr. Smith or Ms. Jones.

Kindergarten teachers might be Miss Eloise, and teachers who also coach might be Coach Jackson.

I have never, in over a decade, known a teacher who was routinely called by his or her first name by students either to his face or when being discussed by a third party. I have known, and count myself among, many teachers who are known by their last name alone (no Mr./Mrs.) and by nick names formed out of the last name (Spencer turns into Spence, or Mr. [very Polish craxy last name] turns into Mr. M something). That said, it really doesn’t indicate any sort of excessive formality, if that’s what you mean. I did know one teacher who went by Ms. First Name because her last name was so difficult, but she was also one of the most formal, distant teachers we had. I’ve never seen any correlation between how kids address teachers and professional distance.

For whatever it’s worth, I’ve always had an Israeli student or two, or at least kids who have family in Israel and visit regularly, and never has one of them defaulted to first names.

This is Texas. Ladies expect to be called “Miz [first name]” by people who know them too well to be fully formal as “Mrs [last name]”, in a social environment where first name alone would seem too casual to a third party who might be present…

It’s work policy for me to address fellow teachers with the given epithet in front of students.

No one has mentioned business. Is it used at all there?

That’s not my experience here in Texas. It’s Mr/Mrs/Dr only in very formal situations, and even then it’s just for introductions before first names are used.

My boss’s mother - think stereotypical Asian tiger mother, only now her precious boys own a company together, so of course she’s the real power in the office, no matter whose name is on the letterhead - is Mrs. Lastname. The rest of us, including the boss, is Firstname, but Mrs. Lastname is always Mrs. Lastname to everyone at work, including her sons!

In fact, one day I was talking to her about something and paused and said, “You know, I don’t even know what your first name is…” Nothing but a smile. Mrs. Lastname it shall be. She’s wonderfully warm and generous, always giving me things (especially food!) to bring home to my husband, and she just adores my daughter, but I will never, ever use her first name, even though I have since learned it.

I refer to most of my patients as Firstname Lastname in our initial phone call, Mr or Mrs. Lastname for our first visit or two, and then it varies. Men tend to stay Mr. Lastname. There are a few who I vibe with correctly to address by Firstname alone, but not many. Most often women become Miz Firstname, especially for the older black ladies, but there are a few who have special names, like “Mother Jones” - either because I say it and it sticks or I learn that’s how they’re known in their community. Mother Jones is Mother Jones to everyone she knows, that’s just her name, and so I use it.

I’ve just gotten my first patient considerably younger than me. I don’t know yet what her name will end up being. Honorifics sound condescending to my ears, but her first name is a really odd one* and I haven’t figured out if she goes by the full name or a nickname. It’s amazing how long you can go without using a name after the first introductions are made.

*Think, “Polish”. As in, her name is an country identifier (but not that one). Do people really call her Polish, or maybe Polly? Or…? I don’t know.

Aside from teachers, I can’t recall any adult while I was growing up (friends’ parents, neighbors, babysitters, etc.) insisting on being called Mr./Mrs. At every job I’ve had we’ve always been on a first name basis with everyone as well.

In college though a student referred to a professor by his first name when asking a question and he just stared at her until she rephrased her question addressing him as Professor.

When I worked at a Cinemark movie theater in the early 2000s, we were to call everyone that was a manager as Mr/Mrs/Miss Whatever. They had to wear business attire. This included 17 and 18-year-olds who were still in high school.

I was in college and several years older than these kids, wearing a Cinemark tee and had spare trash bags hanging from my belt. It was a weird scene.

I don’t know if they still run it like that.

Yeah, that’s why I said it, with the idea that it is presumptuous of an adult to insist on being called ‘mister’; maybe 50 years ago it was commonplace.

Like jtur88’s area of Texas, adult women here in middle Tennessee have a tendency to be called Miz Firstname. Especially those in an administrative capacity on the job.

Men, OTOH, only become Mr. Firstname when they are old enough to be your dad. :smiley:

At work, unless my computer indicates to me, or the patient invites me to use their first name, I address them as Mr. Mrs. or Ms. Jones. If they express the preference one way or another, I indicate that on the computer for the next staff member.

All physicians are Dr. Lastname, or even “Doc” even if they invite me to use their first name. In patient care areas, I will always refer to them as Dr. Jones.

Yes, very much so. In my district, we did have one elementary school where students called teachers by their first names (I did not attend that school, so I don’t have first-hand experience). It was very noticeable in high school which students came from that elementary school, at least at first, because it was a big shift for them to start calling teachers Mr./Mrs. Last name.

In college, I had one chemistry professor who explained that there were four things we could call him: We could do the traditional Professor Watson, or we could call him Dr. Watson, or we could be like his son’s friends and call him Mr. Watson, or we could call him Tony. He further made a parenthetical remark that when he was younger he could get a fair number of people to call him Tony, but that it was pretty unusual for students to do so anymore.

Some people with a PhD will get a little miffed if you call them “Mr.”, but in my experience this is rarer than some people suppose.

We had one professor who wouldn’t let you even call him Dr. Lastname, it had to be Professor Lastname. He was educated in Europe, where I guess in some places they put more distinction on being a professor than just having a PhD.

This isn’t exactly on topic, but I want to tell the story as it’s about titles.

I was called up for possible jury duty. The case was involuntary manslaughter, a domestic violence case in which the wife defended herself.

Anyway, as the lawyers are questioning potential jurors on of the questions they’ll ask is “Are you married?” If a woman answers “Yes” they ask “Do you prefer to be called Mrs. or Ms.?” One woman looked down over her glasses, and in a very firm tone answered “It’s Dr.!” I could see the judge trying not to laugh.

Oh, and one guy, when asked how long he’d been married replied “This time, or cumulative?”