Sir is an honorific address used as a courtesy title to address a man without using his given or family name in many English speaking cultures. It is often used in formal correspondence (Dear Sir, Right Reverend Sir).
The term is often reserved for use only towards one of superior rank or status, such as an educator or commanding officer, an elder (especially by a minor), or as a form of address from a merchant to a customer.
Equivalent terms of address are "ma'am" or "madam" in most cases, or in the case of a very young woman, girl, or unmarried woman who prefers to be addressed as such, "miss". The equivalent term for a knighted woman is Dame, or "Lady" for the wife of a knight.
Other articles related to "sir":
... Like other knights, Knights Bachelor are styled "Sir" ... However, when the style "Sir" is awkward or incomplete due to a subsequent appointment, recipients may sometimes use the word "Knight" or "Kt" (note the lowercase 't ... Sir William Boulton, Bt, Kt) ...
... towards the end of the century, until the most common number was five, as in the duel between Sir Thomas Harpenden and Messire Jean des Barres, at Montereau sur Yonne in 1387 (cinq lances a cheval ... four courses of the joust were run without decisive outcome, but in the fifth Sir Thomas was unhorsed and lost consciousness ... Next Sir John Ambreticourt of Hainault and Sir Tristram de la Jaille of Poitou advanced from the ranks and jousted three courses, without hurt ...
... Oxford Dr Isaac Watts – Dr Watts' Walk, Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London Sir Robert Peel – Market Place, Bury Horatio, Viscount Nelson – on Nelson's Column ... College, Cambridge Thomas Bewick – Literary Philosophical Society, Newcastle upon Tyne Sir James Knott – as above George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont – St.Mary's, Petworth, Sussex ...
... Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, KNH, OBE (born 7 March 1952) is a former West Indian cricketer ... of the Century in 2000, by a 100-member panel of experts, along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Shane Warne ... as well as the third greatest Test batsman of all time, after Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar ...
... Stephen, the brother of author and critic Sir Leslie Stephen, the uncle of author Virginia Woolf, and cousin of jurist A.V ... He was already acquainted with Sir Henry Maine, six years his senior, and then newly appointed to the Chair of civil law at Cambridge ... of classical electromagnetic theory James Clerk Maxwell and Liberal Party leader Sir William Harcourt ...
Famous quotes containing the word sir:
“I must have the gentleman to haul and draw with the mariner, and the mariner with the gentleman.... I would know him, that would refuse to set his hand to a rope, but I know there is not any such here.”
—Francis, Sir Drake (15401596)
“Over Sir Johns hill,
The hawk on fire hangs still;
In a hoisted cloud, at drop of dusk, he pulls to his claws
And gallows, up the rays of his eyes the small birds of the bay....”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)