Sir - Miscellaneous


  • Until the 17th century it was also a title of priests (the related word monsignor, from French monseigneur, is still used for Catholic prelates). In Icelandic, the cognate word ra is used exclusively to address a priest, together with his first name: a priest called Jón Jónsson will be addressed as séra Jón and referred to as presturinn séra Jón Jónsson ("the priest, séra Jón Jónsson").
  • Various persons in authority, e.g. District Judges in the United Kingdom, are also addressed as "sir".
  • Sirrah was a 16th century derivative that implied the inferiority of the addressee.
  • The informal forms sirree and siree are merely devised for emphasis in speech, mainly after Yes or No.
  • Not to be confused with the now exclusively monarchical (i.e. royal) Sire, even though this has the same etymological root.
  • Sir and various Indianized variants such as Sirjee (sir with jee, an Indian honorific) are rather commonly used in Indian English and even vernacular languages. Another Indian extension is using Sir after the name, such as Gandhi Sir.

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