Difference Between Madam and Madame

Main Difference

With quite a similar spelling and pronunciation, both these words Madam and Madame are used interchangeably without knowing the actual difference between them. Both madam and madame are the polite terms to address a women, and they have the difference more than the presence of ‘e’ in the last of madame. Madam is the word derived from French word ‘Madame’, it is used to address the women in a respectful way, whereas, madame is the French word that is used to address the married French-speaking women in a respectful way. Both these words refer to the women in respectful and polite manner, madam doesn’t denotes the marital status and is used without name or surname of the women, whereas madame denotes the marital status of a women and name or surname can be mentioned in it. It is the French term equivalent to English word ‘Mrs’, which is a title used for women before their surname or full name.

Comparison Chart

MadamMadame
OriginDerived from ‘Madame’French origin
UsedMadam is used to address the women in a respectful way.Madame is used to address the married French-speaking women in a respectful way.
Addition of Surname or Full nameWhen word madam is used the surname or full name of that women is not added with it.The word madame can either be used alone or before the name or surname of the women.
Pronunciation/ˈmadəm//məˈdɑːm/

What is Madam?

The word ‘madam’ is actually derived from the French word ‘madame’, it is used to address the women in respectful and polite manner regardless of their marital status. Generally, madam is used for the older age women to pay respect towards them. This word is also used for female bosses or the women holding the high rank office as this word shows the sense of authority being possessed by the woman. For instance, when we write a formal letter to any authoritative person without knowing his/her gender, we write ‘Dear Madam/Sir’ in the salutation. When the word madam is used one doesn’t require to add name or surname of that specific women, as this terms is mostly used to pay respect to those woman, whose names aren’t known. In British English, word madam is also used for the conceited or bossy girl or young woman other than the older woman. Other than all these meanings, the word ‘madam’ is also used for the women who runs a brothel.

What is Madame?

It is the French origin word that is used to address the married French-speaking women in a respectful way. It can also be used for the older age French speaking women without actually knowing her marital status, though it denotes the marital status and is the term used for French-speaking married women. It is the French term equivalent to English word ‘Mrs’, which is a title used for women before their surname or full name. It can either be used alone or before the name or surname of the women. The word madame can’t be used for formally addressing the high rank woman, the word madam is used to better serve the purpose as it show the sense of authority. On the other hand, word ‘madame’ mainly emphasis on the origin of women and her marital status

Madam vs. Madame

  • Madam is the word derived from French word ‘Madame’.
  • Madam is used to address the women in a respectful way, whereas madame is used to address the married French-speaking women in a respectful way.
  • In British English, word madam is also used for the conceited or bossy girl or young woman other than the older woman.
  • The word ‘madam’ is also used for the women who runs a brothel.
  • When word madam is used the surname or full name of that women is not added with it, whereas the word madame can either be used alone or before the name or surname of the women.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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