11/20/08

British but not Royal - yet!

They have the quaintest habit here in NW Okieland. During my day I am regularly addressed as "M'am" by work colleagues and parents!

Now I realise the British accent makes one occasionally think of the Queen and royalty in general. But it's really not necessary to bestow the manner in which she should be offically addressed, on little old me too!

I often have to conceal a smirk, whilst I resist the urge to incline my head to them and give them the 'royal wave'. Still if any of them should ever cross paths with Her Majesty, they'll need no training on how to address her!

The 'official' Royal Wave!

9 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

"M'am" is the common form of address used here also in the South, however it seems to annoy the folks from up north, as many of them take it has something to do with addressing old ladies .
Not sure why, I think it is lovely and polite, I say it myself.
I was watching the PBS documentary "Her Majesty" one evening, and the Queen's butler was quick to point out to an American visitor, that you address the Queen as "Maam" (Marm), not as "M'am"

Sherri said...

Sarah, thanks for giving me a chuckle tonight! I can just picture you-your head inclined and doing the "royal" wave!! You crack me up!!

Leslie: said...

*chuckling* My mother taught us how to do the "royal wave" when we were little girls. She'd pretend to be the Queen and we were her Princesses. lol

Lisa E said...

Ooh, maybe you can start a English Etiquette for Yank Dummies! ;-)

Expat mum said...

Someone should point out that people in the south here are NOT Yankies!!! My father-in-law would have a fit! He says he was 25 before he realised "Damnyankees" was two words!
When I first moved to the States it was to Texas and I thought people were taking the P**s when they addressed me as ma'am.

pamokc said...

Oh yes, it is southern! I remember hating the first time I heard myself being addressed as "ma'am". It was in a store and the sales clerk (a young girl) asked, "Ma'am, can I help you find anything?" And I immediately thought that I was NOT a ma'am. That referred to an older lady. But I guess I am one now!

Melissa said...

Completely a southern thing. In my "neck of the woods" calling someone Ma'am is considered offensive by some. It is either thought of as condescending or a reference to the person's old age. Having served in the military where we were forced to say "sir and "ma'am" I cringe when I here it used, but that's just me suffering flashbacks to the days of morning push-ups and two mile runs in combat boots.
I find it amusing (yet endearing)when I watch programmes on the Monarch and here her British staff refer to her as "mom". The first time I heard it, it took me a few moments to realize they were saying "ma'am", with an accent of course! ;)

Melissa said...

Yes, EXPAT the term Yank is used loosely by Britons and I made sure to correct my British DH the first time he used it in front of me.
"Yank" refers to Americans who live above the Mason-Dixon line, as I do, in fact I am a stone's throw (less than 1/2 mile)from it. My feeling is that Brits probably know this but use it for convenience sake. You can get away with it if you are in the U.K. but if you are in the south U.S. you may offend some.

East Anglian Troy said...

I'm told that Ma'am should be pronounced in the same way as jam, so not "marm".

Its a bit confusing for a Brit all this yankee debate isn't it? I mean after all, they are just recalcitrant colonials aren't they? End of debate!