How did people address each other in the 1920s?

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#11
Once English had this also. There was a difference between YOU and THEE. But today the familiar form is used only in religion and by Quakers.
Perhaps you'd know: there's a difference between you and thee, as you said, but you and thou should, if correctly, actually be pronounced the same way, or?
 
Jun 2017
342
maine
#12
"Thou" is the nominative, "Thee" is the objective, "Thine/Thy" is the possessive. They are the 2nd person familiar of "You," "You" and "Your". As far as I know, they are not pronounced the same--but this familiar form is archaic and I am not expert on English linguistics. I wouldn't pronounce them the same way but I am going by how the words sounded in church and by old movies :confused:
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,525
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#13
"Thou" is the nominative, "Thee" is the objective, "Thine/Thy" is the possessive. They are the 2nd person familiar of "You," "You" and "Your". As far as I know, they are not pronounced the same--but this familiar form is archaic and I am not expert on English linguistics. I wouldn't pronounce them the same way but I am going by how the words sounded in church and by old movies :confused:
Thou art correct!
 
Likes: duncanness

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#15
"Thou" is the nominative, "Thee" is the objective, "Thine/Thy" is the possessive. They are the 2nd person familiar of "You," "You" and "Your". As far as I know, they are not pronounced the same--but this familiar form is archaic and I am not expert on English linguistics. I wouldn't pronounce them the same way but I am going by how the words sounded in church and by old movies :confused:
You're right, it seems. I googled it and found nowhere nothing about what I said. I must have mistaken it for some other word, where it was the case.
 
Aug 2010
16,202
Welsh Marches
#16
In languages other than English you sometimes use a different grammatical person to show respect. In German you then use Sie (third person plural with capital first letter) instead of du, in Russian vy (second person plural) instead of ty and Polish does it a bit differently. If you would want to compliment someone on their Polish, you'd say "pan dobrze mówi po polsku," which literally translates as "the gentleman speaks Polish well". In Slovene we use a system similar to Russian - vi and ti. But in the past there was another, more formal way, where you'd reffer to someone as "oni" ("they", 3rd person plural), which sounds pretty weird as it's like you're speaking aboit someone who isn't even present. Children would adress their parents that way. One of my grandmad did so and she was born in the 40s. My other grandma is a few years younger and didn't do so. I sometimes do it as a joke when reffering to some people.
There are comparable polite forms of address in English, when I was young I remember a waiter in my father's London club saying to my mother, 'If your Ladyship would be pleased to pass this way' (she wasn't actually a Ladyship, but it never harms to play safe); but such forms of address are now largely obsolete, except in court when addressing a High Court judge, 'If your Lordship/Ladyship will permit, may I summarize the facts of the case?'. Consistent use of the third person might have been adopted by servants addressing nobility or royalty in Victorian times, but it was mainly a matter of not addressing a person of high rank directly as 'you'.
 
Apr 2019
80
U.S.A.
#17
In the southwest US of the 1920’s they used the Mister or Señor with the last name. Even family adults were adressed with respect, uncle Jim or Aunt Jane, tio or tia . Adult to adult was also with simular respect
 
May 2019
162
Salt Lake City, Utah
#18
My grandfather, a racist (a benign one in his mind), always addressed older black family female servants as "Mrs.' so and so; the men were addressed by their first names. He refused to employ any women under forty, because he thought younger black females were "wild" and "sassy." I gather this was quite common in the South before WWII. A Cuban female baby sitter (about 22?) had her boyfriend over, Grandfather found out, and he had the police take her to the city limits where they gave her a beating. She was to tell her brothers that if they came looking for pay back, that if anything happened to the family, the police told her they would kill the men. Different times; brutal times in the South.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,074
Dispargum
#19
I suspect the rise of casual forms of address such as calling your boss by his first name began circa 1970 when traditional forms of authority came into question. Think anti-war protests.
 
Likes: JakeStarkey

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,698
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#20
There are comparable polite forms of address in English, when I was young I remember a waiter in my father's London club saying to my mother, 'If your Ladyship would be pleased to pass this way' (she wasn't actually a Ladyship, but it never harms to play safe); but such forms of address are now largely obsolete, except in court when addressing a High Court judge, 'If your Lordship/Ladyship will permit, may I summarize the facts of the case?'. Consistent use of the third person might have been adopted by servants addressing nobility or royalty in Victorian times, but it was mainly a matter of not addressing a person of high rank directly as 'you'.
It instantly reminded me of Carson from Downton Abbey.