How did people address each other in the 1920s?

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,208
T'Republic of Yorkshire
The only oral form of address that is ever used nowadays for nobility is 'Your Grace' for a Duke, 'My Lord/ Lady' or 'Your Lordship/Ladyship' as a form of address for aristocrats of lower rank is now archaic in almost every context, being only used by butlers and household staff.
I think they still use it to address each other in the House of Lords, and for judges in court.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,209
Welsh Marches
Yes indeed, although the usage is purely honorific in the latter case of course since none of them are actually peers.
 

Tulun

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
3,861
Western Eurasia
Idk, I am all for using it. In Slovene "vikanje" is still widely used, I can't imagine otherwise. If a language feature stops being used by the speakers, like "onikanje", then ok - it's the way the language develops naturally. However, I am against linguists deciding a feature should be dropped because they feel it's redundant or archaic. We lost pluperfect that way, so nowadays if you use this tense, less literate people will look at you as if YOU're the idiot.

It is always interesting to see how the use of certain words changes in a language. Sometimes a word falls out of favour and gets replaced by another. The other day I came across a meme about the word "hashtag". In Slovene we called it "lojtra" ("ladder") before it became a thing on social media. I doubt today kids even know lojtra is a word to describe that symbol. In the context of social media it is now called hešteg or ključnik, a newly made up word. The meme I saw had Hungarian as an example of a word other than "hashtag" being used. Then a lot of Hungarians commented how they don't use the Hungarian word or don't even know it.

I share your critical feelings against linguistic prescriptions, I prefer if we let the language evolve on its own pace, let the users decide.

Actually the most common name for the # symbol itself is I think kettőskereszt (double cross) but the Hungarian wiki Számjel – Wikipédia uses other terms too for it, but I haven't really heard them being used (and the kettőskereszt name also has its problems, because it also designates another symbol, the ☨ patriarchal/byzantine cross).
Anyway, in the social media context # XY is I think usually pronounced as hesteg XY in Hungarian too, but tbh I'm not too updated on what is now trendy :)) ( and the Twitter itself is not popular in Hungary at all where this whole hashtaging originally started, so the Hungarians maybe jumped on this trendy train a little later).
I'm not a purist at all, loanwords always had a place in the language and removing them by a central effort would be a sort of historical revisionism, but I feel that this particular "hesteg" expression will be forgotten/replaced by another new fashionable thing within a few years, I doubt that it will have a long impact on our language.

Though I have to note that the word "teg" as a noun (from English "tag") the verb "tegel" (English "to tag") and the noun "tegelés" ("the act of tagging") is already used since like 20+ years in Hungarian slang (I remember i already heard and used it in my teenage years) and imo it became quite well established. At least since the 90s or maybe even earlier it is being used in the context of graffiti scene, referring to graffiti tags and the act of spraying them, and now since the appearance of Facebook it is also used in the meaning of "to mark somebody on a photo, post, video". So who knows its future in our language:))
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,209
Welsh Marches
A clip in which Bach is addressed in the third person by Frederick the Great (there are English subtitles if one clicks at the bottom right):


I don't know whether the third person was used in a similar way by a social superior in 'talking down' to someone, the effect is rather disconcerting!
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,743
Lower Styria, Slovenia
A clip in which Bach is addressed in the third person by Frederick the Great (there are English subtitles if one clicks at the bottom right):


I don't know whether the third person was used in a similar way by a social superior in 'talking down' to someone, the effect is rather disconcerting!
Yes, I've seen this clip before. Frederick comes across as a bit of a ... khm, and his use of the third person makes it only worse. I think it was usual at the time to use thr third person when talking to someone of lower status. I remember it beeing used a lot in Lessing's Minna von Barnhelm, but I can't recall if it was used between "equals" as well or not.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,209
Welsh Marches
Thank you, that's really informative; I wish I could find something similar for modes of address in England at the same period.