Home » Madam


Brollies and Bumbershoots

If you think they refer to umbrellas as bumbershoots in the UK, think again. The word bumbershoot actually originated in the United States! In Britain, it’s prolly a brolly. • Also: snow-grooming language, more than one way to say bagel...

Fitting Salutations

When writing a business letter, what’s a modern salutation that doesn’t sound as stuffy as “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”? “To Whom It May Concern,” perhaps? The answer depends on the context and the...

Sincere Niceties

Is saying “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Sir” when addressing someone in conversation too formal or off-putting? Not if it’s clear that those niceties come naturally to you. This is part of a complete episode.


In William Howitt’s Madam Dorrington of the Dene, a character named Vincent says, “Don’t let my father be fearful of me. I will be as ravenously ambitious, and as gigantically work-brickle […] as he can desire.” Grant...

Recent posts