Fräulein

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Diminutive of Frau.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈfʁɔʏ̯laɪ̯n/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈfʁɔlaɪ̯n/ (commonly, especially northern and central Germany)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ̯n

Noun[edit]

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Fräulein n (genitive Fräuleins, plural Fräulein or Fräuleins)

  1. (dated, address for an unmarried woman) miss
    Guten Morgen, Fräulein Schmitz!
    Good morning, miss Schmitz!
  2. miss, young woman (especially a shop assistant)
    Würden Sie mir kurz helfen, junges Fräulein!
    Would you help me please, miss!
  3. young lady, missy (said rebukingly to a little girl)
    So, jetzt reicht's aber, Fräulein!
    All right, that's enough, young lady!

Usage notes[edit]

  • In sense 1, Fräulein is now uncommon and considered disrespectful and sexist by some. Frau is the general address for all women.
  • In sense 2, the word is still used by many older speakers and some younger speakers, but one should also avoid it to be on the safe side.

Declension[edit]