Fräulein

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Frau +‎ -lein

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. Diminutive of Frau (but not freely applicable)
  2. (dated, address for an unmarried woman) miss
    Guten Morgen, Fräulein Schmitz!
    Good morning, Miss Schmitz!
  3. miss, young woman (especially a shop assistant)
    Würden Sie mir kurz helfen, junges Fräulein!
    Would you help me please, miss!
  4. young lady, missy (said jokingly or rebukingly to a little girl)
    So, jetzt reicht's aber, Fräulein!
    All right, that's enough, young lady!

Usage notes[edit]

  • Fräulein as a formal address for an unmarried woman is now uncommon and considered disrespectful and sexist by many. Frau is the normal address for all women.
  • As an informal address for a girl or young woman whose name one does not know, particularly a shop assistant, the word is still used by many older speakers and some few younger speakers. (It is nevertheless advisable to avoid it in order to be on the safe side.)

Declension[edit]

External links[edit]