Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by Louis Epstein
No more an oxymoron than "Raja Kechil Besar".
A senorita is implicitly less than a Senor.
Post by email@example.com
Also, which European languages employ titles that are cognates of Seigneur?
Would you count "Sir" as a worn-down form?
("Knight",on the other hand,had a more lower-class origin).
Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the original etymology of Dominus? Nobilis? Adel? Lord? Herr?
Do they have original meanings circulated?
Some medieval Latin sources employ phrase "seniores et meliores". Do
any European languages have titles that are cognates of "melior" or
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Excuse me! "Señorita" is a modern construction whose meaning is exactly Miss. > It has nothing to do with nobility (much less the implication that is less
than a "señor"). It implies either that you are talking of a young female or
an unmarried one.
But Senorita compared to Senora?
Señor and Señora, are also modern constructions to address people. While Don
and doña have become widely used without connotation of any nobility
In Spain, before the Leyes Desamortizadoras, by which all lordships and any
type of entailment ceased to exist, there were two different things. Nobles
were distinguished by "Don/Doña" (like Portuguese "Dom/Donha", and Italian
"Don/Donna," in the southern kingdom of Two Sicilies). Now, a man could be
called Don NN, Señor de XX (place) (meaning NN, Lord of XX), and a woman,
regardless of her marital status, Doña NN, Señora de XX (place) (meaning NN,
Lady suo jure of XX). Both Señor and Señora meant that the owner of the place > exercised different types of rights, including justice, collecting taxes, etc. > Señora was in no way less than Señor. There were also many nobles who did not > have the right to use the "Don/Doña" before their names and the law was very
strict about this.
Does Spain have many nobles who are Senor/a but NOT Don/a?
I gather that while Don/a is a mark of personal nobility, Senor/a is that of ownership of a lordship.
So an adult son who owns nothing because his father is alive is a Don NN, but not a Senor. While an orphaned child who owns a lordship is a Senor/a, even as a newborn (if a posthumous heir).
Is the wife of a Senor a Senora, or is it a title strictly limited to the owner, and not shared by the spouse of an owner?
Currently, Spain is a mess regarding nobility. My post referred to the Ancient Regime, especially before the Mendizabal Laws from 1842.
To recap: Nowadays, a married woman (regardless her status as noble) is called Señora and Doña (both forms of address have lost their original meaning). The husband is called Señor and Don too. Un unmarried woman is called Señorita and Doña, too.
Prior to this, there were nobles who were not entitled to the use of Don (even high ranking titled ones). Usually noble women, even at the lower echelons were entitled to use the Doña. So, somebody could be NN, señor of (place name, where he had rights of varying degrees) or could also be Don NN, señor of (place name). If his wife was a señora of a place, it was stated clearly. In this case, any noblewoman señora of a place or not were entitled to the use of Doña, so she would have been "Doña NN, señora of (place name)." Women administered their "señoríos" without interference from their husbands, as they were heiresses in their own right. Of course, any children born from such a marriage would, inevitably, have different treatment. If the father was not entitled to use the Don, the male offspring couldn't use it, however the daughters, even if they were not heiresses, had the right to use it. Both titles, Señor de and Señora de could or not be shared by the spouse. If a lady called Doña NN, señora de (place name) but her husband was a noble with no right to use the Don before his name and he was not a Señor de (place name), he had no rights to interfere in the administration of his wife's Señorío. Unless the couple decided to merge their possessions as an entail, then, the heir(ess) would inherited both.
But, if they didn't, it was common practice that the elder son (or daughter, as there was not any sex differentiation) would inherit the father's señorío, and the second child (male or female) his/her mother lands, which many times implied to switch the paternal surname to the maternal one.
If you need more clarification, just let me know.