Why is There an R in The Title "Mrs"?

Miss, Ms., Mrs. These three feminine titles have very different meanings but very close pronunciations and spellings. But while the first two make some sense, what's up with the r in the middle of Mrs. when we pronounce it like "misses"? The answer lies in the history of the word. Find out in the video below.

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Why is There an R in "Mrs" When It's Pronounced "Misses"?

Why Are There Silent Letters In English Words?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Around 60% of English words contain a silent letter. 00:10

  2. Exocentric letters make sounds unlike the sound of the letter—like the "th" in "then." 00:42

  3. In the Middle Ages, the "k" and the "gh" were pronounced in the word "knight." 01:28

Why Does Q (Almost) Always Go With U?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Before the Norman Invasion of 1066, English didn't even have a Q. English spelled the sound with a "cw." 00:18

  2. French people later stopped pronouncing the "u" in "qu," but their spelling never caught up. 00:39

  3. The Phoencian ancestor of Q didn't sound like "K." It was a consonant formed in the back of the throat, like one in Arabic. This is why words like "Qatar" and "Iraq" don't have a "u". 01:48

Written by Curiosity Staff March 30, 2017

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