Dame
(1,574 words)

1. Concept

The term, which came into English in the Middle Ages from the French dame (compare Italian dama/donna, German Dame), derives from the Latin domina (“mistress”). Dame in English is generally confined to an honorific title; where derivatives of domina in other languages denote a woman of high social rank or status, English uses “lady” (Old English hlafdige = “[woman] who kneads bread”) as Spanish uses señora. As a courtly title, “Dame” was mostly used in con…

Cite this page
Walther, Gerrit, “Dame”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 17 December 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018152>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20151216



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