Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Miss, Mistress, Mrs.

 Mispris’ion.Miss is as Good as a Mile (A). 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Miss, Mistress, Mrs.
 
(masteress, lady-master). Miss used to be written Mis, and is the first syllable of Mistress; Mrs. is the contraction of mistress, called Mis’ess. Even in the reign of George II. unmarried ladies used to be styled Mrs.; as, Mrs. Lepel, Mrs. Bellenden, Mrs. Blount, all unmarried ladies. (See Pope’s Letters.)   1
   Early in Charles II.’s reign, Evelyn tells us that “lewd women began to be styled Misse;” now Mistress is more frequently applied to them. (See LAD.)   2
 


 Mispris’ion.Miss is as Good as a Mile (A). 

 
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