Mister Master: When do young men change titles?

Q: When is it proper and at what age do you address a young man as Mister and not Master?

A: Boys may be addressed as “Master” on envelopes and formal correspondence until they are about seven years old, and “Mister” when they become eighteen. Some people use the title as late as age 13.  In between no title is used.


  1. Bob Hazen

    We are an older couple. we really don’t need the standard household gifts that you would normally receive. Is there a tasteful way to suggest cash gifts instead?

    • Elizabeth

      I assume you mean for a wedding? The only time you can give direction with respect to a gift is if that person asks you what you want. Otherwise, no mention should be made of gifts on any invitation. You could ‘encourage’ cash gifts by simply not registering, but you have to realize that some people simply do not like to give cash, or some may be on a tight budget and are good bargain hunters, so they can get you a very nice present at a modest price.

      If you are thinking specifically of a bridal shower, then the answer is doubly no – showers are specifically designed to help a couple set up house, and if you do not need those items, then simply do not have a shower.

  2. Joanna

    Does anyone really still say Master in today’s world? I don’t think I’ve EVER seen it…maybe it’s a regional thing? I live in New England.

  3. Carrie

    My boys are between the ages of 18-23. My mother addressed them as Master in her correspondence to them until they were teens. I have followed her example and address young boys as Master in my correspondence.

  4. Maurice Demeyer

    I am a 19-years-old Belgian and I was addressed as ‘Master’ in the invoice of a United States travel company. That’s the reason why I searched for this (helpful) website, but should I feel treated like an 8-years-old boy now? Many thanks in advance.

  5. Mr Peter Donnelly

    I was first addressed as Mr. aged 13 so I have always assumed that to be right, although I think 12 is young enough as well.

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