Always 'Frau,' never 'Fräulein' (RANT)


First the educational part, and then the rant.

Here is the educational part: I have no idea why this information isn't widespread in the US, but decades ago, DECADES, Germans stopped using the word Fräulein. It's inappropriate and impolite to use it.

Educational part done.

Now the rant:

It's never Fräulein, only ever Frau.

The word Fräulein, as in Fräulein Maria, is not used any more. The movie The Sound of Music was set in the year 1938. It is now 2024. German has changed a bit since 1938, not as dramatically as North American English has, however German has changed. Women are not addressed by the word Fräulein.

It's not funny to use it, it's sexist, and using that word displays your ignorance. In Germany there is no differentiation between unmarried and married women, and in that aspect, as well as several other major aspects, Germany is much, much further than the US. It is also only used with a woman's last name, thus it is only ever “Frau Warner,” “Frau Miller,” “Frau Giessen.”

So do yourself a favor, save yourself the complete embarrassment, and take the word Fräulein completely out of your vocabulary. That word belongs in 1938, not in 2024.

Remember: it's only ever Frau.

Frau. Frau. Frau.

ein Blick hinter die Kulissen werfen



In my mind’s ear, I can hear your rant, directly, pointedly, sharply. But when you say German is ahead of the US in the aspects of language as per the focus of your rant, I am reminded by the feminine endings for most professions being performed by a woman. I think that also drive you nuts. Not to mention the gender specificity of the language in general. Always enjoying the occasional rant!PBSent from my iPhone

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Nicole Warner

@PAUL J BATES I mean that it's ahead of the US in aspects of feminism, in overall respect for women. I've never had to deal with as many skeevy men in Germany as I have to deal with here, and only once in 5 years in Germany did a man tell me to smile. I don't mind the feminine endings, and in some ways I enjoy specifying things like die Ärztin, for example, because I'm proud of my friends who are doctors. It's a huge achievement and I think for a long time, women deserve the extra attention and an extra pat on the back. For, perhaps, a couple of thousand years. :D

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