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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In the nineteenth century, milord (also milor) (pronounced "mee-lor") was well known as a word which continental Europeans (especially French) whose jobs often brought them into contact with travellers (innkeepers, guides, etc.) commonly used to address Englishmen or male English-speakers who seemed to be upper-class (or whom they wished to flatter) – even though the English-language phrase "my Lord" (the source of "milord") played a somewhat minor role in the British system of honorific forms of address, and most of those addressed as "milord" were not in fact proper "lords" (members of the nobility) at all. The word "milord" was occasionally borrowed back into the English language in order to be used as a sarcastic or jocular reference to British travellers abroad.

(Most English-speaking tourists in the 1700s had to be rich to undertake the "Grand Tour".)

The most famous usage in recent years has been the 1959 French song "Milord" by Edith Piaf.

In Greece the equivalent was O Lordos; Lord Byron was known as "O Lordos" (The Lord), or "Lordos Veeron" (as the Greeks pronounce it), causing things as varied as hotels, ships, cricket teams, roads and even suburbs to be called "Lord Byron" today.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Milord" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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