Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Longs to Have Empty Nest All to Herself Again

DEAR ABBY: What is the proper title for your mother's third husband? I have looked everywhere and can't find an answer. I know that her second husband is my stepfather, but I am curious what the third one is called. -- NAME DROPPER IN ALABAMA

DEAR NAME DROPPER: Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the "stepfather" as "the husband of one's mother when distinct from one's natural or legal father." He could also be referred to as your mother's husband, or simply by his given name.