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by Abigail Van Buren

The Origins Of The Abbreviation For 'Mrs.'

DEAR ABBY: Can you answer something for me? If the abbreviation for "mister" is "Mr.," then why is there an R in "Mrs." when there's no R in the word it's short for? -- INQUISITIVE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR INQUISITIVE: According to my America Heritage Dictionary (4th Edition), "'Mrs.' is the abbreviation of the word 'mistress'" -- an antiquated term for a married or widowed woman.

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