Madame is a secular form of address for a woman, which was often used in the period of pre-revolutionary medieval and imperial Russia. This formula was formed from the word "sovereign" by discarding the first syllable. The address in question was applied, first of all, to a married woman, while it was customary to address young girls as "lady".
Madame is a title that has been used in our country since the 17th century. According to the testimonies of foreigners who visited Russia in that century, all women were addressed in this way, regardless of their origin or social status. Many scientists believe that the modern analogue of this word is the appeal "citizen". However, later the address in question became exclusively a form of naming secular women belonging to the nobility. This was the case, at least, during the golden age of Russian culture, which took place in the first half of the 19th century.
Noble roots of the title
Madam is a word that has been kept in the everyday life of the Russian people for quite a long time, as it has developed and been used for quite a long time.
This is reflected in folklore, songs, Russianclassical literature. For example, one of the most famous songs identifies the titles "lady" and "madame". This suggests that the historically considered word meant an appeal specifically to a noble married woman, probably of noble origin. The toponym of the word also speaks of this. Its origin from the title of sovereign proves the nobility of those persons to whom this title was most often applied. In addition, in medieval Russia, tsars often married representatives of boyar families.
Madame is an address that has been used so often that it can be found in many works of Russian classical literature. From the texts of these works, it can be concluded that this word was also applied to women of petty-bourgeois origin, and it was used in these cases in joking forms.
In translated literature, this word was often used to translate the French appeals "Madame", "Milady" or "Mademoiselle". Since the class structure in the countries of Western Europe was more hierarchical than in Russia, the titulary in these states was more detailed. In our country, there were only two ways of treatment. Thus, when it comes to what a madam is, one should take into account the historical roots of the title.