I've seen Japanese women address their husbands with the -sama suffix. Would it be appropriate for a man do the same in some cases? In which context can this be used?

  • "I've seen Japanese women address their husbands with the -sama suffix" I'm curious, where? I can't deny it happens, but it strikes me as quite unusual. -san is very common, though. – dainichi May 13 '15 at 3:28
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    I would have said the most common way I have wives address their husbands is the word あなた, however it would seem like a rare occurrence to use ~様 with someone you knew well unless it was a joke. – The Wandering Coder May 13 '15 at 3:56
  • @dainichi Movie called "Rurouni Kenshin". One girl in this movie constantly called her beloved man -sama. – optim1st May 13 '15 at 7:17
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    I see. Just be aware that a lot of historical fiction contains, if not decidedly historically wrong, then heavily stylized language. – dainichi May 13 '15 at 9:00
  • @dainichi Got it. Thank you, I'll be aware. – optim1st May 13 '15 at 9:55


~様 is an honorific and can be easily thought of as a more respectful version of ~さん. It is gender neutral, so it can be used by both men and women when addressing either gender.

It is often used when addressing someone of a higher social position, or someone for whom you have high regards. On a day-to-day basis, it's commonly used to address customers.

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