What does M’lady mean?

M’lady is originally the underclass way to greet an upper class lady, but the phrase has been adopted by meme makers.

On the internet, M’lady is associated with a beta male, often a few pounds too heavy, with an unflattering beard and a fedora hat.

And this is exactly what the most common M’lady meme looks like.

The M’lady man is the man who has given up trying to be attractive or rich or anything else to try and get women, and will now try to pull them in by being a classy gentleman – but it usually doesn’t work in his favor.

via MEME


What's the origin of M’lady?

The phrase was first shared on Reddit in 2012 in relation to “white knight” behavior.

Soon after the phrase spread over to other subreddits and inspired the making of YouTube videos featuring said gentlemanly behavior.

The first meme featuring the fedora-tipping man with the neckbeard was shared November 12th, 2013, to the subreddit r/cringepics.

Spread & Usage

How did M’lady spread?

The phrase and meme is used on social media platforms, often meme platforms, to make fun of the men that turn to the gentlemanly “white knight” behavior, and still don’t manage to pick up women.

It is mostly used as a joke, but some men actually use it to try to finally seduce a woman with his gentlemanliness.

External resources

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1 thought on “M’lady”

  1. The term “m’lady” is indeed the way a gentleman would respectfully address a woman. It has nothing to do with any response from the woman, one way or another. The term comes from the days of long ago when chivalry was the norm. It is a shorten version of the term “My Lady,” and shows simple respect for the female gender. “Lady” is a title given to women of nobility in countries so inclined, however, as chivalry spread, real men showed their respect by removing their hat in the presents of a woman of any “rank,” and later tipping their hat, and finally just touching the brim of the hat, and is meant as a respectful acknowledgment of her. From White knight to Black Knight to black smith, silver smith, gold smith, farmer, to ranch hand of the old west, all the way into the 1950’s, respectful acknowledgement of a woman was classy chivalry. It’s a shame it has since lost it’s place in “modern day enlightenment.”


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