Can the title Dr. be transferred to a spouse?


Does anyone know the correct etiquette when it comes to use of the term Doctor and marriage.?

My father was a well respected scientist with a PhD, he remarried and died a few years ago. His second wife also an academic but only to Masters level not doctorate, now incorporates his title and his middle name into her name. So for example If my father's name was Dr. Ian Lloyd Smith she now calls herself Dr. Joan Lloyd Smith. It irks me to see but I wonder if this is acceptable use?


As I know, that is not correct. She is still Mrs Joan Smith. In formal letters addressed to both it would be Dr and Mrs Smith. Or Dr and Mrs Ian Lloyd Smith.




I'm slightly shocked and it doesn't seem correct at all! No wonder you are somewhat irked


Mrs Joan Lloyd Smith or maybe she earned a PhD and didn't tell anybody..


Here in Austria it was an accepted pratice years ago .... My mum was "Mrs Dipl.Ing" (MSc.) and had never a qualification for university at all ;-)

But nowadays? Nope, not correct at all ;-)


How old is this Lady? That would probably make a big difference - it may be a generational thing, I think it was more common when the wife was expected to give up her career (if she even had one) and stay home once she got married. The social status acquired through getting married to an academic was conveyed by using the title in her name - although I would say she would have to call herself Mrs Dr. Ian Lloyd Smith in your example rather than just incorrectly taking the title...


Hm, I have some old family friends who are quite traditional, and when the wife writes a letter (yes, they still write letters), she writes on the envelope Mrs C R Jones. (C and R are both her husband's initials...). I find it bizzare. Perhaps if he had an academic title she would naturally use that too, since she is adopting the rest of his name.