Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? SpecGram Vol CLXXXV, No 4 Contents Good Enough for Folk Etymology—Part VII—A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius

Update on Linguistic Protocol Regarding Addressing the Monarch

Her Majesty’s Department of Linguistics

Citizens, non-doms, holders of indefinite leave to remain, EU citizens who’ve already filled in the quick-and-easy computer registration thingy, visitors and anyone else:

As is well known, Her Majestic Britannic Majesty Queen Liz of Winalot Prime must, as a Monarch Appointed by God, be addressed and interacted with in a manner consistent with her Royal Head-of-What-a-State-We’re-In-Ness. Top-level examples of this include the pronunciation of ‘ma’am’ which as anyone who has watched The Queen with that lovely Michael Sheen chap knows, is [mɑːm] as in ‘farm’, not [mæm] as in ‘Wham, bam!’.

However, in these times of political uncertainty, Her Majesty’s Advisor of Royal Linguistics has updated the approved list of how to say ‘How do you do?’, ‘G’day’, etc. to Eliza Winlittle when you greet her in the normal course of running into her when buying a kebab at 1 a.m. Generally speaking, there has been a toning down of formality so as to make the Crown more accessible to everyday people in their mortgage paying-off angst and noisy neighbour anxiety. This is appended below and is recommended reading for all subjects of the Crown.

Modifications to nomenclature

Forms of address for use on first occasion: Your Maj; Mrs Regina; Queen Elizabeth Number Two

Forms of address for use on second occasion: My Lady; Bossess; Charles’ mum

Forms of address for use after she high-fives you: L to the W; Big Liz / Lizzie / Lolo or any variant thereof; Top Queen; Number 1 Liz

Interactional protocols

There are a few modifications here also. Greetings may not include the handshake, the cheeky lopsided grin, or, if from the north, a curt nod and a ‘Right?’ but strictly with rising intonation. The Monarch will nevertheless retain the standard reply of ‘How do you [duːː]?’

We abandon the rule of taking three steps back whilst facing the Monarch at the end of a conversation. Instead, only two steps are to be taken, followed by a pirouette, a recitation of a royal family-related Shakespearean monologue and a low bow/low growl.

Latin abbreviations

Much remains unchanged here as linguistically Latin inherently resists any toning down. Her Majesty’s Department of Linguistics is therefore taking the opportunity to clarify that:

  1. in D.G., REG, FID DEF, ‘Reg’ refers to Her Majesty’s Queenhood, and is not her actual name, Reg. One of the dogs is called Reg but that’s irrelevant. Lack of understanding around this resulted in some lengthy imprisonments in the Tower recently and is best to be avoided.

  2. Liz prefers #MeToo-compliant Defensatrix in lieu of Defensor but non-compliance here will result only in confiscation of land.


We hope these adaptations to royal protocol retain a firm and steadfast link with the past whilst also demonstrating that the House of Window Cleaner is hip, cool, up-to-date and oh-so-very 21st century. Protocol may change on the accession of Charles III; possible interactional modalities include greetings with herbs and other flora.

We invite comment by raven to the Tower of London.

God save the Queen!

Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do?
Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart VIIA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius
SpecGram Vol CLXXXV, No 4 Contents