as a conventional title of courtesy before a man's Christian name, mid-15c., unaccented variant of master (n.), but without its meaning. As a form of address when the man's name is unknown (often with a tinge of rudeness), from 1760.
The disappearance of master and mister, and the restricted and obsolescent use of sir, as an unaccompanied term of address, and the like facts with regard to mistress, Mrs., and madam, tend to deprive the English language of polite terms of address to strangers. Sir and madam or ma'am as direct terms of address are old-fashioned and obsolescent in ordinary speech, and mister and lady in this use are confined almost entirely to the lower classes. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
mid-15c., abbreviation of master (n.); also see mister. Used from 1814 with a following noun or adjective, to denote "the exemplar or embodiment of that quality," as in Mr. Right "the only man a woman wishes to marry" (1826); Mr. Fix-It "one skilled in setting right difficult situations" (1912); Mr. Big "head of an organization; important man" (1940). The Procter & Gamble advertising character Mr. Clean dates from 1959. The plural Messrs. (1779) is an abbreviation of French messieurs, plural of monsieur, used in English to supply the plural of Mr., which is lacking.
It forms all or part of: acromegaly; Almagest; Charlemagne; maestro; magisterial; magistral; magistrate; Magna Carta; magnate; magnitude; magnum; magnanimity; magnanimous; magni-; Magnificat; magnificence; magnificent; magnify; magniloquence; magniloquent; Magnus; maharajah; maharishi; mahatma; Mahayana; Maia; majesty; major; major-domo; majority; majuscule; master; maxim; maximum; may (v.2) "to take part in May Day festivities;" May; mayor; mega-; megalo-; mickle; Mister; mistral; mistress; much; omega.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Armenian mets "great;" Sanskrit mahat- "great, mazah- "greatness;" Avestan mazant- "great;" Hittite mekkish "great, large;" Greek megas "great, large;" Latin magnus "great, large, much, abundant," major "greater," maximus "greatest;" Middle Irish mag, maignech "great, large;" Middle Welsh meith "long, great."
the common title of courtesy in France, equivalent to English mister, 1510s, from French monsieur, from mon sieur "my lord," from sieur "lord," shortened form of seigneur (see monseigneur) It was the historical title for the second son or next younger brother of the king of France.
1590s, "one who shares the same room," hence "a close companion," from French camarade (16c.), from Spanish camarada "chamber mate," or Italian camerata "a partner," from Latin camera "vaulted room, chamber" (see camera). In Spanish, a collective noun referring to one's company. In 17c., sometimes in jocular use misspelled comrogue. Used from 1884 by socialists and communists as a prefix to a surname to avoid "Mister" and other such titles. Related: Comradely; comradeship.
1731, "pronounce with an accent," from Medieval Latin accentuatus, past participle of accentuare "to accent," from Latin accentus "song added to speech," from ad "to" (see ad-) + cantus "a singing," past participle of canere "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). Figurative meaning "emphasize, place an accent or emphasis on" is recorded from 1865.
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
["Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," 1944, music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer]
Related: Accentuated; accentuating.
German equivalent of Mister (but also used without a name), 1650s, originally "nobler, superior," from Middle High German herre, from Old High German herro, comparative of hēr "noble, worthy, important, exalted," from PIE *kei- (2), a color adjective (see hue (n.1)), in suffixed form *koi-ro- here meaning "gray, hoary," hence "gray-haired, venerable." Cognate with Old Frisian hera, Dutch heer; perhaps in this usage a loan-translation of Latin senior in the High German area that spread into other Germanic languages. Hence also Herrenvolk "master race," the concept of the German people in Nazi ideology.