I just attended to a study project in abroad and I don't know if I'm correct at calling people and professors.

Is it possible to call a professor just only "professor"?

I mean, is it possible to not use any first name or last name. For example, when I see one of my professor, I say him " Hello professor" and don't greet him as " Hello professor Thompson".

Is this appropriate and normal?


  • It might be worth adding where you are. This is likely to depend a lot on where you are. Apr 5, 2020 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


It is acceptable and common to address people who have a title, position, or rank with a title, by their title alone, e.g. "Hello, nurse/doctor/professor/judge/mayor/captain/Prime Minister (etc)".

  • 2
    Might mention that this is intentionally impersonal. It maintains professional distance and respect.
    – James K
    Apr 4, 2020 at 16:14
  • @Michael Harvey and James K thank you both for your answer ;-) Apr 4, 2020 at 16:21
  • 7
    @gidds Positions are often used when you need to directly address someone but don't know their name. One example I hear often is "Back door please, Driver!" called out from the back of a bus when they've closed the door too early.
    – user99049
    Apr 4, 2020 at 23:52
  • 2
    In Britain, it is common, when passing the driver to leave a bus, to thank him or her, and where I live (Bristol) many people say "Thank you, driver!" Apr 5, 2020 at 8:00
  • 1
    @JamesK I don’t agree that this is impersonal. If you know your professor well (but study at an institution where students and professors are not on a first-name basis), “Good morning, professor” seems far less formal and distant than “Good morning, Professor Thompson”. Unless you were saying it’s impersonal compared to using a name without a title – then I agree, of course. Apr 5, 2020 at 15:56

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