|Still shot from Monty Python and the Holy Grail|
When I started writing Shadows of Valor, I didn't know much about medieval names and what people were generally called. Heck, I didn't even know if first and last names were used. Well, in England at least, first and last names were used, and they weren't any different than what we use today. But where our general contemporary titles are usually "mister" and "misses," they were a bit different in centuries past (not taking into account that some royal and knight titles are still used today in some instances).
Basic titles of the working class were "master" and "mistress," among a few others. A person could be called by his first name or by his profession. Example: John Smith, the butcher, could be called simply JOHN, MASTER SMITH or MASTER BUTCHER. Jane Smith, the baker, could be called JANE, MISTRESS SMITH or MISTRESS BAKER.
There were general titles for someone without using their name as well (much like today's ma'am or sir). For a man they were SIR (if he was a knight), MASTER, GOODMAN, GAFFER (for an older man, it was short for "grandfather"), FATHER, LAD (for a young boy) and YOUNG MASTER (for a young boy).
A woman could be called LADY, GOODWIFE, GAMMER (for an older woman, it was short for "grandmother"), MOTHER, LASS, MISTRESS, MAIDEN, MAID and YOUNG LASS.
Titles held by noblemen and noblewomen were generally "lord" and "lady," among others. Titles specific to nobles were LORD, MILORD ("my lord"), LADY, MILADY ("my lady"), NOBLE SIR, NOBLE LADY, MADAM, and GOOD GENTLES (if speaking to more than one noble person).
I'm sure there are other titles I have not discussed, but these are the ones I used in my story. You can try some of them out on your friends or at the next medieval fair. Have fun with them.
An extra note about medieval times: People swore by just about anything they owned, held dear or respected. Example: "He swore by his sword that he spoke the truth, but verily she felt his aura emitted a lie," or "She pulled back from his bruising grip, eyes piercing the brute, and swore by her honor he'd rue the day he ever laid a hand on her."
Shadows of Valor will be released July 27th, 2013!