Esquire, Please! A Rant About Why You Shouldn’t Call Yourself ‘Esquire’
September 26, 2022
So you think you’re special Esquire, do you? Do you think that because you have an e at the end of your name, you have some kind of power over the rest of us? Well, guess what, Esquire?
We don’t like it. It’s arrogant and pretentious and it gives the whole profession a bad name. Just because you went to law school does not mean that you should be able to call yourself Esquire. Grow up and just be a lawyer.
Stop being so pretentious
Esquire has a special meaning in America. This word is only supposed to be used by the elderly and this is how it’s always been done. The older you are, the more likely you will be able to refer to yourself as Esquire.
So please, if you’re not old enough or not at that stage in your life yet where you can call yourself Esquire- don’t do it. It isn’t cool and most of all are just an act of impetuousness.
What is an Esquire?
An Esquire is a member of the Knights Bachelor, which is a hereditary order established by King Charles II in 1661. Becoming an is quite difficult.
The requirements to apply for membership include being known as a gentleman with at least two hundred and fifty years (counting only those with full inheritable rights) and having been born into the rank of the nobility. One can also be admitted after ten years of marriage to an ‘s daughter or granddaughter.
For all you young gentlemen out there who want to be called this may not be what you had in mind.
The real issue with these modern titles
Titles such as ‘s, and others that reference a profession are a little more complicated than they might seem.
And while you’re certainly free to call yourself whatever you please, it’s important to think about the implications of these words before putting them on your website or business card.
It can come across as arrogant and take away from what is most important in your life–your actual work and your reputation for doing good work.
This is because titles represent power differentials that can make those who come from disadvantaged communities feel intimidated or inferior even when their accomplishments may be greater than someone with an elevated title.
There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re a writer or author…
There’s nothing wrong with saying you’re a writer or author—but there’s something not cool about telling people your esquire. It’s got nothing to do with intelligence;
it just feels pretentious and like an attempt to inflate one’s ego. The word was coined in the 1920s to signify someone who can administer both law and equity.
Unless that’s your profession, there isn’t much point in calling yourself such—especially when has become synonymous with
If you insist on calling yourself something, call yourself what you are.
I think it’s time we just let this go. Look at the last guy who kept insisting on calling himself : Donald Trump.
He’s been granted many opportunities to live in the White House with his name engraved on the front door as its first family member and yet he keeps insisting on that one little thing—calling himself
It’s a silly thing to debate over whether or not someone can call themselves esquire. The important question is why do they want to call themselves .
If your answer is because you want to be addressed by that title because you feel it creates an elevated sense of identity or social status, then I say no way. As though being a lawyer didn’t already come with a heightened status of esteem?
Let’s agree to disagree… but don’t give me any crap about it.
A little disclaimer – I know not everyone is going to agree with me on this. But the use of Esquire’s, should be reserved for the most qualified professionals in the industry.
These are those people who have reached that point in their career where they have a tremendous amount of respect and authority. So if you’re just starting keep in mind that Esquire’s, is reserved for only the most experienced individuals.
Let’s not devalue it by giving it to every Tom, Dick, and Harry just because they self-identify as an Esquire – it’s not how titles work.
So when someone calls me Esquire online – and it has happened to me several times – I get upset for a couple of reasons. First of all, there’s no subject matter justification for calling me Esquire’s, in a professional setting.
If you’re going to write an email or make a phone call to me at work using my title and last name, then fine – I’ll accept that. But if you’re writing it on LinkedIn or Twitter? Eh… Not so much. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not crazy about titles in general.
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