Ladies and Gentlemen
This phrase was originated from another phrase ‘gentlemen and gentlewomen’. This phrase was in use from 1586 to around 1591. It was not used to address all the men and women but it was used to address a particular class of the men and women.
Who were addressed as gentlemen and gentlewomen?
Gentlemen was gentle women was used to refer to the men and women of a higher social standing.
Gentlemen used to refer to a man who didn’t have to work for a living that means for paid employment. Gentle women were the women who were married to the gentlemen or who belonged to the upper class of society.
Later the phrase gentle women, was replaced by the word ‘ladies’ to address the women whereas gentlemen remained the same.
If we consider the dictionary meaning
A woman usually refers to an adult female.
1. My sister is a smart woman.
2. Those women are very hard working.
A lady is often meant to be a woman who is polite, modest, gracious and well mannered.
Lady is a polite or formal way of referring to a woman with respect.
Her grandma is an old lady.
There is a beautiful lady in the party.
In a way gentleman and lady have the same meaning as a gentleman is a man of refined behaviour and speech and a lady is a woman of refined behaviour and speech.
Therefore, it is not needed to say gentle women as the word lady conveys the same meaning.
You might have noticed that we address a group of women as “Ladies” not as women.
Nowadays we address the crowd or the audience consisting of men and women as Ladies and Gentlemen not on the basis of their class or living standard as it used to be earlier.
Nowadays it is a formal way or a polite way to address them as ladies and gentlemen. They are not discriminated on the basis of their higher social standing but they are commonly addressed as Ladies and Gentlemen.