First Lady

A group of first ladies assemble in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, September 22, 2008
First ladies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 25, 2009

First Lady is an unofficial title used for the wife of a non-monarchical head of state or chief executive.[1][2][3] The term is also used to describe a woman seen to be at the top of her profession or art.[4]

The term is often used to a non-monarchical heads of state or chief executives who don't have that kind of style in their own country. Some countries have a title, official or unofficial, that is or can be translated as first lady.[5] The title is not normally used for the wife of a head of government who is not also head of state.

First Gentleman is the male equivalent of the title in countries where the head of state's spouse has been a man, such as the Philippines or Malta. While there has never been a male spouse of a U.S. president, "First Gentleman" is used in the United States for the husband of a governor.

First Spouse, a rare version of the title, can be used in either case where the spouse of a head of state is male or female. This term is used to promote gender equality and gender neutrality.

In the United States, collectively, the president of the United States and his spouse are known as the first couple[6] and, if they have children, they are usually referred to as the first family.


The designation First Lady seems to have originated in the United States, where one of the earliest uses in print, in 1838, was in reference to Martha Washington.[7] Other sources indicate that, in 1849, President Zachary Taylor called Dolley Madison "first lady" at her state funeral, while reciting a eulogy written by himself; but no copy of that eulogy has been found.[8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Eerste Dame
العربية: سيدة أولى
asturianu: Primer dama
azərbaycanca: Birinci xanım
Bân-lâm-gú: Tē-it hu-jîn
беларуская: Першая лэдзі
български: Първа дама
català: Primera dama
čeština: První dáma
Deutsch: First Lady
español: Primera dama
euskara: Lehen dama
فارسی: بانوی اول
français: Première dame
Frysk: First lady
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thi-yit Fû-ngìn
հայերեն: Առաջին տիկին
hrvatski: Prva dama
Bahasa Indonesia: Ibu negara
italiano: First lady
ქართული: პირველი ლედი
latviešu: Pirmā lēdija
Nederlands: First lady
português: Primeira-dama
русский: Первая леди
shqip: First Lady
Simple English: First Lady
slovenčina: Prvá dáma
српски / srpski: Прва дама
Türkçe: First Lady
українська: Перша леді
粵語: 第一夫人
中文: 第一夫人