M’lady is originally the underclass way to greet an upper class lady, but the phrase has been adopted by meme makers.
On the internet, M’lady is associated with a beta male, often a few pounds too heavy, with an unflattering beard and a fedora hat.
And this is exactly what the most common M’lady meme looks like.
The M’lady man is the man who has given up trying to be attractive or rich or anything else to try and get women, and will now try to pull them in by being a classy gentleman – but it usually doesn’t work in his favor.
The phrase was first shared on Reddit in 2012 in relation to “white knight” behavior.
Soon after the phrase spread over to other subreddits and inspired the making of YouTube videos featuring said gentlemanly behavior.
The first meme featuring the fedora-tipping man with the neckbeard was shared November 12th, 2013, to the subreddit r/cringepics.
The phrase and meme is used on social media platforms, often meme platforms, to make fun of the men that turn to the gentlemanly “white knight” behavior, and still don’t manage to pick up women.
It is mostly used as a joke, but some men actually use it to try to finally seduce a woman with his gentlemanliness.
- Urban Dictionary – M’Lady