I found this paragraph in an old book entitled How To Be A Lady by Harvey Newcomb. This book is a very old book written in 1850 and it is one of several that Mr. Newcomb wrote to young ladies. This passage is about the history of the word “lady” and what it means to be one!
“The term lady was originally applied to a woman of rank, as
that of lord was to a man of rank. In the old country, society
is divided into different orders, the nobility and the common
people. But it is not so among us. Every woman can be a lady,
who conducts herself in a lady-like manner. And the idea of
a lady is, a strict propriety of conduct on all occasions.
One may, therefore, be a lady as well in the kitchen
as in the parlor.”