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Dominie (Wiktionary definition) is a Scots language and Scottish English term for a Scottish schoolmaster usually of the Church of Scotland and also a term used in the US[1] for a minister or pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church.


It comes from the Latin domine (vocative case of Dominus 'Lord, Master'). When the Church of Scotland began to introduce universal provision of education in Scotland after it became established as a national church in 1560, its aim was to have a university educated schoolmaster in every parish. The minister sometimes served as the dominie. Over time this came to be used as a term for a minister, schoolmaster or university student.[2][3]

Many Scots hold the universal provision of education in high regard, which was one of a number of social improvements to arise from the Scots Reformation. It accounts for a difference in attitudes to education between Scotland and other UK countries.[dubious ]

In the United States the same word is used to describe a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ van der Sijs, Nicoline (2009). Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops: The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages. Amsterdam University Press. p. 219.
  2. ^ "dominie n. a schoolmaster, teacher". Scots Language Centre. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "dominie". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)