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Majordomo at hotel des Deux Magots, Paris 25 November 2009

A majordomo is a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another. Typically, this is the highest (major) person of a household (domūs or domicile) staff, a head servant who acts on behalf of the owner of a large or significant residence. Synonyms include castellan, concierge, chamberlain, seneschal, mayor of the palace, curopalate, maître d'hôtel, head butler, and steward.

A majordomo may also, more informally, be someone who oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of a business enterprise.[1] Historically, many institutions and governments – monasteries, cathedrals and cities – as well as noble and royal houses also had the post of majordomo, who usually was in charge of finances.

Additionally, the Hispanos of New Mexico use this term to refer to the manager of an acequia system for a town or valley.


The origin is from maior domūs (Latin for "principal of the house"), and it was borrowed into English from Spanish mayordomo or obsolete Italian maiordomo. Also found as French majordome, modern Italian maggiordomo, Portuguese and Galician mordomo, in Romanian and Catalan majordom.

Examples in fiction[edit]

In Les Miserables, Major Domo oversees proceedings at the wedding of Marius and Cosette, in the stage version, introducing M. and Mme. Thenardier to the wedding waltzers.

Walter Slezak as Maurice Clavell in the comedy film Come September (1961) not only plays the role of Rock Hudson's majordomo, but also takes advantage of his employer's absence to turn the luxurious Italian villa into resort hotel.

The character Jonathan Higgins served as the majordomo of the Robin's Nest estate in the Magnum, P.I. series.[2]. For the 2018 reboot, Higgins was re-written as a woman, named Juliet Higgins where she is portrayed by Perdita Weeks[3].

Michael Carter portrayed the twi'lek Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's majordomo, in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Fortuna screens visitors, handles low-level bargaining, as well as carrying out Jabba's wishes in the court.

In the 1991 Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast, the character of Cogsworth has the position of majordomo in the castle, alongside Lumiere who is the castle's Maître d'hôtel.

In the 1994 film The Lion King the character Zazu serves as majordomo (or as he introduces himself, "majordodo") to Mufasa and later his son Simba after he became king.

In a play on the word, the 2018 film Isle of Dogs includes a character named Major-Domo who serves as a majordomo.

In the video game universe of Warcraft, Majordomo Executus is the chief officer of the elemental Fire Lord Ragnaros, residing in the Molten Core. Upon Ragnaros' return, former Archdruid Fandral Staghelm assumes the role as his majordomo.

In the video game The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, the game's protagonist Geralt of Rivia acquires a large estate in the Blood and Wine expansion. The estate's affairs are overseen by the majordomo Barnabas-Basil Foulty.

The character Summerset serves as Roarke's majordomo throughout the In Death series by J.D. Robb.

In the 1981 TV series Dynasty and the 2017 rebooted version, Joseph Anders is the Majordomo of the Carrington Manor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ majordomo, Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ "John Hillerman, Emmy-Winning 'Magnum P.I.' Actor, Dead at 84". The Huffington Post. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  3. ^