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. 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.
The origin is from maior domūs (Latin, "principal" and "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
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.
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 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 Juliett Higgins serves as the majordomo of Robin's Master's estate in the rebooted Magnum, P.I. series.
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- majordomo, Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- "John Hillerman, Emmy-Winning 'Magnum P.I.' Actor, Dead at 84". The Huffington Post. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
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