A majordomo is a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another. Typically, the term refers to 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. Similar terms include castellan, concierge, chamberlain, seneschal, mayor of the palace, maître d'hôtel, head butler, and steward.
The term also refers, more informally, to someone who oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of a business enterprise.
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 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.
The character Jonathan Higgins served as the majordomo of the Robin's Nest estate in Magnum, P.I., though the estate, including Magnum's Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS, is owned by the author Robin Masters, it is later revealed that Robin Masters is actually Higgins' pen name, and that Higgins is the true owner and author.
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.