Magisterial judges tend to be lower-level judges, but court officers (e.g., lawyers) still address them as "your honor." It seems, given the title of their office, that "your majesty" would be the most appropriate form of addressing the office. Has that ever been used? If not, are there logical or historical reasons it has not?

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    "your majesty" is a very high form of address, adopted by kings who thought that "your grace" and "my lord" weren't sufficient. In the present day it's generally considered to be reserved for kings, queens, emperors, and empresses.
    – hobbs
    Nov 7, 2015 at 22:34
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    Conspiracy theory: you might be hinting that this is the proper term for SE mods!!
    – Pat W.
    Nov 8, 2015 at 1:22
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    @PatW. - Nonsense! Everyone knows that Mods should be addressed as "your Grace!" (Yes, "your Majesty" is acceptable, as is "your Highness;" but I would never advocate for such glorified honorifics!)
    – feetwet
    Nov 8, 2015 at 3:11
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    It should be noted that until very recently magistrates in New South Wales were called "your worship"
    – Dale M
    Nov 8, 2015 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


tl;dr: The terms have separate etymologies. Majesty derives from greatness, while magistrate comes from mastering something (people or a trade).


Middle English (in the sense 'greatness of God'): from Old French majeste, from Latin majestas, from a variant of majus, major.

Also, c. 1300, "greatness, glory," from Old French majeste "grandeur, nobility" (12c.), from Latin maiestatem (nominative maiestas) "greatness, dignity, elevation, honor, excellence," from stem of maior (neuter maius), comparative of magnus "great" (see magnate). Earliest English us is with reference to God; as a title, in reference to kings and queens (late 14c.), it is from Romance languages and descends from the Roman Empire.


Latin magistratus ‘administrator’, from magister ‘master’. This also gives us master (Old English), its weakened form mister (mid 16th century), and miss.

Also, late 14c., "civil officer in charge of administering laws," from Old French magistrat, from Latin magistratus "a magistrate, public functionary," originally "magisterial rank or office," from magistrare "serve as a magistrate," from magister "chief, director" (see master).

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