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Scottish, Manx, and English: occupational name for a judge or
arbiter of minor disputes, from Old English dem(e)stre, a
derivative of the verb demian ‘to judge or pronounce
judgement’. Although this was originally a feminine form of the
masculine demere, by the Middle English period the suffix
-stre had lost its feminine force, and the term was used of
both sexes. The surname is not common in England, where the term was
early replaced by Anglo-Norman French juge (see