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Alderman is a member of a city council or other local governing body. Historically the term was used to refer to local municipal judges in small legal proceedings. For example, Pennsylvania established aldermen in the 19th century to serve as local judges for minor infractions. The title is derived from the Old English title of ealdorman, literally meaning "elder man," and was used by the chief nobles presiding over shires.Alderman is also referred to as alderperson.