From Middle High German scheffe, scheffene, from Old High German sceffino. Cognate with Dutch schepen and borrowed Latin scabinus (whence French échevin). The alternative forms Schöppe and Schöpfe, which were widely used in writing until the 19th century, are due to influence by the verb schöpfen (Central German schöppen).
- (Germany, Austria, and generally) a lay judge, an assistant judge
- (Belgium, Luxembourg) a deputy mayor (for French échevin)
- See Wikipedia for the system of lay judges in Germany.
- Schöffe in Duden online