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not set
Type Surname (from location)
Usage Scottish
Pronounced Pron. POR-tee-us, por-TAY-us  [key]

Meaning & History

A topographic surname for someone who lived in the lodge at the entrance to a manor house, derived from Middle English port, meaning "gateway" or "entrance", and hous meaning "house". It can also be an occupational name with similar meaning, derived from Latin portarius meaning "porter". As suggested by Reany, it can alternatively be derived from the Anglo-Norman French word porte-hors meaning "portable prayerbook", which was a book of hours, hence, it would be a metonymic occupational name for a scribe employed in writing such books. This surname is also well-established in Ireland, the earliest recorded occurance there being in 1563.
Added 3/21/2020 by EncyclopediaBrown