Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: from Middle English port ‘gateway’, ‘entrance’ (Old French porte, from Latin porta), hence a topographic name for someone who lived near the gates of a fortified town or city, typically, the man in charge of them. Compare Porter 1.
  2. English: topographic name for someone who lived near a harbor or in a market town, from the homonymous Middle English port (Old English port ‘harbor’, ‘market town’, from Latin portus ‘harbor’, ‘haven’, reinforced in Middle English by Old French port, from the same source).
  3. German: topographic name for someone who lived near a (city) gate, from Middle Low German porte (modern German Pforte) (see sense 1).
  4. Jewish (from Lithuania and Belarus): unexplained.
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