"movable receptacle for detached papers or prints," 1722, porto folio; 1719 as port folio, from Italian portafoglio "a case for carrying loose papers," from porta, imperative of portare "to carry" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over") + foglio "sheet, leaf," from Latin folium (see folio). Usually something like a book cover with a flexible back, fastened with strings or clasps. Meaning "official documents of a state department" is from 1835, hence figuratively, of a minister of state. A minister without portfolio is one not in charge of a particular department. Meaning "collection of securities held" is from 1930; portfolio investment is from 1955.
type of early modern human, 1869, named for the rock shelter site at Cro-Magnon, a hill in the Dordogne department near Les Eyzies, France, where several skeletons were found in 1868 and recognized as fossil Homo sapiens. The name is said to be from Occitan cro "cavity" + Magnon, a name of an owner of the land around the shelter.
city in Colorado, U.S., founded 1858 as Auraria ("golden"), renamed 1859 for Gen. James W. Denver (1817-1892), governor of the territory. The family name is from the place of that name in Norfolk, literally "ford or passage used by the Danes," from Old English Dena (genitive plural) + fær"journey, road, passage, expedition," from strong neuter of faran "to journey" (see fare (v.)).
The Denver boot or shoe (1967), a wheel clamp for illegally parked vehicles, supposedly was invented 1953 by Frank Marugg, pattern-maker and violinist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra. He was a friend of politicians and police department officials, and the city sheriff's department came to him for help in making a device to immobilize vehicles whose owners didn't pay parking tickets.
"the left side of a ship" (looking forward from the stern), 1540s, probably from the notion of "the side facing the harbor" (when a ship is docked); thus from port (n.1). On old-style vessels the steering oar was on the right side, thus they would tie up at a wharf on the other side. It replaced larboard in common usage to avoid confusion with starboard; officially so by Admiralty order of 1844 and U.S. Navy Department notice of 1846. As an adjective by 1857.
U. S. Navy Department, Washington, Feb. 18, 1846.
It having been repeatedly represented to the Department that confusion arises from the use of the words "larboard" and "starboard"' in consequence of their similarity of sound, the word "port" is hereafter to be substituted for "larboard." George Bancroft, Sec. of the Navy.
The whalemen are the only class of seamen who have not adopted the term port instead of larboard, except in working ship. The larboard boat was this boat to their great-grandfathers, and it is so with the present generation. More especially is this the case in the Atlantic and South Pacific fleets; but recently the term port-boat has come into use in the Arctic fleet. [Fisheries of U.S., V. ii. 243, 1887]
1859, "formation or development of cells by budding or division," from French prolifération, from prolifère "producing offspring," from Latin proles "offspring" (see prolific) + ferre "to bear, carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children"). The meaning "enlargement, extension, increase in number" is from 1920; especially of nuclear weapons by 1960 in the jargon of the U.S. State Department.
1540s, of the air, "full of thick mist," perhaps from a Scandinavian source, or formed from fog (n.1) + -y (2). Foggy Bottom "U.S. Department of State," is from the name of a marshy region of Washington, D.C., where many federal buildings are (also with a suggestion of political murkiness) popularized 1947 by James Reston in the New York Times, but he said it had been used earlier by Edward Folliard of The Washington Post.