type of dark-brown malty beer, 1734, short for porter's ale (1721), porter-beer, etc., from porter (n.1), said to be so called because the beer was made for or preferred by porters and other laborers, being cheap and strong, and it survived into 20c. largely in Ireland. However, as OED points out, "There is no direct contemporary evidence as to the origin of the name," to which Century Dictionary (1897) adds, "There is no evidence that London porters, as distinguished from London cabmen or London artisans, favored this sort of beer."
["doorkeeper, janitor"] mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), "one who has charge of a door or gate; one who guards the gate of a bridge," from Anglo-French portour, Old French portier "gatekeeper" (12c.), from Late Latin portarius "gatekeeper," from Latin porta "city gate, gate; door, entrance," from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over."
["person who carries"] late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), portour, "person who carries" (goods, burdens), especially one who carries burdens or runs errands for hire, from Anglo-French portour, Old French porteor "porter, bearer; reporter" (12c.), from Late Latin portatorem (nominative portator) "carrier, one who carries," from past participle stem of Latin portare "to carry," from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over."
also porterhouse, "restaurant or chophouse where porter, ale, and other malt liquors are sold or served," 1754, from porter (n.3) + house (n.). Porterhouse steak, consisting of a choice cut of beef between the sirloin and the tenderloin (1841) is said to be from a particular establishment in New York City.
1580s, "flexible traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries," from Middle French portemanteau "traveling bag," originally "court official who carried a prince's mantle" (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter "to carry" (see porter (n.1)) + manteau "cloak" (see mantle (n.)). Sometimes partially Englished as portmantle.
Portmanteau word "word blending the sound of two different words" (1882) was coined by "Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for "Jabberwocky," on the notion of "two meanings packed up into one word." As a noun in this sense from 1872.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to lead, pass over." A verbal root associated with *per- (1), which forms prepositions and preverbs with the basic meaning "forward, through; in front of, before," etc.
It forms all or part of: aporia; asportation; comport; deport; disport; emporium; Euphrates; export; fare; farewell; fartlek; Ferdinand; fere; fern; ferry; firth; fjord; ford; Fuhrer; gaberdine; import; important; importune; opportune; opportunity; passport; porch; pore (n.) "minute opening;" port (n.1) "harbor;" port (n.2) "gateway, entrance;" port (n.3) "bearing, mien;" port (v.) "to carry;" portable; portage; portal; portcullis; porter (n.1) "person who carries;" porter (n.2) "doorkeeper, janitor;" portfolio; portico; portiere; purport; practical; rapport; report; sport; support; transport; warfare; wayfarer; welfare.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit parayati "carries over;" Greek poros "journey, passage, way," peirein "to pierce, pass through, run through;" Latin portare "to carry," porta "gate, door," portus "port, harbor," originally "entrance, passage," peritus "experienced;" Avestan peretush "passage, ford, bridge;" Armenian hordan "go forward;" Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old Church Slavonic pariti "to fly;" Old English faran "to go, journey," Old Norse fjörðr "inlet, estuary."
"orifice of communication between the stomach and intestines," 1610s, from Late Latin pylorus "the lower orifice of the stomach," from Greek pylōros "lower orifice of the stomach," literally "gatekeeper, porter," from pylē "gate" (see pylon) + ouros "watcher, guardian" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). Related: Pyloric.