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User comments for Portia (Meaning / History Only)
Portia can also mean "offering" or so I have learned from several resources.
Portia was originally an Ancient Roman name as spelt Porcia, used by girls born in the Porcii Catonii family.
― Anonymous User
I would have thought that if Portia is indeed the feminine form of Porcius, the ancient Romans would have spelt it Porcia. After all, the ancient Romans did not have a habit of replacing the 'c' in a male name with a 't' in the feminine version of the name. Just compare: Marcius --> Marcia and Roscius --> Roscia. All Latin names follow this kind of pattern; why would it suddenly be Porcius --> Portia instead of Porcius --> Porcia?
Isn't it more likely that Portia is the feminine form of Portius, which actually means "port, harbour"?
Portius is confused with Porcius on occasion, so it is not surprising if the same happens to Portia and Porcia. So perhaps that is the case here as well?
Portia could be derived from Latin portionem (nominative portio) "share, part, portion." Alternatively, Portia could also be derived from Latin porta "city gate, gate; door, entrance." It is a lovely name that belonged to one of Shakespeare's strongest and most brilliant female characters, the lawyer and heiress Portia in "The Merchant of Venice."
With some research you will find that this name is derived from a Roman clan named Porcius. The feminine being Porcia. Yes in Latin it means pig but depending on how you look at it, can mean a lot more and goes back pretty far. The name Portia comes from humble beginnings, back in the old days it was common for last names to be connected to occupations. People with this last name were pig farmers. Of course as time goes by, people's occupation change but the name stays with the family (some spellings start to change too). Through history this name beautifully shows the progression one has taken to providing a better life for their family. That it means pig kinda becomes irrelevant as it no longer is describing an occupation.
Take a look at Ferdinand Porsche, his family had a humble start as Auto Mechanics, but he grew up to create the well-known German car. Now I want to point out because I often hear people say that "Porsche/Portia is a car not someone's name, how awful" YES it was turned into the name of a car but it was taken from Ferdinand's LAST NAME. AS I've explained, this name has a long history with people's surname before the car was ever invented. Now in our day it is extremely rare for that to be used as a last name.
I think it's quite lovely, although my name is spelled Porche (Por'sha), a pretty uncommon spelling of the name. I think the name in general makes sense as a first name. Growing up in the US (NW Washington) it really stood out, I was without a doubt the only Porche in all of my schools. At times when I was little I wanted a "common name" I was very shy and my name made me stand out more then I would have liked. I was never ever teased but I just wanted to fit in. By high school I LOVED my name, no more did I want to blend in. I really like how unique it is, I get loads of compliments and my name is a great conversation starter.
This might be a strange name to people who grew up in countries where this is not even considered as a first name. But like anything, when you're exposed to something you get used to it, and people adapt. People that think this name and the girl that has it are snobby, bratty, and rich people are very far from it. First a person's name does not define them, it's the character of the person as well as how they were raised. Second your putting a label on someone before even meeting them, that's called prejudice. And third, the name's background itself is far from pretentious and snobby, its quite the opposite. So anyone considering this name I would take their opinion with a grain of salt.
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