Its source is an English expression meaning "Gatekeeper."
The name Porter ranked 731st in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 1200th in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name appears on the 1990 U.S. Census lists, it is used by only a small percentage of the general population.
The English surname evolved side-by-side with a French name assumed by persons who made their living carrying loads. (Porter in French means ''to carry.'')