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English, Scottish, and Irish: occupational name for a janitor
or gatekeeper, Middle English usher (Anglo-Norman French
usser, Old French ussier, huissier, from Late
Latin ustiarius, a derivative of classical Latin ostium
‘door’, ‘gate’). The term was also used in the Middle Ages of a court
official charged with accompanying a person of rank on ceremonial
occasions, and this may be a partial souce of the surname. This
surname has been recorded in Ireland since the 14th century, and has
sometimes been used as an equivalent of