Mainly U.S.: taken from the vocabulary word denoting the rank of nobility (compare Earl, Prince, King). This derives from Old French marchis, i.e. ‘lord of the marches (border districts)’. The spelling was later influenced by the Provençal and Spanish equivalents. Use as a given name may also have been influenced by the Scottish surname McMarquis, Gaelic Mac Marcuis, a patronymic from Marcus.