Now and then we met a sea-fowl, floating on the smooth water; and in our wake gambolled a porpoise or two.
But I wonder what the porpoise was, and what brought her in these seas?
"You didn't get the porpoise," the Centipede said exultantly, as though his escape materially diminished our success.
The next business was to move in all the furniture of the porpoise.
But, though the powerful screw churned the water to foam in the tunnel, the porpoise never budged.
He might as well have tried to get early speed out of a porpoise.
The bay abounds with fish, of which the chief are cod, salmon, porpoise and whales.
Then we've not much to fear from him; but here he is, puffing like a porpoise.
Here, unless he mend his caution, I fear he will never learn to play the porpoise at the Zoo.
"The men from the porpoise can't be far off," said the doctor.
early 14c., porpas, from Old French porpais (12c.) "porpoise," literally "pork fish," from porc "pork" (see pork (n.)) + peis "fish," from Latin piscis "fish" (see fish (n.)).
The Old French word probably is a loan-translation of a Germanic word meaning literally "sea-hog, mere-swine;" cf. Old Norse mar-svin, Old High German meri-swin, Middle Dutch mereswijn "porpoise" (the last of which also was borrowed directly into French and became Modern French marsouin).
Classical Latin had a similar name, porculus marinus (in Pliny), and the notion behind the name likely is a fancied resemblance of the snout to that of a pig.