Word Origin & History
"Ottoman court at Constantinople," 1609, from Fr., la Sublime Porte, translation of Arabic bab-i-'aliy, lit. "lofty gate," official name of the central office of the Ottoman government (cf. Vatican for "the Papacy," Kremlin for "the U.S.S.R."). Supposedly a ref. to the ancient custom of holding royal
audience in the doorway of a king's palace or tent.