Just as counties were traditionally ruled by counts, marches gave rise to titles such as marquess (masculine) or marchioness (feminine) in England, marquis (masculine) or marquise (feminine) in France and Scotland, margrave (Markgraf i.e. "march count"; masculine) or margravine (Markgräfin i.e. "march countess", feminine) in Germany, and corresponding titles in other European states.
The word "march" derives ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European root *mereg-, meaning "edge, boundary". The root *mereg- produced Latin margo ("margin"), Old Irish mruig ("borderland"), and Persian and Armenian marz ("borderland"). The Proto-Germanic *marko gave rise to the Old English word mearc and Frankish marka, as well as Old Norse mörk meaning "borderland, forest", and derived form merki "boundary, sign", denoting a borderland between two centres of power.
It seems that in Old English "mark" meant "boundary" or "sign of a boundary", and the meaning only later evolved to encompass "sign" in general, "impression" and "trace".
The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia took its name from West Saxon mearc "marches", which in this instance referred explicitly to the territory's position on the Anglo-Saxon frontier with the Romano-British to the west.
During the Frankish Carolingian Dynasty, usage of the word spread throughout Europe.