From Sicilian facchinu (“jurist called upon to settle disputes related to customs”). Ultimately from Arabic فقيه (“theologian, jurisconsult”). Cognate with Spanish faquín, French faquin. The passage from a customs officer to porter would have occurred as a result of serious economic crisis in the Arab world, when, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the customs officers were forced - to survive - to the sale of fabrics that they themselves transported - on their shoulders - from square to square.
- Henriette Walter, l'Aventure des langues en occident, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1994, ISBN 9782724290554
- T.C. Donkin, An Etymological Dictionary of the Romance Languages, Williams and Norgate, London, 1864
facchino m (plural facchini)
- porter (person)