From Sicilian facchinu (“jurist called upon to settle disputes related to customs”). Ultimately from Arabic فَقِيه (faqīh, “theologian, jurisconsult, faqih”). 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.
- porter (person who carries luggage)
- Henriette Walter (1994) L'Aventure des langues en occident, Paris: Éditions Robert Laffont, ISBN 9782724290554
- T.C. Donkin (1864) An Etymological Dictionary of the Romance Languages, London: Williams and Norgate
- “facchino” in Vocabolario Treccani