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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.


facchino m (plural facchini, feminine facchina)

  1. porter (person who carries luggage)

Derived termsEdit