name used in India for "European; Englishman; Portuguese," 1630s, from Persian Farangi, from Arabic Faranji (10c.), from Old French Franc "Frank" (see Frank) + Arabic ethnic suffix -i. The fr- sound is impossible in Arabic.
one of the Germanic tribal people (Salian Franks) situated on the lower Rhine from 3c. that conquered Romano-Celtic northern Gaul c.500 C.E.; from their territory and partly from their language grew modern France and French. Old English franc, franca "freeman, noble; Frank, Frenchman," from Medieval Latin francus, a Late Latin borrowing of Frankish *Frank, the people's self-designation (cognate with Old High German Franko, the Latin word also is the source of Spanish and Italian names Franco).
The origin of the ethnic name is uncertain; it traditionally is said to be from the old Germanic word *frankon "javelin, lance" (compare Old English franca "lance, javelin"), their preferred weapon, but the reverse may be the case. Compare also Saxon, traditionally from root of Old English seax "knife." The adjectival sense of "free, at liberty" (see frank (adj.)) probably developed from the tribal name, not the other way round. It was noted by 1680s that, in the Levant, this was the name given to anyone of Western nationality (compare Feringhee and lingua franca).