"image of a person," 1530s, from French effigie (13c.), from Latin effigies "copy or imitation of something, likeness, image, statue," from or related to effingere "to mold, fashion, portray," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + fingere "to form, shape" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build").
The Latin word was regarded as plural and the -s was lopped off by 18c. Especially figures made of stuffed clothing; the burning or hanging of them is attested by 1670s. Formerly done by judicial authorities as symbolic punishment of criminals who had escaped their jurisdiction; later a popular expression against persons deemed obnoxious. Related: Effigial.