Old English utlendisc "of a foreign country, not native," from utland "foreign land," literally "outland" (see out- + land (n.)) + -ish. The original sense is archaic or obsolete. The meaning "unfamiliar, strange, odd, uncouth, bizarre" (such as the customs of foreigners may seem to natives) is attested from 1590s. Compare German ausländisch, Danish udenlandsk, etc. Old English utland also could mean "land lying beyond the limits of occupation or cultivation," a sense that survived into Modern English. Related: Outlandishly; outlandishness.