"member of a Latin-speaking race of the Balkans, a Walachian or Rumanian," 1841, from Bulgarian vlakh or Serbian vlah, from Old Church Slavonic vlakhu, a Slavic adoptation of Germanic *walh (source of Old English wealh) "foreigner," especially applied to Celts and Latins (see Welsh).
Entries linking to vlach
As a noun, "the Britons," also "the Welsh language," both from Old English. The word survives in Wales, Cornwall, Walloon, walnut, and in surnames Walsh and Wallace. Borrowed in Old Church Slavonic as vlachu, and applied to the Rumanians, hence Wallachia. Among the English, Welsh was used disparagingly of inferior or substitute things (such as Welsh cricket "louse" (1590s); Welsh comb "thumb and four fingers" (1796), and compare welch (v.)). Welsh rabbit is from 1725, also perverted by folk-etymology as Welsh rarebit (1785).
1520s, of a people of what is now souther and southeastern Belgium, also of their language, from French Wallon, literally "foreigner," of Germanic origin (compare Old High German walh "foreigner"). The people are of Gaulish origin and speak a French dialect. The name is a form of the common appellation of Germanic peoples to Romanic-speaking neighbors. See Vlach, also Welsh. As a noun from 1560s; as a language name from 1640s.