One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of battleaxe, varying in form, used by the ancient Franks.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Bulteel (d. ?1692), writer and translator. Originally from French francisque from post-classical Latin francisca (636 in Isidore), use as noun (short for e.g. securis francisca Frankish axe) of feminine of franciscus Frankish. In later use also directly from post-classical Latin francisca.
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