Francis/Frances is an English form of the Italian Francesco. Originally simply a word meaning "person from France," it was used as a nickname for the 13th century St. Francis of Assisi (originally named Giovanni) because of his father's business connections in France. Later on his followers became known as the Franciscan order of friars, and various forms of Francisco became used as names throughout Europe. In English, Frances is generally the spelling used for girls, while Francis is used for boys.
See Also: Frances (boy)

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