Origin and history of the name
The name France comes from Latin Francia, which literally means "land of the Franks or Frankland". There are various theories as to the origin of the name of the Franks. One is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. Similarly, the Saxons are named after a variety of single-edged knives called the seax.
Another proposed etymology is that in an ancient Germanic language, Frank means free. However, rather than the ethnic name of the Franks coming from the word frank, it is more probable that the word is derived from the ethnic name of the Franks, the connection being that only the Franks, as the conquering class, had the status of freemen. The Merovingian kings claimed descent of their dynasty from the Sicambri, a Scythian or Cimmerian tribe, asserting that this tribe had changed their name to "Franks" in 11 BC, following their defeat and relocation by Drusus, under the leadership of a certain chieftain called Franko, although they had actually come from present day Netherlands, Lower Saxony, and possibly, ultimately Scandinavia. In German, France is still called Frankreich, which literally means "Realm of the Franks". In order to distinguish from the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne, Modern France is called Frankreich, while the Frankish Realm is called Frankenreich.
The word "Frank" had been loosely used from the fall of Rome to the Middle Ages, yet from Hugh Capet's coronation as "King of the Franks" ("Rex Francorum") it became used to strictly refer to the Kingdom of Francia, which would become France. The Capetian Kings were descended from the Robertines, who had produced two Frankish kings, and previously held the title of "Duke of the Franks" ("duces francorum"). This Frankish duchy encompassed most of modern northern France but because the royal power was sapped by regional princes the term was then applied to the royal demesne as a shorthand. It was finally the name adopted for all of the Kingdom as central power was affirmed over the entire kingdom.