One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A next friend; a person who is entitled to act on behalf of an infant, a person lacking the mental capability to act for themselves, or a married woman (now chiefly US).
Late 15th century. From Anglo-Norman prochein ami person who is entitled to act on behalf of an infant in litigation from prochain + ami.
prochain ami/prəʊˌʃeɪn aˈmi//prɒˌʃeɪn aˈmi/
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