One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The hiring of a vessel for the transportation of goods.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in John Exton (?1600–1668), civil lawyer and judge. From French affrètement (1366 in Middle French as afretemen; from Middle French affréter (French affréter) to load a ship, to charter a ship for the transport of goods + -ment), with remodelling of the second syllable by association with freight or freight.
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