c.1300, "what one has to do," from Anglo-Norm. afere,
from O.Fr. afaire,
from the infinitive phrase à faire
"to do" (from L. ad
"to" + facere
"to do, make;" see factitious
). A Northern word originally, brought into general use and given a Fr. spelling by Caxton (15c.). General sense of "vague proceedings" (in romance, war, etc.) first attested 1702. Affairs
"ordinary business" first attested 1484.