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The word "aftermath" seems to arise in odd situations, often confusing both students and myself. Do you know what the word means? Does it have anything to do with mathematics?

Turning to my authority, Webster's Dictionary, we find that its etymology comes from the Anglo-Saxon words after + maeth, meaning "after + cutting of grass."

That is right...the primary definition of "aftermath" is " a second mowing; grass that grows after the earlier mowing." I kid you not!

Wait, the dictionary lists a secondary definition as well..."a result or consequence, usually an unpleasant one." Now, we are getting closer to the student's world of mathematics.