In English “average” translates directly to the French “moyenne” meaning the result of the addition of two or more amounts and dividing by the number of amounts.
Simply, it’s the middle of a certain set of quantities. In English we use the terms “mean”, “median” and “mode” to describe different types of “middle” and all of these words begin with the letter “M”!
So, why “average”?
Once upon a time in France, trading boats were not always owned by an individual, rather they were owned by an association. On their voyages they would suffer damage and would require repairs when they returned. The word to describe the damage was “avarie” and it was expected that all parties involved would pay an equal share of the cost. Essentially adding the total and dividing the cost equally. The “average” was the amount each owner had to pay.
Until next time.