Math has nothing to do with arithmetic or even celibate Hindu mendicants. It is, via Old English, from various Teutonic words of a m root for mow. Math survived until this century as mown grass and also a measure for the amount that a man could cut in a day (an acre). Although a slight cough is preferable to a virulent cold, an aftermath is, strictly, a second, inferior growth (or the act of cutting it back). It was first used metaphorically by John Cleveland in 1658 for a shallower love - on the rebound. Aftercrop did not rhyme, so aftermath it is. Aftermath quiche is accurately used: Dame Edna's recipe for leftovers.
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AS PEOPLE wheezily explain that a cough is the aftermath of a cold, they do not ponder such paradoxical usage of the word.