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Freddy has an average or so-so ability in science. He also has average test scores that are right in the middle of other students’ scores in math and English. His basketball coach tells me that Freddy is an average player in that he is neither great nor bad at the game. What sets him apart is that he is the most average or normal student in the whole school!

Quiz: If someone’s ability to do something is average, which of the following applies?

  • She is not great at doing it, but she is also not bad at doing it either.
  • She does not like to do it at all since it is difficult for her to complete.
  • He loves to do that thing and becomes upset when he cannot do it.

Memory Hook

A Very Old Age Someone whose age is very old is not average, for he has lived past the time most people usually do.


  • In fact, Lucky figured the average person went around thinking, Those poor snakes sure have been waiting a long time to evolve some legs. —The Higher Power of Lucky
  • He said, “We now have everyone’s soul captured.” —Walk Two Moons

Word Ingredients

The word average comes from a word that originally meant “goods damaged during shipping.” Goods or merchandise that begin in excellent condition but become damaged make them just average instead of very good; hence, they have less value and demand a lower price. Eventually the word average extended its meaning to cover anything of middle-level quality, neither in bad nor particularly good shape.

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Word Theater

Ordinary Average Guy (Joe Walsh) Maybe his singing voice isn't so average!

Word Constellation


Word Variants

average n the middle value of a group of numbers, that is, the mathematical mean