Hi Mica - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.
Good question! Maths is short for mathematics. Here's what Steven
Schwartzman has to say in his book, _The Words of Mathematics_
(Mathematical Association of America):
mathematics: Latin mathematica was a plural noun, which is why
mathematics has an -s at the end even though we use it as a singular
noun. Latin had taken the word from Greek mathematikos, which in turn
was based on mathesis. That word, which was also borrowed into English
but is now archaic, meant "mental discipline" or "learning,"
especially mathematical learning. The Indo-European root is mendh-
"to learn." Plato believed no one could be considered educated without
learning mathematics. A polymath is a person who has learned many
things, not just mathematics.
- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum