Break even

Posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 31, 2004

OK, well in answering the previous post, I've raised a query in my own mind. The term 'break even'. I know what it means, but literally it's an odd term. How can you 'break even'? Traditionally, to break even is to end up where you started - ie. no loss, no win. But if I take the words literally, it suggests that you actually break through that 'even' point, which suggests either winning or losing. Can anyone explain to me how this term came about and what I'm missing here?