Putting the X back in Xmas


Thanks be to X that Megyn Kelly got pissed off at Shutterfly or I never would have thought to merrily mention this:

Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is “Christ”. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

There is a common belief that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”, but its use dates back to the 16th century.

Ho ho ho ha HA HA!

Merry Xmas Happy Holidays*, y’all!

*See this.


8 thoughts on “Putting the X back in Xmas

  1. pranabaxom

    Kurt, thanks for the education. I always thought that Christmas was secularized long time back by commercialization. I am not a Christian by religion, but I enjoy all the paraphernalia and do appreciate the inner meaning of Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alli Farkas

    You might also be interested in reading the history of the “chi-rho” Christian symbol. The use of the “Chi” (X) half of the symbol predates the history you cited by several centuries, so I guess we can safely state that your explanation is undoubtedly accurate.


  3. Marsha

    It’s been a long time since Christmas started. There are bound to be some misconceptions along the way. Playing “telephone” for 2,000 years is pretty amazing, don’t you think. I’m a Christian, but I don’t think it pays to get too bent out of shape over our religious beliefs. (I have and it’s easy to do, BUT…) Too many wars and altercations start that way. Thanks for sharing Kurt. :)




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