Xmas – A Word Study

Xmas - A Word Study


I thought that the X in Xmas was a way for people to take Jesus Christ out of CHRISTmas. I cringed every time I saw it typed out “x-mas”. I felt saddened by the lack of focus on Jesus during the Holiday Season.

Have you ever wondered if an English letter has more meaning to it than we know? I decided to look up the letter “X” to see what it meant. This is what I found…

“X, the twenty fourth letter of the English Alphabet, is borrowed from the Greek. In the middle and at the end of words, it has the sound of ks, as in wax, lax, luxury. At the beginning of a word, it has precisely the sound of z. It is used as an initial, in a few words borrowed from the Greek.
As a numeral, X stands for ten. It represents one V, which stands for five, placed on the top of another. When laid horizontally it stands for a thousand, and with a dash over it, it stands for ten thousand. As an abbreviation, X. Stands for Christ, and in Xn. Christian; Xm. Christmas.”

(Taken from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary Online)

Okay, wow! Now I don’t feel so horrible when I see Christmas written with an X. I found it interesting to know that the original intention of using “x-mas” was NOT to rid the Holiday of Christ, but just another way to glorify Him! Amen?

This was also a lesson for me to be careful not to let my ignorance on a topic rule my emotions. A reminder to stay calm and learn something about the topic before reacting.

Who knew you could learn so much from one letter?

4 thoughts on “Xmas – A Word Study

  1. So when X is used to replace Christ in Christmas it isn't bad?? 🙂 I never liked it when I would see that but maybe now I will look at it a different way. I think some people use it because they don't want to remember the reason for the season but mostly people probably do it as a short cut??!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but this is just what the dictionary said… I would still prefer writing it out, to be sure CHRIST is remembered! 🙂 But you're right, it does shed some light on the use of X in Christmas, etc.

  2. Yeah, I've known that, not sure where I got it from. I do look at it different now, but I agree that as much as possible I'd rather write it ALL out.

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