Saturday, April 27, 2013

X.....is for a kiss

Well, we are all the way to "X" already.

So today I'm going to give you all a little history lesson.

A while ago I was thinking about this and that and then one thing led to another, which seems to be a way of life for me. But anyway.....I wondered how it came to be that an X meant a kiss when you were writing to someone. So I decided to research it and sure enough, the Internet came through again.

Back in medieval times not many people knew how to read or write so when their signature was required on a document (which makes one wonder what types of documents existed for a population of non-readers or writers....but continuing on now before I get too far off the path), they were permitted to place an "X" on the dotted line as a substitution of their written name. This was witnessed, of course, and then the signer of the X would kiss that X as a act of sincerity. Thus.....before you know it, an X started to signify a kiss.

There is also another version that states that the X is a symbol of two lips touching.....but I'm inclined to believe the first one as being more realistic.

So.....while we are on the subject and because, like I said, one thing leads to another with me......how did the O become symbolic of a hug. Well, again there are two versions. The first one is that Jewish immigrants did not want to deform the shape of the cross by using an X for their signatures, so they used an O and then kissed it like you would do an X.  The other version is that an O is symbolic of one's arms engulfing you.  I guess you can take your pick which one you'd like to believe evolved into meaning hugs.

Ok, class dismissed....that's your history lesson for today.  XO to you all.


5 comments:

forsythia said...

Very interesting. I wondered what you would do with "X" and was pleasantly surprised.

Coffee Lady said...

Wow I enjoyed reading that! Good Job.

susie said...

I always sign my letters...

xoxo

Susie

Sandy said...

The X in place of a signature I knew, but never read any accounts of it being kissed, but then again people spit on their hands before shaking hands...so possibly that happened.

A-Z challenge

Josie Two Shoes said...

I use a lot of XOXO in my emails and FB posts, more as shorthand for "I love you" than for literal kisses and hugs (I'm a huggy person, but not a kissy one :-) This was fun info, I had not heard the first explanation of O's.