Why is the letter x used to symbolise a kiss in letters?

Wikpedia states that the letter 'x' has been used at the end of letters since 1763, but there is no mention of why this is. What is the relevance of the 'x' and why is this letter used instead of any other.

Many thanks

57 Answers

  • rowdy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Good grief, this isn't hard to figure out!!! When people wrote love-letters, they kissed the paper (as a way of sending a kiss with the letter), and marked the spot with an "x". Then the recipient would know exactly where to kiss the paper to receive the kiss. (Well, when you're in love, you DO these things.)

    An "x" has always been the letter of choice for marking a spot, because it's made of two intersecting lines, and where the two lines meet is the exact spot. Ever seen a pirate's treasure map?

  • 1 decade ago

    When passionate letters were sent to a special lover they would always kiss the page just below where they put their signature and the person receiving the letter knew just where the kiss was located so they could also kiss it. The X 'marks the spot' was a term derived from this and the O was symbolic of a hug along with it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There was a time (exactly, around 1763) when some people would not sign they`re letters with they`re name, but they had to sign it. So they used "X" (X is the unknown - City X - X has been going to...).

    Well now we use "x" as a kiss cause when people do kiss they`re lips form an X.

    X can be referred to an unknown number as well (in mathematics). X+10=20 etc...

    X = is the most general letter.

    Y = is only used if the X has already been used, so it would not produce confusion.

    But I have to agree with the other guy who said X in kiss has nothing to do in signing letter. But I just told you here the X`s general definitions.

  • 1 decade ago

    This tradition started with the Medieval practice of allowing those who could not write to sign documents with an 'X'. This was done before witnesses, and the signer placed a kiss upon the 'X' to show sincerity. This is how the kiss came to be synonymous with the letter 'X', and how the 'X' came to be commonly used at the end of letters as kiss symbols. (Some believed 'X' was chosen as a variation on the cross symbol, while others believe it might have been a pledge in the name of Christ, since the 'X' -- or Chi symbol -- is the second letter of the Greek alphabet and has been used in church history to represent Christ.)

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  • 1 decade ago

    In Medieval times, people who couldn't write their names signed with a 'X' which they kissed to show their sincerity. This is how the 'X' symbol became synonymous with a kiss. Also People Use It On Letters So They Know Exactly Where To Kiss, My Girlfriend Does It, Now They Leave The Kiss Off And Put The X On. Look Here As Well:


    That Looks Like People Kissing, Kinda.

    Hope This Helps

    Source(s): Me
  • 1 decade ago

    The letter X is used to denote a kiss because of the way it's is phonetically sounded.

    Think of the words with it in fox, box, Rex, if you say these words slowly to your self and then stop on the X part and stress it you can hear the reason why.

    The sound is KISS that's the sound C for cup a short c sound and then a short I as in igloo or incident then a long sssss sound so this sounds like hiss or miss.

    It isn't anything to do with people signing an X at the end of their letter as how would they have written the letter in the first place.

    It cost a fortune to get a learn-ed person to write for you and then sign it with an X because you are unable to read or write.

    When you have taught as many children how to read as I have using the phonetic enunciation of letters not their letter names you know these things.

    Hope this clears the mystery


    • Billy P4 years agoReport

      The practice applied to legal documents. Everyone had to sign those.

  • 1 decade ago

    Many people around the world use the letters ‘X’ and ‘O’ to symbolise kisses and hugs. I recently read in a book that the origin of using ‘X’ dates back hundreds of years. In the olden days, ‘X’ symbolised the crucifix and people would kiss it as they would kiss the crucifix or bible to demonstrate allegiance. The letter ‘X’ began to take the place of signature in letters and documents. All these practices led to acknowledging the letter ‘X’ as representation for kisses!!!

    The letter ‘O’ represents two people holding each other’s arms and thus forming a circle in the middle. It is a North American belief. It is also believed that the early Jews wanted to distinct themselves from Christians and started using ‘O’ as their symbol. It is also believed that using ‘O’ for signatures was accepted in the early days.

    Source(s): self research, school years ago......
  • 1 decade ago

    I think its because x is the only letter that seems to have a middle point...i.e. the two strokes meet in the middle, signifying the middle of a puckered up mouth...it can't be a or b because none of those shapes can be associated with the shape the mouth makes when puckering up..so i think its got to do with its middle point and how its similar to the middle point of a pucker..to test the theory, put red lipstick on and pucker up on a piece of white paper..its much easier to draw an "X" than any other letter...I think "o" is not used because its more suited to signifying a hug...i.e the circle of arms around the person being hugged..

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good question. I would have never thought about it, but since you asked it made me think of an answer for your question. I think that if you carefully look at the letter X, it doesn't mean much, but try and look at it like this, two little faces facing each other, even touching by a kiss. Can you see the picture! If not look at this. One face, on the left = > and this is the other face on the right <. Put together by a kiss will look like this X. OK? x x

  • 1 decade ago

    "Oddie" is on the right track. It is in fact based on Christianity and the Cross. Christianity is based on two things; Love and Forgiveness.

    Sadly a lot of muppets have been suggesting that it represents two lips touching, ie > <. Another group have said it's because people could not write.

    The "X" is denoting love and affection. It could be your granny, your mum or your girl/boyfriend. Perhaps in some cases it could be mmarked in a letter to ones father.

    It is not sexual.

    So stick with the truth; it's Christian; it's the Cross; it's Love.


    Source(s): St Benedict
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