Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 1 decade ago

why does XOXO mean hugs and kisses?

why is x meaning hugs and o meaning kisses why those letters?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The first mention in literature of XXX for kisses at the bottom of a letter was in 1901, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The X itself is very old.

    The custom goes back to the early Christian era, when a cross mark or "X" was the same as a sworn oath. The cross referred to the cross of Calvary and the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos.

    Even as little as a hundred and fifty years ago, not many people could read or write. The "X" at the bottom of a document took the place of a signature. They would kiss the "X" as a crucifix or bible was kissed to emphasize the importance of the mark. It was this practice that lead to the "X" representing a kiss.

    There isn't much known about the beginnings of the "O". It is a North American custom. The "O" represents the arms in a circle around another person. Arms crossed in front of you do not mean the "X" as a hug! The "O" is the hug.

    In "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, it is noted that illiterate immigrants (or those who did not know Roman-English letters) would generally sign entry forms with an "X" but Jews preferred an "O" to avoid making something that looked like a cross. Also, shopkeepers and salesmen would similarly sign receipts with a circle. Could this be the origin of the "O"?

    Or could it have developed from the game of tic tac toe, where one player uses the "X" and another the "O", leading people to think that the "O" was the hug, as the "X" is the kiss.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    X = kiss, two mouths meeting in a kiss.

    O = hug, arms encircling someone in a hug.

    It's always been X = kiss and O = hug not the other way around.

  • 4 years ago

    yeah! I think that X is kisses and O is hugs because like X-rated is worse than other ratings, and a kiss is worse than a hug. Example: Your wife sees you hug a friend that is a girl( shes not worried) She sees you kiss her. She would be upset.

  • 1 decade ago

    I thought 0 was hugs and x kisses...?

    Anyways, why is your name spelt the way it is? Why is anything the way it is?

    If youwant to know how it originated, try wikipedia or google. :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    i often wondered myself haha

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