Why Is the Letter “X” Used for a Kiss?

  • “XOXO” on note card
“XOXO” on note card
Credit: triocean/ iStock

The letter "X" has ambiguous linguistic roots, and has carried various meanings in different contexts. "X" marks the spot of buried treasure on a map, represents a variable in mathematics, or can be used to select a choice on a ballot. Nowadays, it’s also commonly used as a symbol of affection and endearment — especially when it’s paired with "O" to form "XO," signifying kisses and hugs. But how exactly did "X" come to represent a kiss, and when did that originate?

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