Skip to content


Put the ‘ back in Xmas

Chinatown, NYC, in January 2011. Happy N’ew Year, everyone!

merryxmas.JPG (723 KB)

(Thanks, Sara Miles!)

Posted in Uncategorized.

Carol says:

@ Sara: Nice try, but still quite a stretch.

Sara Miles says:

Just in case you thought you were a language nerd, I just got the following explanation from someone who saw the site:

“Actually, it makes perfect sense. The Greek word for “Christ” is “Χριστός” — this has been represented throughout Christian tradition by the “Chi-Rho” Christogram developed by superimposing the first 2 letters of the Greek word for Christ…, and has often been represented by just the first letter of the Greek word for Christ = “X” (Chi). It is also considered to serve as a reminder of the crucifixion on the cross.
“Xmas” has never been a secularization of Christmas, as Christ has been represented by the “X” since long before our english word “Christmas” came around. The apostrophe then serves to remind us that there are letters missing…essentially reminding us that X’mas is shorthand for Χριστός-mas.”

Thanks to Ben Buss, who is completely on top of all things linguistic.
Sara