April 29, 2011

XMas? Xn? Xnty?

While poring through my dictionary looking for inspiration for a post for X-day on this blog (come on, admit that you did it too), I found a few things that surprised me.  It's common for some to substitute Xmas for Christmas (which I don't like) but if that wasn't bad enough, there were entries for Xn for the word Christian and Xnty for Christianity.  What the heck?

More surprising to me was that I found this in a large printed volume from 1970, not online in some urban dictionary or list of common abbreviated words one might used to text or tweet.

There were no definitions given other than the appropriate word it was shortened for.

Xn. Christian
Xnty. Christianity

That's it.

Who thinks up this stuff?

Digging deeper, I figured if X in those other instances took the place of the word Christ, I paged back to the first entry for the letter X.  Sure enough, the very last entry under the letter X is:

5. Christ: also used in combination as in Xmas.

I know Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross and some make the X connection from that. I'm sorry ... every cross I've ever seen looks more like a T than an X.

I'm not an Xn.  I don't subscribe to the tenets of Xnty.  Jesus X didn't die for my sins.

The only thing Xn, Xnty and X did for me was provide fodder for this post on X-day.



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4 comments:

Angie Mohr said...

X was used as a symbol of Christ because most peasants were illiterate and it was an easy way to identify Him.

Amy Brantley said...

Wonderful post. This was something I looked into a while back because I disliked Xmas so much. As, Angie posted it was due to illiteracy, but I really wish these were terms that would be dropped and don't understand why T wasn't used(?).

Eliza Wynn said...

I've seen "Xmas" for so long that I got used to it long ago. I've also seen "Xian," but the other two you mentioned look bizarre to me.

Title Loans said...

It is really interesting why it was chosen as an X rather than a T. The only thing I can think about is when he carried said cross, leaned over it looked more like an X than a T at that point. But who really knows?