“Christmas” vs. “Xmas”

Posted: January 11, 2011 in Random facts and WTFs

I once wrote that I hate when people overuse abbreviations and shortenings in writing. I especially hated when I saw people writing “Xmas” instead of “Christmas”, because I thought that it goes completely over the line, in terms of culture and respect for the family celebration.

I was wrong.

As it appears, ”Xmas” is not a product of 13-years-old girls being retarded lazy during SMS and IM chats. In fact, such writing of the word “Christmas” has the roots that are over 16 centuries old!

Such form was actively used in letters among British aristocracy in 1800’s, and it became popular among general population in early 1900’s.

And the “X” wasn’t even used for phonological reasons. In fact, it’s a rough representation of the labarum Chi Rho, a Christian symbol introduced and “popularized” by Roman Emperors from Constantinian dynasty back in IV century.

And the Chi Rho itself was, sort of, derived from the Greek “Χριστός” (which means, surprise-surprise!!!, “Christ”).

So, yeah… That’s how it turns out that my hateful “Xmas” is actually the right and, if you want to say it, the ”true” religious way to spell the name of the most popular Western holiday. And not many people know that.

As usually, nobody cares…. Neither do I, to be honest.


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