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I thought the X was getting rid of Christ's name...like in Xmas?

The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas", have been abbreviated for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern "Xmas" was commonly used. "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt"; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021 AD. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ), used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for "Christ") (see Labarum), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ.

As origins of the word go largely unnoticed by the larger public, many people believe that the term is part of an effort to "take Christ out of Christmas" or to literally "cross out Christ"; it is also seen as evidence of the secularization of Christmas or a vehicle for pushing political correctness, or as a symptom of the commercialization of the holiday (as the abbreviation has long been used by retailers). This notion is greatly disputed.

The occasionally seen belief that the "X" represents the cross Christ was crucified on has no basis in fact; St Andrew's Cross is X-shaped, but Christ's cross was probably shaped like a T or a †. Indeed, X-as-chi was associated with Christ long before X-as-cross could be. The use of X as an abbreviation for "cross" in modern abbreviated writing (e.g. "Kings X" for "Kings Cross") may have reinforced this assumption.

In ancient Christian art χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ's name. In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, X is an abbreviation for Christos, as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma); compare IC for Jesus in Greek. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551, 50 years before the first English colonists came to North America and 60 years before the King James Version of the Bible was completed. At the same time, Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of "Christian" and "Christianity"; and nowadays still are sometimes so used, but much less than "Xmas".

Learn more at Xmas Wikipedia

Last update: March 15th, 2006 12:16


this user is offline nowsend Robbie D a messageadd Robbie D as a personal friendblock/ignore Robbie D  Robbie D options (coca de fluffy)
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this user is offline nowsend Elaine a messageadd Elaine as a personal friendblock/ignore Elaine  Elaine options (irate)
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Achairde All" Actually I thought that phonetically it sounds like Scions as in Scions of the Faith. Was I wrong? Slan leat, Elaine

this user is offline nowsend Elaine a messageadd Elaine as a personal friendblock/ignore Elaine  Elaine options (irate)
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Achairde All" Actually I thought that phonetically it sounds like Scions as in Scions of the Faith. Was I wrong? Slan leat, Elaine

this user is offline nowsend a messageadd as a personal friendblock/ignore    options
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In the explanation about Xmas you refer to the X as representing Christ's name. You also mention that Xian has been used to abbreviate the word Christian. How is it that Xian can be short for Chritian but Xianz is pronounced "Zans in English". Adding a Z on the end of Xianz shouldn't change how the word is pronounced. I see the Z as a "hip" way of abbreviating the word Christianz which is a variation of the correct spelling, Christians. It seems you're giving contradictory pronunciations for essentially the same word.

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Because of these contradictory definitions and pronunciations it makes we wonder if Robbie D is a real person or if "he" is an ID used by several people at Xianz. With the explanations you gave you're contradicting yourself more than a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness. (My apologies to our Mormon and Jehovah's Witness friends, but y'all do contradict yourselves a lot.)