Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Where did "Xmas" come from?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

Richard Travale

    Producer



  • 3,424 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 27 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Travale
  • LocationThe Island, Canada

Posted December 27 2003 - 06:43 AM

I have been wondering about this for years. How did we get 'Xmas' from the word Christmas?
 "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes. "
- Frank Sinatra 

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   MartinTeller

MartinTeller

    Screenwriter



  • 1,721 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 26 2002

Posted December 27 2003 - 06:45 AM

X is a common abbreviation for Christ.

(more specifically, X is chi, the first letter of Christ's name in Greek)

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Scott L

Scott L

    Producer



  • 4,466 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 29 2000

Posted December 27 2003 - 07:16 AM

X is the sound you make when you say "cksss." Like Trix. I thought it just makes spelling it easier.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

Cees Alons

    Executive Producer



  • 18,665 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 31 1997
  • Real Name:Cees Alons

Posted December 27 2003 - 07:44 AM

The proper sound of the Greek 'Chi' is not present in most languages. It's a guttural "h", like 'kh'. It's a very common sound in Dutch (Posted Image ), Hebrew, and - I think, but I'm not sure about that - Japanese, Chinese and Arab languages.

Cees

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

Garrett Lundy

    Producer



  • 3,764 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 05 2002

Posted December 27 2003 - 09:00 AM

The "X" character is the closest thing we have to the archaic Greek "chi" character, which is better represented by the blair witch stickman, or an "anhk".
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Oliver Kopp

Oliver Kopp

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 106 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 06 1999

Posted December 27 2003 - 10:52 AM

lazieness Posted Image

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

Henry Gale

    Producer



  • 4,633 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 10 1999

Posted December 27 2003 - 12:18 PM

I grew up with the belief that it was a disrespectful shortcut. This was knowledge (OK, ignorance) passed along by my Methodist minister father. Only much later did I learn about the Greek origin.
Gawd, I hope this isn't religious because I'm certainly not. Posted Image

Jim

"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

Richard Travale

    Producer



  • 3,424 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 27 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Travale
  • LocationThe Island, Canada

Posted December 27 2003 - 01:28 PM

Thanks guys. I had always assumed it was a laziness issue (how ironic that I was too lazy to find out before now Posted Image).
 "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes. "
- Frank Sinatra 

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Mark Shannon

Mark Shannon

    Screenwriter



  • 1,991 posts
  • Join Date: May 27 2002

Posted December 27 2003 - 02:00 PM

I always figured it was cause Christ was on the cross, the X looks like a cross. I don't know, it was possible.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianB

BrianB

    Producer



  • 5,211 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 29 2000

Posted December 27 2003 - 05:03 PM

Quote:
I grew up with the belief that it was a disrespectful shortcut. This was knowledge (OK, ignorance) passed along by my Methodist minister father. Only much later did I learn about the Greek origin.

Exact same with my parents - I was taught that it was laziness & disrespectful to use Xmas.
high resolution ipod featuring dlp hd programming is the best, almost as good as playstation 2 with wega windows media on a super cd! ps2 and tivo do dolby tv with broadband hdtv!

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,553 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted December 28 2003 - 06:06 AM

Far from being disrespectful and a by-product of commercialization, "X-mas" was first adopted, along with other non-religious traditions of the season, by believers in order to avoid persecution.

I did some research on this long ago, and that's what I discovered, anyway. Unfortunately, I'm unable to provide links to twenty-year-old research, so you'd be advised to check up on my work before you take what I say at face value.

History can be fun.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer



  • 10,642 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted December 28 2003 - 08:20 AM

I have the same experience with Protestants thinking "Xmas" a secularization of the holiday, related to the anthem "Put the Christ back in Christmas." As I learned more about ancient Christians the use of the "X" either as a representation for Christ, related to the Greek "Chi," seemed to be a better explanation than people trying to forget about Christ's birth. Which is funny, because shouldn't this have occurred to all those ministers who went through seminary?
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Paul_Sjordal

Paul_Sjordal

    Supporting Actor



  • 831 posts
  • Join Date: May 29 2003

Posted December 28 2003 - 08:52 AM

Quote:
The proper sound of the Greek 'Chi' is not present in most languages. It's a guttural "h", like 'kh'. It's a very common sound in Dutch ( ), Hebrew, and - I think, but I'm not sure about that - Japanese, Chinese and Arab languages.
Dutch: dunno
Hebrew: yep
Japanese: nope
Chinese: dunno
Arab: yep
“It’s great to be known, but it’s even better to be known as strange.” —Takeshi Kaga

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   larry mac

larry mac

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 171 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 12 1999

Posted December 28 2003 - 09:04 AM

There are very few that know the origins of this; I just learned it via the internet last year. Those that use it probably don't know anything about the origins. I would be willing to bet that almost 100% of the current usage is for convenance. It's easier and shorter. There also are probably some (heathens probably- just kidding- really!)that feel it is more appropriate for them as it has a more casual, or rather a less religous sound to it.

I've never used it. Not because it offends me in any way; but because it does others.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Grant B

Grant B

    Producer



  • 3,213 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000

Posted December 28 2003 - 09:49 AM

Quote:
Far from being disrespectful and a by-product of commercialization, "X-mas" was first adopted, along with other non-religious traditions of the season, by believers in order to avoid persecution.

I would put our common usage more on Western Union than persecution. When you pay by the letter, it's common to use tricks to keep fees lower. Now telegrams are a quaint form of communication seen on old movies, but it was the most reliable form of communications for over a 100 years. Also being a ham radio operator when I was a kid, I knew and used morse code. When you are pounding out dots and dashes you figure out ways to save time.
"Whatever it is, I'm against it!" G. Marx

Sony TAE/TAP/TAN(2)9000ES;DVP-CX860 DVP-CX777ES
Sony CDP-CX270 CDP-CX355 CDP-CX270 CDP-CX355
Sony S-TS 700ES XPR32450Pioneer Elite CLD 79 KEFs (5) Q75s & 20B Subwoofer

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter



  • 2,553 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 1999

Posted December 28 2003 - 10:48 AM

Agreed on modern common usage. It's just easier and more convenient in this OMG/WTF/LOL world.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.





Forum Nav Content I Follow