Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why does XO mean hugs and kisses?

The X was once a symbol of honesty and the Christian cross. It was used in pre-modern era to sign documents because the majority of people were illiterate. Along with the X, one would kiss the page to show their sincerity, therefore the connection between an X and a kiss.

The O is much less interesting. It was coupled with the X many years later by Americans to signify hugs. It is unclear who first added the O, but it is generally accepted that it signifies one’s arms reaching around another, making their arms into the shape of an O.


3 comments:

Odile Weissenborn said...

hmmm thank you for this! was googling what the xo's mean & came across your blog!

max said...

interesting explanation, found your page via google search for xo :) thanks!

Kyle said...

I thought that X was hugs and O was kisses.
the X in XO also reminds me of XD, which is a modern grin. or would I want to use X* to mean kisses?