27 April, 2012

A to Z Challenge: X is for X

All the things you know or wish you knew (or never cared about) the letter 'X.'

  • X (named ex /ˈɛks/, plural exes) is the twenty-fourth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
  • In Ancient Greek, ⟨Χ⟩ and ⟨Ψ⟩ were among several variants of the same letter, used originally for /kʰ/ and later, in western areas such as Arcadia, as a simplification of the digraph ⟨ΧΣ⟩ for /ks/.
  • In Latin, X stood for [ks].
  • In Vietnamese, X is pronounced like English s (at the beginning of a word, e.g. "sing").
  • In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value.
  • As a result of its use in math, X is often used to represent unknowns in other circumstances (e.g. Person X, Place X, etc.; see also Malcolm X).
  • X-rays are so called because their discoverer did not know what they were.
  • X is also used for referring to 'the end of conversation'.
  • In cartoons, Xs are drawn instead of eyes to indicate the death of a character.
  • X is commonly used as a generic mark (selecting an item on a form, indicating a location on a map, etc.).

Yeah, so this post is just an excuse for a double-post today and the result of my impending writing deadlines.  I plan to post the last part of this month's sci-fi stories this evening.  Come back for an Xtra post then!  ;)


Today is the last day to enter your suggestions for the last Saturday challenge! I write the story and you get the fame (no fortune, sorry). The letter is Y.  Rules are HERE.


  1. Hi Jessica interesting bit about the origins of X. Like that I have fewer X (unknowns) at least about X. ;)

  2. X is a fun letter! I use it all the time when teaching algebra :)

    1. X was my most hated letter when I took algebra. I'm glad it has a fan to compensate all my raving at it. ;)

  3. Stopping by from the A-Z challenge and following now too. This has been so much fun hasn't it? Have a great weekend!

    1. It has been, Martha! Thanks for the follow and visit!

  4. Interesting! I didn't know that about X-Rays; I've always wondered about the X. I like your blog. :)

    1. Thank you! I have, too. I found that out in a random search for x-related things.

  5. X is kiss in hugs and kisses! :)
    I enjoyed your list, also, didn't know about the discoverer of x-rays.

    1. I forgot about that when I wrote the post. That would have been a good one. Thanks for stopping by!


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