Xi – the panic post

X….. panic… panic.  Why didn’t I do XYZ first, get them over with and not be left staring at the useless letter.   Or is it?

Where does X originate from?

One moment, please…..

xiOkay, I’m back. It’s Greek, except they borrowed it from the Phoenicians, the forgotten civilisation, and it’s derived from the letter Samekh. 85px-Phoenician_samekh.svg

The Greeks nabbed it because they like to simplify things, so it’s used to represent the following sounds:

ks – box

gz – exhaust

z – xylophone

k – excite

or silent – gateaux

X is Roman for for the number ten…. but you knew that…..

It’s used in mathematics to represent….. oh, but you know that, too. Who doesn’t hate algebra.

There’s no x is the Welsh language.

Chinese?  艾克斯  or in pinyin yī kè sī

What else…..

Something x-shaped is called decussate.

The earliest use of the letter x for kissing…. 1763.

Mathematician William Oughtred used x as a multiplication sign in 1631

The fact is I’m just as excited by researching as writing. I probably spent more time researching this post than actually writing it. It’s not to everyone’s delight to spend time reading through pages of stuff for that one elusive fact you need to validate your guesswork, but it helps me. When I’m struggling for ideas, I research and it opens up all sorts of new avenues.



  1. I also spend a lot of time researching. Just like you, sometimes I spend hours just to find one little tidbit. When it ends up in a story, it may just be a small fragment or sentence, but I feel it enriches the whole thing so much.


    1. Enrich, yes, that is so true. It’s satisfying, too, knowing it all fits in place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post! (smile) Blessings!


  3. Hi,
    I like to do research also. It is so important because it really can make or break the believability of your story.
    Very nice post.
    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.
    Patricia at Everything Must Change


    1. If I were to spot an error later, I’d feel bad, so that research is crucial for making even fantasy believable.
      Thanks for commenting.


  4. Looks like you work well under pressure! This was a great way to tackle X.


    1. I don’t count this blogging as real pressure, but I try not to let things get on top of me. Thanks for commenting.


    1. It does, I shall start digging!


  5. Researching can be fun. Thanks for all the x-pert knowledge!


    1. Thank you. I didn’t have to go to any x-tremes though!


  6. Great X-post !
    The letter x for kissing dates back to 1763? Wow.That’s far back!
    I’m visiting *in a daze* from the A to Z Challenge… one more day…
    Writer In Transit


    1. One more day to go!


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