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Zer Netmouse
September 24th, 2005
02:47 pm


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hugs and kisses debate...

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[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2005 01:21 am (UTC)

Re: X's and O's

why speculate? Aren't you a librarian? isn't someone willing to look this up?
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC)

Re: X's and O's

Every once in awhile I like to try and find my own solution but:

Hugs and Kisses
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"Hugs and Kisses" is a term for a sequence of the letters X and O, e.g. XOXO, typically used by lovers to denote at the end of a written letter or email. X represents a kiss, O a hug.

The use of xoxo goes back to the use of an "X" or cross, which was considered as good as a sworn oath in times before most people could write and therefore used the x in the same way a signature is used today. A mark of your word.

An x at the end of a letter or document was often kissed as a seal of honesty, in much the same way one would kiss a Bible or kiss the fingers after making the sign of the cross, thus the x came to represent a kiss in modern times.

The origins of the "O" as a hug are not generally known, although it is speculated that it may represent the arms wrapped around someone being hugged. Another thought is that it came from Jewish immigrants who would sign with an "O" instead of an x because they did not wish to mark their word with the obviously non-Jewish cross the x represented. Perhaps "O" was used because it fits with "X" in the game Tic-Tac-Toe or Noughts and Crosses (O's and X's).

XOXO is short for a law-school discussion board, located at www.xoxohth.com. The controversial board gives decent information to law school students, assuming one can wade through the racist and misogynistic threads.

[User Picture]
Date:September 26th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC)

Re: X's and O's


okay, thanks for looking around.

I seem to have gotten this far in life translating such this backwards. Woe, I say, and rest my wrist expressively against my forehead like so.


okay, I'm over it now.
[User Picture]
Date:September 25th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)

Re: X's and O's

Or this:

Subject: Re: "notation meaning at end of letter"
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 08 Oct 2002 14:36 PDT

The message is that the person who sent you the note wants to hug you
and kiss you, and more! This is a string of "abbreviated signoffs,"
which are often used in chatrooms and instant messaging. The x's and
o's represent hugs and kisses. The y's stand for "making out" that
goes beyond kissing. Below is a partial list of these abbreviations.

"These days it's quite common for messages on social-oriented bulletin
boards to end with signoffs like "Hi and hugs to everybody." In fact,
this has become so popular that as much as 7.5% of the disk space on
some BBS's is currently devoted to this particular comment. The
International Committee for Relatively Pointless Abbreviations and
Badly Misspelled Acronyms (SPUDS) has just released a new,
internationally approved list of abbreviated signoffs. These include:

ooo = hugs
xxx = kisses
OOO = big hugs
XXX = big kisses
oo = hugs for everybody but you
OO! = big, excited hugs
CCC = hugs for people you can't quite reach around
OOQ = hugging with tongue
xx@ = kisses and earlobe nibbling
zzz = snoring
yyy = anything that occurs between kissing and snoring"

Net Funny: Extended Sign-Off Mnemonics

Here is an interesting explanation of how 'x' came to represent a

"One theory holds that the X stands for a kiss because it originally
represented a highly stylized picture of two mouths touching -- x.
Furthermore, in early times illiterates often signed documents with a
St. Andrew's cross of X and kissed that X to show their good faith (as
they did with any cross or the Bible, which reinforced the
association). But these explanations may be folk etymology, as may the
story that mathematically the X is a 'multiplier' -- in this case of
love and delight." From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins"
by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)."

The Phrase Finder Discussion Forum

Here is another version of the origin of x as a symbol for a kiss:

"Valentine's Day greetings often include a string of XXX to represent
kisses. During the Middle Ages those who could not write their names
signed legal documents with an "X". The signing was witnessed and
"sealed with a kiss" on the "X". The "X" eventually came to symbolize
the kiss."

Living History: Love in the Middle Ages

Here's a typical use of the x's and o's in a valentine. No y's in this
one, though. (Beware of midi music on this page.)

Nana Ellen's Stories and Stuff

And here are some x's and o's on a message board:

"Sue, you are friendly, I can see that.
Unfortunately there are others who don't.
: XXX = Kisses
: ooo = Hugs"

Thin Lizzy's Starting Point Web Board

My Google search strategy:

"xxx" + "ooo"

Thanks for asking an interesting question! If anything I've said is
unclear or incomplete, or if any of the links do not function, please
request clarification before rating my answer.

Best wishes,
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