My curiosity has been jogged and I fear this question has been posed in the past, but why is Christmas commonly refered to as X-mas? Does it have something to do with the representation of the cross, or just a shorthand created by some lazy columnist? Cecil?

The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw…

Omniscient; BAG

The Greek letter Chi that looks like a Roman X is represented in Roman alphabets by the letters CH, as in Christ, Christmas, Chrism, Chimaera, Chrome, Chorus, Chrysalis, etc.

In Ancient Greek paintings, (I don’t know if it appeared in writings), the common ways to abbreviate were to use the first two or three letters (e.g., the Chi-Rho symbol for Christ that looks like a P superimposed on an X) or to use the first and last letters, (Chi Sigma to abbreviate Cristos).

X-mas is a derivative of the latter method of abbreviation. X (Chi) simply stands for Christ.


This was answered by SDStaff Mac in the Mailbag… go to the Archives and search on “XMAS”. Basically, of course, Mac says the same thing that TomnDebb has posted here.

Check the archives!