This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas - a rant

Christmas, eh?

Well, whatever you think about it, it's a lovely word - a crunch of snow under the boot, followed by a Christmas pudding munch.


Anyway, we have this smashing word, and what do people do? 

Yes, they go and call it Xmas.

Now, there's nothing wrong with Xmas at all as an abbreviation, but the thing is, that X isn't...well, it isn't really an X. It's not the sort of X that comes between W and Y in the Eglish alphabet, anyway. 

The X in Xmas is really the Greek letter Chi, which just happens to look...well, exactly like our own letter X.

In Greek, you see, the word Christ starts with a chi (pronounced like the English K). This is why we don't say Ch-ristmas, but K-ristmas.

So anyway, if people must write Xmas (and it seems they must) then I do wish they would say it properly. That's either Christmas, or, I suppose, you could argue for K'mas

Well, you could argue for it if you could say it, anyway.

Word To Use Today: Christmas or Xmas. This started out in Old English as Chrīstes mæsse. The mæsse bit is a church service, and the X bit...but we've been through that already.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1100 uses Xpēs mæsse. In this case the P isn't a P, either, but the Greek letter Rho, which is the second letter of Christ in Greek.

Christmas can also mean holly, as used to decorate houses.

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