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I was talking to my friends and we couldn't understand what Xoxo means, and we know that is used to send hugges and kisses. But why you use "xoxo"'?

Mau said that it is because the sound, but I'm not so sure, is he right?

Thanks in advance

  • Posted May 13, 2008
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7 Answers

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Hi bolita, where did you hear this word'

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In Spain means female genitals in bawdy and vulgar language.

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This is extremely common in English. The X's and O's may be written in any order and number, such as XXOOXXOO, but XOXO is by far the most common way to write it.

I have always understood the X to be a kiss, since it looks like two people kissing as seen from the side, and the O to be a hug, since the arms wrap around the other person in a circle, but there seem to be different opinions on this, as follows from Wikipedia.

It is debatable which letter represents which act. One interpretation assumes that X represents the four lips of a kiss and O the four arms of a hug. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary states that X is "used to represent a kiss, esp. in the subscription to a letter."[5] Another interpretation assumes X as the crossed arms of a hug and O as the puckered lips of a kiss,[citation needed] as the order is normally spoken "Hugs and Kisses" which would correspond to the order that the x's and o's are written. Also, it could be said that the X's are the arms crossing during a hug, and the O's are the circular shape that two people make when kissing. Additionally, there is another interpretation, based on the pronunciation of the letters X (sounds like 'kiss') and O (sounds like 'hold', as in 'I hold you').

Another theory is that:

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 one's 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 Christian 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.

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It's a good question, but honestly I'm not really sure why!
Everyone uses it, and knows what it means, so it is just accepted.

Although some of James' theory (above) sound right, and quite plausible.

Also, it can be written as 'xx' or 'x' or 'xoxo', etc but I have never known anyone to use an 'o' on it's own, like in Spanish 'un abrazo' would be used. It looks odd without the 'x's to accompany it! I remember discussing that fact with a friend a while back, and we (jokingly) agreed that it would be very strange.

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Right xx can be used on it's own. I've also seen people right xx's! for KISSES!

Usually though the x's and o's come at the end of a conversation. But not always. Also, women tend to use it more than men. Certainly a (heterosexual) man would never use it in chat or a letter to another man. Heterosexual women will use it with other women though. Really though, men tend not to even use it when chatting with women.

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Non-native speakers of English should be aware that XXX has another meaning (pornography), and should therefore be avoided in most contexts.

I have signed love letters with XOXO, but what Difster says about usage is pretty spot on.

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hi and thanks to everyone.

To respond your question Heidi I watched a tv show call Gossip Girl and in the end of the episode the girl who tells the story said it and wrote it.

Dunia I didn't know that, and for me it is so rare!

James, Freya and Difster my friends agree with you!. That's what they told me...

ok, Thank you so much guys! You all rock!

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