Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between Xmas and Christmas? For most of us, the words are interchangeable and Xmas is just shortened version. Let’s take a closer look and see if there could possibly before more to it.
Is there a Difference Between Xmas and Christmas?
Yes, the words mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. It very much depends on your personal preference and is often used as a space saver for Christmas cards and signage where there might be limited space. There is, however, a reason for the X in Xmas.
Where did the X in Xmas come from?
The X, in Xmas, comes from the Greek letter ‘chi‘ which is the first letter of the word (Christos) meaning Christ. In Greek, the original word is ‘Χριστός‘ and came from an ever earlier word which means anointed.
The origin of the word Christmas can be traced back centuries as it’s made up of two components. The Greek part for ‘Christ’ as we’ve covered above and ‘mas’, which has Latin origins as the word for ‘mass’.
Is Using Xmas Offensive?
Some Christians believed that taking the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas and replacing it with an X might be offensive or blasphemous. As you can see, the letter comes from the Greek word for Christ so although it’s only the first letter and an abbreviation the intent is the same. Xmas has been used for hundreds of years as a legitimate alternative.