Why is Christmas also called Xmas?

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LANGUAGE QUESTION #5014

Why is Christmas also called Xmas?

X is from Greek

Explanation

The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning Christ´s Mass. Cristes is from Greek Christos and Mæsse is from Latin Missa (the holy mass). In Greek the letter X (chi) is the first letter of Christ. X has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the 16th Century. Hence Xmas is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Christmas.

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