Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ABC Wednesday--X is for......


According to yourdictionary.com:
The letter X is used in English as a symbolic representation of a kiss. Legend has it that in ancient times, illiterate people signed their names with a cross or an X, and then kissed the signature to indicate that they approve and blessed their signature.

The letter X is the third least common letter in the English language. To make the sound for the symbol X – eks – the English language most often places a vowel, such as the letter ‘e’, before the X, as in the word “example.” True words that begin with the letter X frequently sound as if they start with the letter Z. 

Even in some compound words, especially those found in scientific terminology, the letter X at the beginning of the word is most often pronounced like the letter Z.
English adopted the letter X from Greek and Etruscan roots. You’ll most often find an X at the start of words with Greek origin. You’ll find the letter X used in other languages too, but mostly preceded by a vowel rather than starting a word.

A List of Words that Start with X
The resources section below will guide you towards comprehensive lists of words that start with X. However, here are a few words to get you started:
  • Xanadu (n) - an exotic, luxurious place. This word comes from the poem "Kubla Khan" by Samuel T. Coleridge.
  • Xanax (n) - a pharmaceutical drug that is used to treat depression and anxiety.
  • Xanthic (n) - yellowish in color; having to do with the compound xanthine.
  • Xebec: A xebec is a special three-masted sailing ship used in the Mediterranean.
  • Xenolith (n) - a fragment of a rock embedded inside another rock.
  • Xenon: Scientists call xenon one of the noble gases. It’s odorless, colorless, and found in very small quantities in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Xenophobia (n) - fear or hatred towards foreigners, foreign countries, or anything foreign. Other related words: xenophobic (adj.) and xenophobe (n)
  • Xeric (adj.) - dry or desert like conditions; having very little moisture.
  • Xerography: The word for a process to copy documents is xerography.
  • Xerox: Xerox is the patented process for copying documents, and the name of a corporation. The word Xerox should never be used as a synonym for photocopying a document.
  • Xhosa: Xhosa is the name of the Bantu language, and a name for a member of the Bantu people of South Africa.
  • Xylem: Botanists describe the tubes within the stems of woody plants as xylem. The xylem conducts fluids up the plant, while phloem brings the fluids down.
  • Xylograph (n) - a wood engraving.
  • Xyloid (adj.) - resembling wood; woody.
  • Xylophone: A percussion instrument with wood or metal tubes struck with hammers.
XML: A computer language abbreviation for extensible markup language.

Since we're fresh outta xebex and Xanax, xanadu will have to do.   I think Cancun, Mexico qualifies as an exotic and luxurious place.   Apologies for torturing you with tropical pixs two weeks in a row.    If it's any consolation, we're back in snowy, cold Chi-Town ourselves, and those cerulean waters and soft, white sand beaches seem like a short, sweet dream.

X marks the spot...Click the icon below for more X-citing fun from our friends at ABC Wednesday.


  1. Well, I did use Xanadu! Great post for the X Day! Enjoyed reading it! Hope you have a very Happy New Year!

    ABC Team

  2. Nice photo, nice research. Lets not forget Xi and Xu which are beloved by Scrabble players everywhere.

  3. i could use some xanax. a welth of words.
    and yogi, check out my post about Scrabble!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. I remember my mum going on a Xerox printer course. I was about 9, she brought me back a leather skirt.
    great source of words for Round 8 there.
    ABC Team


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