X is for X's and O's
X is for X Marks The Spot
Ok, this letter was a hard one, for me anyway. Yes I found many words starting with the letter X and aside from the usual X words such as X-ray and xylophone most of them I could not pronounce let alone know what they mean and being able to blog about it. So here go my choices for the letter X.
I’ll start off with the abbreviated kisses and hugs as in XOXO. I do have a habit signing every card I give (to family and close friends) with the xoxo letters. The custom of placing X's on cards and the bottom of letters to mean kisses can be dated back to the Middle Ages. A Christian cross was drawn on documents or letters to mean sincerity, faith, and honesty. The signer would then kiss the cross as a display of their sworn oath. Since the majority of the common people could not read or write, an 'X' was placed on documents, and a kiss placed upon it as a show of their sincerity. The 'O' is of North American descent; no one really seems to know how it was started. Perhaps now it is used as the 'O' being rounded represents arms encircling another, as in an embrace.
Next is the game X’s and O’s or Tic Tack Toe. I think we have all played this as kids and I’ll be honest during spurts of boredom I’ll still play the odd game when asked. The good thing about this game is that it can be played anywhere and anytime. I remember playing it as a kid in the dirt with just a stick. I did the same thing as an adult with my children when we took camping trips. It kept the kids busy for a little while at least. I’ve even played it during my work hours with another employee when it hasn’t been busy. X’s and O’s or Tic Tack Toe is a pencil-and-paper or stick and dirt game for two players. One player claims the X as their marker and the other person has the O. They take turns marking the spaces either with an X or an O in a 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three respective marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game. Players soon discover that best play from both parties leads to a draw (often referred to as cat or cat's game). Hence, Tic-tac-toe is most often played by young children.
And lastly, X marks the spot. As far back as I can remember I have always been intrigued with mysteries, either solving them or hunting for a mysterious buried surprise. I’m starting to think that I was born to be more like a Nancy Drew type person (and yes I read the complete series of Nancy Drew as well as the Hardy Boys). I used to beg my older sister and promise her I would take her turn doing the dishes all by myself IF she would make a map for me with different clues leading to a secret place with an X marking the spot. I would spend all day (no matter how easy she made it) having fun figuring out the clues and finally leading me to that X. I have even incorporated an X marks the spot game into a few of our family reunions with the clues eventually leading to the X. The prize……..usually a bottle of wine or a bottle of Tequila.