Etymology of "Rx"

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Fri Nov 12 16:19:04 UTC 1999

--- "A. Maberry" <maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU> wrote:
> This hardly sets the record straight, but I have
> always heard that it is
> an abbreviation for some form the Latin verb recipio
> -ere. The "R" is
> understandable and the "x" is a medieval Latin
> ligature for a combination
> of letters which forms the abbreviation "Rx". The
> "x" sign probably
> doesn't represent an "x" since Latin only uses an
> "x" to represent the
> Greek letter "ksi" in Greek loan words.

I've seen similar "(single-letter)x" abbreviations
used for "diagnosis" and "prognosis", but I can't
recall what those first letters are.



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