"A whole lot of history behind 'x' and 'o,' kiss and hug"

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Fri Feb 14 15:55:13 UTC 2014

Thanks Bonnie. I commented there:
Oops. I forgot that in 2009 Benjamin Zimmer posted on American Dialect Society list and interesting text from 1905.
The State v. James E. Kelley, Dec. 12, 1905
Reports of cases determined by the Supreme Court of the state of Missouri
Vol. 191, p. 685 (1906)
"1000 million X O
"Yours forever
"I will kiss Cicil for you now."
Prosecutrix, her mother and a banker in Bolivar testified that this
letter was in defendant's handwriting. Prosecutrix also testified that
defendant told her that when he wrote X and O he meant hugs and
kisses. [end passage quoted]
The sequence "hugs and kisses" may be more common than "kisses and hugs." Perhaps that goes along with a reanalysis of xoxo--the sequence oxox seems more rare-- in which some consider X a hug and O a kiss?
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Bonnie Taylor-Blake [b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2014 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "A whole lot of history behind 'x' and 'o,' kiss and              hug"

On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 6:47 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> with mention of ADS-L and Ben

And Stephen Goranson, who is probably too humble to mention his own
appearance in the article.

: )

(Thanks for sharing the link, Stephen.)

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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