We have just three days left of our alphabet journey to 2016.
A few days ago, we looked at U and discovered that there were no fewer than fourteen pages in the OED dedicated just to the Un words.
Well, X only has two pages – in total! And we can trace most of those X words back to Greek derivation, which makes sense when you look at the history of the letter itself. It seems that X came to us via Classical Greek and Etruscan.
Of course, we also know that the Romans used X in their system of numbers, where it stood (and stands) for ten. Interestingly, the modern Italian alphabet does not use X at all.
Let’s just look at a few unusual X words and their meanings…
- xanthic – yellowish
- xebec – a small three-masted Mediterranean sailing ship
- xiphoid – sword shaped
- xoanon – a primitive wooden image of a diety
- xystus – a long portico used by athletes for exercise
OK – now I challenge you to use one or more of these words the next time you write!