How XOXO Became the Accepted Shorthand For the Affectionate Phrase of Hugs and Kisses

In a osculate episode of Today I Found Out, host Simon Whistler explains how XOXO became the accepted shorthand for the term hugs and kisses. While the origins of the “O” in the formula are nebulous, the “X” is on far more solid ground.

You’ve seen XO as a sign-off representing love, affection, or friendship on letters, cards, emails, chat rooms and text messages. …We can’t be 100% sure why or how XOXO ultimately came to mean “hugs and kisses”, but we do at least have a reasonably good theory to work with on the “X” part.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.