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Hugs and Kisses XOXO

Updated on January 21, 2012

A Loving Embrace

A Hug and a Kiss
A Hug and a Kiss

Hugs are Kisses or

Kisses Hugs


With Valentines Day coming soon, Christmas lights will be put away and pink hearts will start appearing, Perfect time to think about love and the many ways we can express this emotion. Its the time of year when the same X and O's of football turn into the game of romance.No Im not talking about gridiron plays I am talking about the ever popular, hard not to love . . Hugs and Kisses. Most have to agree that the X and O's are an easy way to express what cannot be said. Be it a text message across the air waves or a hand penned letter we can easily say it with an X and an O .

How many times have you sent a text to someone like your valentine using XOXO. It is a quick and easy way to send someone some love and affection and it is a great way to end an email or a text with a warm closing. Yet how many times have you used the X and O letters without really giving any thought as to why or where this came from? I think it is the romantic taking hold of me as I write this close to Valentines day, which of course always makes me think about these kind of things ;)

Is the Kiss the X

And the Hug the O

So here is the question . . . Does the "X" stand for the Kiss and the "O" stand for the Hug or is it the other way around. Personally, in a love letter I have always thought of the X as the kiss and the O as the hug. sending a valentine to me, using a Hug would be the "O" and as it is a circle, it just fits a description of a hug more.. But the more I read about which is which the more I see that there has been much debate over which stands for which. Some say that the "X" is for the crossing of the arms when one hugs another. And the "O" can be the shape of the mouth for a kiss. Which will you use for your valentine card ending?

History of the Hug

Here is a little bit of the Hug and Kiss history and I hope you can help me decide which is the hug and which is the kiss. Anyway you look at this, I think you will find this inspirational as you search for the truth about love. And the X and the O is always something that works well when sending a love letter to a loved one.

Hugs are Love
Hugs are Love
what is a hug
what is a hug


The "O"

The origins of the O as a hug are not generally known, but if you look at the letter you can clearly see that it can represent the arms wrapped around someone and that to me is a hug. To me a hug is always pink, truth is pink and hugs are just about my favorite things.

If we look to the origin of the word "Hug" which is of Germanic origin and the word "embrace" which is of Latin origin. Clearly a hug is a hug. And I am sure we can all remember a grandparent or an aunt asking us to come and give them a "hug". No one really ever asks for an embrace. The words are literally interchangeable, but not really, not in real life. When you want a hug or give a hug or receive a hug, you are getting wrapped arms and pressed bodies. An embrace can be a hug but it can be a whole series of other things. You can embrace an idea; find something embracing; embrace yet remain aloof. The point here is that a hug is a simple idea whose synonym is not. Embrace is a complex notion that has lots of possibilities. In our language and our speech, we can say both. In our attitude we can show both. One leaves little room for doubt, the other demands interpretation.

A hug is a handshake from the heart.
A hug is a handshake from the heart.

What are Hugs and Kisses

There are so many types of hugs in the world. XOXO is such an easy way to show someone ove and affection and be sure not to send your love only on Valentines day. Everyday a hug and or a kiss should be shared. Some are big and some are small. Some are shared between lovers and some between friends. There are hugs we give to show someone we care and show that we are there. A hug is warm and full of love and you know when you receive that hug, it is special and its to show the person who gave the hug cares for you and loves you. If you make it pink all the better.

Hug o War

Shel Silverstein "Hug O War"
Shel Silverstein "Hug O War"

Give a Love Hug

Hugs can also be mysterious, but the one thing I do know about hugs is that they are never given out of hatred or spite. They are given out of love. So when you see someone that you love, dont say anything just give them a hug!

" X and O " Sealed with a Kiss' Send a Love Letter with the Perfect Enclosure

Sealed with a Kiss - the classic closing on an envelope
Sealed with a Kiss - the classic closing on an envelope


The "X" KISS

The Greeks first used X as a letter. The X became associated with the crucifixion and symbolized truth. Illiterate persons signed documents with an X as an oath that the content is true. Even some kings even though they could write would use the X as a sign of truth and commitment.

In Medieval times, the tradition of allowing those who could not write, could sign a document with an "X". With a witness present the signer would place a kiss upon the "X" to show sincerity. This was considered as good as a sworn oath in those times and therefore people that could not write used the "X" in the same way a signature is used today, as a mark of one's word. Therefore an X at the end of a letter or document was often kissed as a seal of honesty.

Some believed "X" was chosen as a variation on the cross symbol, while others believe it might have been a pledge in the name of Christ. The "X" or the Chi symbol is the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet and has been used in church history to represent Christ.


the history of Hugs and Kisses
the history of Hugs and Kisses



In Hebrew the last letter of the Aleph bet is Tav. And this letters meaning is a sign, a mark or a symbol. The orginial forms of the letter Tav were two crossed sticks that formed an "x" or a "t". As time went on one stick grew longer than the other and somehow started to curve and the picture on the left shows how the letter "Tav" looks today.

The "X" was also the ancient Paleo Hebrew letter Tav, and was a symbol of the Seal of Hashem (God) and it represented truth, completeness, and perfection.

x's and 0's

Hugs and Kisses really can solve everything!
Hugs and Kisses really can solve everything!


Urban Lingo

The Shawks Inc. encyclopedia, an authority in urban lingo, has it that the 'O' represents a hug, and the 'X' a kiss, with the explanation that if you look at each letter like it was representing two people from a bird's eye view, the 'O' represents the arms of those persons hugging each other while the 'X' is evocative of two people kissing.

I also came across a less common interpretation which is which in where there is an assumption that the "X" represents the crossed arms of a hug and O as the puckered lips of a kiss. Valentines day is a great day to talk about which is which.

Additionally, there is a more simple interpretation, based on the pronunciation of the letters X (sounds like 'kiss') and O (sounds like 'hold', as in 'I hold you'). Truth be told they are love letters and and X and an O are always understood that you are sending lots of love.

XXX Hot and Spicey Pornogrophy

From the Victorian Age

On an interesting note, In Victorian cultures and those that proceeded them, the 'X' or kiss has been taken by the pornographic film industry as 'XXX'. Many have noted that the X was seen as more erotic than the "O" hug .

A Penny an Kiss A Penny a Hug

Hugs and Kisses in Text Messages

we all use the x and o when we send text messages to ones we love, it is the love letter of today.
we all use the x and o when we send text messages to ones we love, it is the love letter of today.

The Message of XOXO

I think that with the "X" as a symbol of truth we can see why it eventually became the kisses. It is like when you sign a text, an email or a card with "X" s, you are not just sending kisses but you’re saying, “This is the truth, I love you"!

If you are writing a true love letter or just a text or email message when you add "O" 's to it you are sending that Kiss with a delicious hug. What better way is there to show someone you love affection, and it is with just two letters of the alphabet! The X and the O can be quite useful letters when sending the one you love a special Valentines Day card. Truth is, these letters are the perfect finishing touch.

Kiss the Girl

X's are the Kisses

Or are X's the Hug and O's the Kisses
Or are X's the Hug and O's the Kisses



See results
XOXO in greetings and messages
XOXO in greetings and messages

xoxoxo love comments

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    • profile image

      Country Girl 

      7 years ago

      Very Good Hub!!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      love the "xoxo' symbol .. i love kisses and hugs..

      very good wavegirl!

    • harrison8bal profile image


      8 years ago from Shanghai

      hey nice introduction and this was a great idea for an article :D i reckon x's are kisses and O's are hugs though

    • profile image

      Qrious Georges 

      8 years ago

      While the article put way too much thought into it, XOXO is even simpler than that... When you give someone a hug, you usually cross your bodies, one arm over a shoulder and the other below the other... Thus the X = Hug.. When you kiss someone, what shape do your lips make... a bit of an oval shape right... Thus 0 = Kiss... while the symbolism through history and stuff may be interesting, the truth of it is that we are visual animals, so the symbolism is literal in this case... Hugs & Kisses to everyone... or should I say XOXO ;)

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      billy- now isnt that just like you to come up with an even better way to use the x and o's. I just might have to try that:) Always happy to accommodate a smile for a friend:) x0x0x0x0x

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub Shari - that brought me a smile. :) When ever I leave a note or card to my sons or wife I always leave hugs and kisses - it is a nice little reminder for ma and them except I like to put the X through the 0 -I have always have done it - means a big tighter hug and squeeze. XOXO

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      hy- I kinda thought you might find it 'interesting' x and o's say so many things with just a few strokes! Thumbs up but no stumble .. lololol


    • hypnodude profile image


      9 years ago from Italy

      That's interesting, that's very interesting. Very good hub Wavegirl. Thumbs up.;)

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY


      Thanks so much for taking a look here. And even more for saving me elsewhere;) I must say I love to understand where certain things come from especially something that so many people use every day!!



    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      9 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      Who knew there was so much to this mystery? Thanks for the research, it is fascinating



    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      My Boo - Kissing what could be better in life! Glad you liked this one. I know you were tired of the NFL. Be happy Booboo season is over for now:(

      Sending you lots of xoxoxox's

    • LizzyBoo profile image


      9 years ago from Czech Republic

      My Shari I love all about the kissing too. Thank you for such information. It is great, easy to read. I love your hubs as they are practical and easy to apply. Thank you! LizzyBoo

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      tony0724- Of course I wrote this for you. But all I can think is what took you so long to get here ;) I love learning something new everyday as well! And I always love it when you grace my pages. Sending you lots of Hugs and Kisses x0x0x0x0x

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      Shari did you write this for me ? I am flattered ! By the way love the new pic. But all your pics are good.I had no idea about the origin of Xs and Os . Nice to learn something new ! XO

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      pdh - so cold here too .. and we have more snow here in Ny coming tonight ;( Oh how I wish Mr Winter would go away. This was a fun hub to do. .. .and the x and the o is something i must say I use everyday be it in a text, and email or here in a comment ;)

      many x' and o's to you !

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Shari, I will nto send you XXX hehe,just kidding --- only hugs hugs and hugs it is cold still here even in TX, BRRR, past the snow days now! this is a cool hub, sweet but informative, Maita

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      LOL Dohn. . you know I always do my homework! Not surprised that you like symbolism. . I always say you and I are alot alike in many ways! I was reading about the Chi Rio actually when I did this but missed the part about Cairo .. it started to get into the frats and sororities. . and my head started spinning !

      Thanks for the xoxox

      sending some back to you on this Valentines Day!

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Very cool, Shari. It certainly looks like you did your homework on this one! I've always been an admirer of symbolism and cryptology, including anagrams :) I really enjoyed reading this, especially the history aspect of it all.

      Did you know the prescription/pharmacy symbol that looks like "R X" is in fact X P or in Greek: Chi Rho, which is significant for Cairo as in Egypt? Pretty cool, huh?

      Whoops! Almost forgot: xoxox

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      @Mystique1957 - X always marks the spot.. and so when I reading about Valentines day I came across the thinking that some did not think the X was the kiss. . and so I wanted to put it out here to see what people thought. . this was a fun one. and yes with Valentines Day I thought a perfect time! Always love to see you grace my Hubs ;)

      @I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s wishing you a sweet and wonderful Valentines Day too! I cant wait to come over to see what you have in store for this day of love ;) I am way past due visiting you &hearts

      @Jersey Jess - Valentines is just about my favorite day . . and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary . . So glad you enjoyed this .. for I really had fun doing it! Happy Valentines Day to you too !!

    • Jersey Jess profile image

      Jersey Jess 

      9 years ago from USA

      Very interesting, definitely made a great read! Have a good Valentine's day! xoxo- Jersey

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image


      9 years ago

      Super sweet, Shari! ;) I feel x marks the spot, too! A warm and fuzzy hub.. Thanks.

      Have a lovely Valentine's day! xox

    • Mystique1957 profile image


      9 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela


      How lovely of you! What a sweet theme before Valentine`s! It couldn`t have been more appropriate. For me the X marks the spot where to kiss(Hehehe). It is true about the sounds of the letters. X sounds like a kiss as O sounds like Hold-hug!

      Two X`s up!!

      Warm regards and blessings,

      XOXOXOX Al

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      @jjimmythejock - you like the xxx i bet hahaha serious note thanks for stopping by..this one was fun!

      @jai - in this cold weather i sure could use a big bear hug. . and from what is going on down your way i bet you could use one as well. happy &hearts day to you too ;)

      @cosette - glad to see you here. . in more ways than one. You are always a ray of beautiful sunshine . .sending you lots of xoxoxox's

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      sigh what a neat hub. i really liked the pictures and your clever use of ads. groovy, WG! xox ;)

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 

      9 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      You deserve a big bear hug for this hub. "X" has to be the kiss, it doesn't make sense the other way around. How appropriate for this weekend, Happy V-day!

      BTW, We're still digging out.


    • jimmythejock profile image

      Jimmy the jock 

      9 years ago from Scotland

      thankyou Wavegirl i really enjoyed reading this, very interesting xoxoxoxo .....jimmy


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