The word "Christmas" means "Mass of Christ," later shortened to "Christ-Mass." The even shorter form "Xmas" - first used in Europe in the 1500s - is derived from the Greek alphabet, in which X is the first letter of Christ's name: Xristos, therefore "X-Mass."
About the X
Europeans in the 16th century started using X in place of Christ's name as shorthand for writing Christ. The Christian monks and scholars were knowledgeable of the Greek letter X, - Chi or Khi - which is the first letter in the Greek word "Christos" or "Kristos" (Greek: CristoV) The Greek and Hebrew word "Christos" comes out "Messiah" and mean the same thing: "The anointed One." For many years the X was understood by Christian clergy and as time passed, many Christians, educated and not, were not aware of the meaning. Over time the meaning became lost and was later of perceived as a sign disrespect.
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