I’ve been lying here all night long wondering where you might be.
I saw your Mama and I showed her the ring.
Man on the television said something so I couldn’t sleep.
But I’ll be all right, I’m just missing you.
And this is me kissing you:
X’s and O’s,
In a letter from home."
Letters from Home - John Michael Montgomery
I listened to this song on the way to work this morning. I have always wondered why X's and O's symbolize hugs and kisses in love letters. And here is what I found after doing some googling. Read on and enjoy.
Hugs and kisses is defined by a sequence of the letters X and O, for example: XOXO, XOXOXO to express the affection of lovers at the end of a letter or email.
Some interpret the letter X as the crossed arms of hug and the O as the puckered lip of a kiss. Others interpret the X as the four lips of a kiss and O as the four arms in a hug. The latter is more commonly accepted as most of my friends say so.
However, hugkiss.com claims that the X originally came from the symbol of the Christian cross and the first letter of Christ in Greek (Xristo). This dates back to mostly the pre-literate period when people used the letter X as a trusted symbol to sign a document! Later on, it became a tradition that the signers would kiss the X letter , pretty much the same way as one would kiss the crucifix or the bible, or the fingers after making the sign of the cross. Thus, the X became the symbol of a kiss in modern times.
The O letter is something of a mystery. Some say it was because the Jew tried to avoid using the X symbol of Christ so they used the O instead! Hard to believe heh? I think it's more reasonable to think the O as the symbol of two arms making a circle around another person.
All is well and good, but just want to let you know that if you wander somewhere with three flashing neon X's on a marquee, you'll be probably seeing a whole lot more than just hugs and kisses!
And the song continues:
"I hold it up and show my buddies,
Like we ain’t scared and our boots ain’t muddy, and they all laugh,
'Cause she calls me "Honey", but they take it hard,
'Cause I don’t read the good parts.
I fold it up and put it in my shirt,
Pick up my gun and get back to work.
And it keeps me driving me on,
Waiting on letters from home."
For all brave soldiers of the United States Arm Forces in Iraq.