Xmas (also X-mas) is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced , but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation . The "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Christós (Χριστός), which became Christ in English.
The suffix -mas is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.There is a common misconception that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas", but its use dates back to the 16th century.
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