Asked in ChristmasName Origins
What is the origin of the name Christmas?
January 01, 2013 4:27PM
The Greek letter 'X' is the first letter (chi) for the greek word for Christ, Xristos ( Χριστός). Xmas therefore means "Christ's Mass." The letter chi is written the same as the Roman letter X. So, as a form of shorthand, some people replace "Christ" with the first letter of his Greek name, X.
The term Xmas, while sometimes controversial among Christians, has become a common short English abbreviation for Christmas.