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X
Basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd    
Ee Ff Gg Hh
Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt
Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ˈɛks/) is spelled ex,[1] plural exes (/ˈɛksɨz/).

Contents

History

The consonant cluster /ks/ was, in Ancient Greek, written as either Chi Χ (Western Greek) or Xi Ξ (Eastern Greek). In the end, Chi was standardized as /kʰ/ (/x/ in Modern Greek), while Xi was standardized for /ks/. But the Etruscans had taken over Χ from older Western Greek; therefore, it stood for /ks/ in Etruscan and Latin.

It is unknown whether the letters Chi and Xi are Greek inventions, or whether they are ultimately of Semitic origin. Chi was placed toward the end of the Greek alphabet, after the Semitic letters, along with Phi, Psi, and Omega, suggesting that it was an innovation; further, there is no letter corresponding specifically to the sound /ks/ in Semitic. There was a Phoenician letter Phoenician heth.png ḥeth with a probable sound /ħ/, somewhat similar to /kʰ/, but this was adopted into Greek as first the consonant /h/, and later, the long vowel Eta (Η,η), and does not seem to have been the source of Greek Chi. The Phoenician letter Phoenician samekh.png Samekh (representing /s/) is usually considered the inspiration for Greek Xi, but as noted, Chi had a graphically distinct shape from Xi—although it may possibly have been another variant originally based on samekh. The original form of samekh may have been an Egyptian hieroglyph for the Djed column, but this too is uncertain, as no intervening Proto-Sinaitic form of this letter is attested.

Egyptian hieroglyph "column" Phoenician S Greek Xi Greek Chi Etruscan X
R11
PhoenicianX-01.png Xi uc lc.svg Chi uc lc.svg EtruscanX-01.svg

Usage

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, [x] represents a voiceless velar fricative.

In some languages, as a result of assorted phonetic changes, handwriting adaptations or simply spelling convention, X has other pronunciations:

  • Basque: as a spelling for [ʃ].
  • Dutch: The island of Texel is pronounced as Tessel. This is because ss used to be written with a ligature closely resembling X. In all other words X represents [ks].
  • English: X is typically a sign for the compound consonants [ks]; or sometimes when followed by an accented syllable beginning with a vowel, or when followed by silent h and an accented vowel [ɡz] (e.g. exhaust, exam); usually [z] at the beginnings of words (e.g. xylophone, Xenon), and in some compounds keeps the [z] sound, as in (e.g. meta-xylene). It also makes the sound [kʃ] in words ending in -xion (typically used only in British-based spellings of the language; American spellings tend to use -ction). It can also represent the sounds [ɡʒ] or [kʃ], for example, in the words luxury and sexual, respectively. Final x is always [ks] (e.g. ax/axe) except in loan words such as faux (see French, below). In abbreviations, it can represent "trans-" (e.g. XMIT for transmit, XFER for transfer), "cross-" (e.g. X-ing for crossing; XREF for cross-reference), "Christ" (e.g. Xmas for Christmas; Xian for Christian), the "Crys" in Crystal (XTAL), or various words starting with "ex" (e.g. XL for extra large; XOR for exclusive-or). There are very few English words that start with X - the least amount of any letter. Many of the words that do start with X are either standardized trademarks (XEROX) or acronyms (XC). No words in the Basic English vocabulary begin with X, but it occurs in words beginning with other letters. It is often found in a word with an E before it. X is the third most rarely used letter in the English language.[citation needed]
  • French: at the ends of words, silent (or [z] in liaison if the next word starts with a vowel). This usage arose as a handwriting alteration of final -us. Two exceptions are pronounced [s]: six and dix. It is pronounced [z] in sixième and dixième.
  • In Italian, X is always pronounced [ks], as in the words uxorio, extra, xilofono. It is also used, mainly amongst younger generations as a short form for "per" meaning "for", for example, x sempre (forever). This because in Italian the multiplication sign (similar to x) is called "per". An exception occurs in the archaic spelling of the Venetian dialect, where it represents [z], example: Venexia.
  • In Norwegian, X is generally pronounced [ks], but since the nineteenth century there has been a tendency to spell it out as ks whenever possible; it may still be retained in names of people, though it is fairly rare, and occurs mostly in foreign words and SMS language. Usage in German and Finnish is similar.
  • Spanish: In Old Spanish, X was pronounced [ʃ], as it is still currently in other Iberian Romance languages. Later, the sound evolved to a hard [x] sound. In modern Spanish, the hard [x] sound is spelled with a j, or with a g before e and i, though x is still retained for some names (notably México, which alternates with Méjico). Now, X represents the sound [s] (word-initially), or the consonant cluster [ks] (e.g. oxígeno, examen). Even rarer, the x can be pronounced [ʃ] like in Old Spanish in some proper nouns such as Raxel (a variant of Rachel) and Uxmal.
  • Galician, Catalan and Leonese language: In Galician (a language related to Portuguese and spoken in Northwestern Spain), and Leonese, in Spain, x is pronounced [ʃ] in most cases. In learned words, such as 'taxativo' (taxative), the x is pronounced [ks]. However, Galician speakers tend to pronounce it as s, especially when it appears in implosive position, such as in 'externo' (extern).
  • In Portuguese, x can have four sounds: the most common is [ʃ], as in 'xícara' (cup). The other sounds are: [ks] as in 'fênix/fénix' (phoenix) and s, as in 'próximo' (close/next). The rarest is [z], as in 'exagerado' (exaggerate).
  • Venetian:it represented the voiced alveolar fricative [z] much like in Portuguese 'exagerado', English 'xylophone' or in the French liaison. Examples from medieval texts include 'raxon' (reason), 'prexon' (prison), 'dexerto' (desert), 'chaxa/caxa' (home, It. "casa"). Nowadays, the most known word is 'xe' (is/are).
  • In Albanian, x represents [dz], while the digraph xh represents [dʒ].
  • In Maltese x is pronounced [ʃ] or, in some cases, [ʒ] (only in loanwords such as 'televixin', and not for all speakers)

Additionally, in languages for which the Latin alphabet has been adapted only recently, x has been used for various sounds, in some cases inspired by European usage, but in others, for consonants uncommon in Europe. For these no Latin letter stands out as an obvious choice, and since most of the various European pronunciations of x can be written by other means, the letter becomes available for more unusual sounds.

In Japan, Ⓧ is a symbol used for resale price maintenance.

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of X
NATO phonetic Morse code
X-ray –··–
ICS X-ray.svg Semaphore X-ray.svg ⠭
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital X is codepoint U+0058 and the lower case x is U+0078.

The ASCII code for capital X is 88 and for lowercase x is 120; or in binary 01011000 and 01111000, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital X is 231 and for lowercase x is 167.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "X" and "x" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also

References

  1. ^ "X" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "ex," op. cit.
  2. ^ Esperanto#Writing_diacritic_letters
The basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter X with diacritics

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
LetterX.svg
Unicode name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER X
Basic Latin U+0058

Contents

Translingual

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology 1

Letter

X upper case (lower case x)

  1. The twenty-fourth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.
See also

Cardinal number

Roman numeral
X
Previous: IX
Next: XI

X

  1. (Roman numerals) The number 10.

Symbol

X

  1. A symbol of the IPA, representing a voiceless uvular fricative.

Etymology 2

Possibly from skull and crossbones

Symbol

X

  1. A hazard indicator, sometimes incorporated into standard labelling and signage systems
Derived terms

See also

Other representations of X:


English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Cardinal number

X

  1. An unknown quantity or unknown value.
Translations

Etymology 2

Noun

X

  1. The twenty-fourth letter of the English alphabet, preceded by W and followed by Y, and representing /ks/, /gz/, or (at the beginning of words) /z/.
  2. Any mark that looks like that letter, such as such a mark made by a person who cannot read or write.
  3. (lacrosse) The spot behind the goal.

Etymology 3

Presumably by abbreviation of the pronunciation of ecstasy.

Noun

Singular
X

Plural
uncountable

X (uncountable)

  1. (slang) Ecstasy, a particular street drug.

Etymology 4

Adjective

X (not comparable)

Positive
X

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. (Former British film certificate) Suitable only for those aged 16 or (later) 18 years and over.
  2. (movie rating) Obscene.
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms


American Sign Language

Letter

X (Stokoe X)

  1. The letter X

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA: /ɪks/

Letter

X (capital, lowercase x)

  1. The twenty-fourth letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: W
  • Next letter: Y

French

Pronunciation

Adjective

X (invariable)

  1. X-rated

Noun

Wikipedia-logo.png
French Wikipedia has an article on:
X

Wikipedia fr

X m. and f. inv.

  1. The twenty-fourth letter of the Latin alphabet

Italian

Pronunciation

Noun

Wikipedia-logo.png
Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
X

Wikipedia it

X m. and f. inv.

  1. The twenty-fourth letter of the Latin alphabet

Romanian

Pronunciation

Letter

X (capital, lowercase x)

  1. The twenty-fifth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the double-consonant sounds /gz/ and /ks/. Preceded by V and followed by Z.

Spanish

Letter

X (upper case, lower case x)

  1. The 27th letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

X
Box artwork for X.
Developer(s) Nintendo (assisted by Argonaut Software)
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s)
Genre(s) First-person shooter
System(s) Game Boy
Players 1
For the space simulation series, see Category:X.

X (エックス Ekkusu ?), is an early three-dimensional first-person shooter-type video game software released for the Game Boy only in Japan on May 29, 1992. The game was published by Nintendo and was designed by Dylan Cuthbert of Argonaut Software (now running Q-Games) who also became best known for being the designer of the original Star Fox title and Stunt Race FX for the SNES. The gameplay and graphics are similar to Atari's 1980 arcade game, Battlezone; however, it is considered by several people as the earliest 3D Game Boy game. It was also the first game Kazumi Totaka composed music for.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Appendices

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

X is the twenty-fourth (number 24) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for X

  • In a general sense, X means something is unknown or secret, as in project X.
  • In clothing X is used as a short letter for extra, such as XXL for extra-extra-large.
  • In Roman numerals, X means ten.









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