Cards from people who have all added an X after their name

If you get emails, text messages and letters from British people, you’ll notice many people add an ‘x’ at the end – but why?

Put simply, an ‘x’ at the end of a message symbolises a kiss. In that way, it is a bit like the ‘blowing a kiss’ emoji and you will often see it on birthday cards. But there is more to it than this. It is common to use it between friends or close work colleagues as a way to make the tone of any message more friendly. For really good friends, you might use ‘xx’ or ‘xxx’.

For example, consider the differences between these two messages:

  • Thanks for the meal. A text message like this can seem formal and cold. In some circumstances it could even make the words imply the opposite – that the person hadn’t enjoyed the meal at all!
  • Thanks for the meal x. The ‘x’ at the end symbolises warmth and emotion – the other person will understand that you really enjoyed it.

Because the ‘x’ symbolises kisses/friendship, be careful with messages where it might seem like you are flirting or being too friendly to someone you don’t know. For this reasons, it is unusual to see the ‘x’ in business emails, unless the people know each other well.

NOTE: if you have a British girlfriend and she suddenly stops putting an x at the end of her messages to you, be warned: she is angry.

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