If you ever entered a chatroom or texted before Tinder, you might have found people signing off their messages with XO.
Sometimes, you might read XOXO or XXXO and so on. But what does XO mean?
Well, back in the Middle Ages, most people could not write. So they got in the habit of using an X as a signature.
Some scholars even speculated that the X could stand for a Christian cross. In this case, the X would function as a substitute for “sincerely” or “In Christ’s name, it is true that.”
This line of reasoning also explains why today we write Xmas as an abbreviation of the word “Christmas.”
The O looks like people hugging from above. But it also resembles a mouth opening up for a kiss.
Why do people write XO in chat rooms and messages?
Simply put, XO means “kisses and hugs.” Or at least, this is the most common explanation of the term.
Some people believe that the X means “kisses” because the X represented the Christian cross.
In other words, the X would translate the habit of kissing the cross during religious ceremonies.
Anyhow, if you look at the letter X, you could argue that the letter itself resembles two people kissing.
The way two heads push toward each other to press their lips together matches the shape of the letter. No one knows the exact etymology of the term XO.
In some cases, you might not know what does XO means because the two letters are just a smiley.
Before the emoji, most people used western-style emoticons written with simple letters. For example: :3 (happy face), :'( (crying), and XD (laughing).
As a smiley, XO could mean bewilderment or laughing hard.
Depending on the writer’s age, he or she might be trying to convey a positive emotion. In any case, this shortcode is a positive sign.
Most likely, the other person wants you to know that the relationship is moving in the right direction.
What to reply when someone writes XOXO?
A flirty XO express the writer’s affection. So, you can reciprocate and write XOXO back.
If you see any variation of the standard XO, replying with a smiley or emoji would be the safest bet.
After all, XXXXXXXO might express an extremely positive predisposition. But it could also be his or her way to sign off every conversation.
However, if you do not know what XO means in a specific context, you can ask.
Asking the other person would not be considered rude if the XO causes you to misunderstand a somewhat relevant convo.
In short, what does XO mean?
As XOXO stands for Hugs and Kisses, we can determine that receiving it is a good sign.
Your relationship is moving forward. Most likely, you might try to make the next step and test for an even friendlier reply.
If you have just known this person, ask for another date. If you are already dating, make plans for a romantic weekend trip or event.
XO is generally a positive response, so testing the water might prove to be rewarding.