Kisses and hugs (updated)

I just had a fight over which is the kiss and which is the hug: the x or the o.

I say the x is the kiss on account of it’s representative of a scrunched up mouth. The o is a hug cause it’s arms in a circle which (unless you’re hugging yourself) is classic hugging action.

I will not share my friend’s strange delusion of what they mean because, really, too weird!

Then I asked Scott and he agreed with my friend. And even google says the friend is right.

Madness reigns! Or maybe it’s another one of those Oz versus US of A things? she asked hopefully.

Whatever. I have decided to ignore them all. For me the x is the kiss and the o is the hug.



Update: I win! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Take that!

Though I totally fail at google . . .


  1. The Bibliophile on #

    I always thought the x’s were kisses too.

  2. Alex A on #

    The x is the kiss. Seriously. Everyone else is just wrong 😀

    Alex–an Aussie living in Texas.

  3. Heather Harper on #

    I’m with you on this one.

  4. Laurel Lyon on #

    I’ve been putting x as a kiss for 40 years!

  5. Gwenda on #

    See I always thought the X was the hug and the O was the kiss and that I was _wrong_, but doing it that way anyway.

  6. marrije on #

    of course the x is the kiss! my six-year old knows that. the o thing must be a later addition or something, but x = kiss, definitely. since forever we’ve signed letters and postcards with xxx, never with ooo. le voila.

  7. Tim Walker on #

    It’s sad to note that both your friend and your husband are wildly mistaken about this, to the point that you might want to suggest they be tested for early-onset dementia.

    The X is a kiss. The O is a hug. Full stop.

    This isn’t just my opinion, and it’s not a u.s. versus oz thing, becuase the court of final appeal (there would be capitals on that if possible) has spoken: Under the headword “X” in the oxford english dictionary we find

    “6. Used to represent a kiss, esp. in the subscription to a letter.”

    Q.E.D. The state rests.

  8. jennifer, aka literaticat on #

    No! obviously the x is the hug and the o is the kiss.

    ‘hugs and kisses – xoxo’

    not ‘kisses & hugs – oxox’!!!

    x is representative of arms, hugging.

    o is representative of your mouth, kissing!

    (god australians are so weird. and wrong.)

  9. R.J. Anderson on #

    I, too, agree that kisses are x and hugs are o. It never even occurred to me to interpret them the other way around, or that anyone would.

  10. Elodie on #

    x is the kiss, obviously.
    Unless you are french kissing, o is a mouth whistling, not a mouth kissing.
    I dunno, maybe your friend likes to end letters with french kisses 😉

  11. jennifer, aka literaticat on #


    though it pains me to admit this,

    it seems that i have been wrong my whole life


  12. El on #

    I’m American, and x’s are definitely kisses and o’s hugs. Now I guess I better go google.

  13. orangedragonfly on #

    i always thought x=kiss and o=hug. always.

    justine…i’m sorry to do this. i just had to share this because of the first line of the article. (although if you continue to read, the filmmaker himself admits he isn’t crazy about the “offensive creature’s” place in the film…)


  14. orangedragonfly on #

    note: “offensive creature” was my paraphrase….didn’t want to be banned from the blog for typing the word…


  15. Jo on #

    I always thought x’s were kisses and o’s were hugs, too!

    Of course, I always thought the cat in Pepe Le Pew was a boy, too, so what do I know?

  16. Ted Lemon on #

    That’s totally weird – I’ve never heard of anyone thinking that x’s were hugs, and o’s were kisses. Your friend and Scott need to find a new supplier, that’s all I can say…

  17. jenny davidson on #

    x is definitely the kiss, i have never heard such an outrageous thing as to suggest otherwise! x both visually conjures up two sets of lips joining and sort of onomatopoietically suggests the smacking sound of a good kiss!

  18. Kimmy on #

    x= kisses I know this and I’m French Canadian
    We always put xxx in cards for kisses.

  19. lili on #

    this is the kind of earth-shaking thing that seriously turns your world upside-down. like realising that everyone else sees blue as red. or that your best friend prefers uni****s to zombies.

  20. lili on #

    (of COURSE x’s are kisses! as marrije pointed out – who ever signed a letter ooo!?)

  21. janet on #

    It seems a little redundant to say so at this point, but I, too, have always believed that the “x” stood for a kiss and the “o” for a hug.

  22. jessiegirl on #

    i thought x was kiss because it is clearly a visual of two mouths meeting, and therefore o had to be hug, it never occurred to me it could be something else.

  23. Ben Payne on #

    The X is a kiss. My partents told me this when I was a kid, and they would know, for in their day that was all you were allowed to do.

    Scott and your friend are clearly toying with you. Don’t let them make you any drinks (:

  24. K on #

    The O is a kiss! You pucker your lips, and it sort of makes and O. Plus, when you hug someone, you generally cross your arms. Scott and your friends are clearly right.

  25. Darice Moore on #

    x is kisses. o is hugs. We even have a children’s book in which the grandma who lives far away sends her grandson “x kisses and o hugs” because she isn’t there to give him real ones.

  26. PT Sefton on #

    Where I come from xxxx means beer. The Queensland Government allows us to put four kisses on messages only to recipients over the legal drinking age, which is 18 here.

  27. Shara Saunsaucie on #

    I’m glad you won, because you’re right! 🙂

    So this is totally random, but I just finished reading your The Battle of Sexes in Science Fiction and posted my thoughts in my LJ. There’s a particular question I had, which is one of the reasons I’m sharing the link with you, though I’d share it with you anyway, just in case you were interested.

    I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading Daughters of the Earth (and for that matter, when my book pile gets smaller, your fiction!)

    Cheers! 🙂

  28. janet on #

    Okay, here’s the weirdest answer yet.

    Me: Hey, Matt, when something says “XXXOOO,” which is the hug and which is the kiss?
    Matt: I don’t know.
    Me: How can you not know?
    Matt: Um…I don’t know.
    Me: Well, what do you guess?
    Matt: I have no idea.
    Me: Just try.
    Matt: I really have no idea.

    He wouldn’t even guess. I have married a very strange man.

  29. Diana on #

    The X are the kisses. I can’t believe this is even a debate.

    Back when people couldn’t write, they would put an X (the sign of a cross) on a piece of paper and would have someone kiss it, signifying an oath to christ that they would abide by whatever it was they were signing.

    Thus it came to be that X would signify that the paper had been kissed. So on love letters, they would put Xs to show kisses… and so on…

  30. Patrick on #

    You know, it’s awkward when you go in for an X and she’s only giving an O…

  31. CherylR on #

    I’ve always thought–no, assumed–that x’s were kisses and o’s were hugs. How can an x ever be a hug? You don’t cross your arms–you wrap your arms around someone, enclose them gently–like an o. I’m totally with you on this one! And it was fun to read. 🙂

  32. georgey on #

    Darling, you are right and Scott is most definiately and unreservedly..Wrong !

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