|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin|| Latin language |
|Phonetic usage||[ x ]|
[ χ ]
[ ħ ]
[ kʰ ]
[ k͡ s ]
[ ʃ ]
[ ɕ ]
[ tʼ ]
[ ɗ ]
[ ʔ ]
[ ǁ ]
[ k͡ ʃ ]
[ d͡z ]
[ d͡ʒ ]
[ sʲ ]
[ z ]
|Time period||~-700 to present|
|Descendants|| • × |
|Sisters|| Х |
|Other letters commonly used with||x(x)|
X or x is the 24th and third-to-last letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is ex (pronounced // ), plural exes.
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In Ancient Greek, 'Χ' and 'Ψ' were among several variants of the same letter, used originally for /kʰ/ and later, in western areas such as Arcadia, as a simplification of the digraph 'ΧΣ' for /ks/. In the end, more conservative eastern forms became the standard of Classical Greek, and thus 'Χ' (Chi) stood for /kʰ/ (later /x/; palatalized to [ç] in Modern Greek before front vowels). However, the Etruscans had taken over 'Χ' from western Greek, and it therefore stands for /ks/ in Etruscan and Latin.
The letter 'Χ' ~ 'Ψ' for /kʰ/ was a Greek addition to the alphabet, placed after the Semitic letters along with phi 'Φ' for /pʰ/.
In English orthography, ⟨x⟩ is typically pronounced as the voiceless consonant cluster // when it follows the stressed vowel (e.g. ox), and the voiced consonant // when it precedes the stressed vowel (e.g. exam). It is also pronounced // when it precedes a silent ⟨h⟩ and a stressed vowel (e.g. exhaust). Before ⟨i⟩ or ⟨u⟩, it can be pronounced // or // (e.g. sexual and luxury); these result from earlier // and // . It also makes the sound // in words ending in -xion (typically used only in British-based spellings of the language; American spellings tend to use -ction). When ⟨x⟩ ends a word, it is always // (e.g. fax), except in loan words such as faux (see French, below).
There are very few English words that start with ⟨x⟩ (the fewest of any letter). When ⟨x⟩ does start a word, it is usually pronounced // (e.g. xylophone, xenophobia, and xanthan); in rare recent loanwords or foreign proper names, it can also be pronounced // (e.g. the obsolete Vietnamese monetary unit xu ) or // (e.g. Chinese names starting with Xi like Xiaomi or Xinjiang). Many of the words that start with ⟨x⟩ are of Greek origin, or standardized trademarks ( Xerox ) or acronyms (XC). 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-" as shorthand for the labarum (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).
X is the third least frequently used letter in English (after ⟨q⟩ and ⟨z⟩), with a frequency of about 0.15% in words.
In Latin, ⟨x⟩ stood for [ks]. In some languages, as a result of assorted phonetic changes, handwriting adaptations or simply spelling convention, ⟨x⟩ has other pronunciations:
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 the International Phonetic Alphabet, ⟨x⟩ represents a voiceless velar fricative.
In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The modern tradition of using x to represent an unknown was introduced by René Descartes in La Géométrie (1637).As a result of its use in algebra, X is often used to represent unknowns in other circumstances (e.g. X-rays, Generation X, The X-Files , and The Man from Planet X ; see also Malcolm X).
On some identification documents, the letter X represents a non-binary gender, where F means female and M means male.
In the Cartesian coordinate system, x is used to refer to the horizontal axis.
It may also be used as a typographic approximation for the multiplication sign, ), partly to avoid confusion with the multiplication symbol. In fonts containing both x (the letter) and × (the multiplication sign), the two glyphs are dissimilar.. In mathematical typesetting, x meaning an algebraic variable is normally in italic type (
It can be used as an abbreviation for 'between' in the context of historical dating; e.g., '1483 x 1485'.
Maps and other images sometimes use an X to label a specific location, leading to the expression "X marks the spot".
The Roman numeral Ⅹ represents the number 10.
In art or fashion, the use of X indicates a collaboration by two or more artists, e.g. Aaron Koblin x Takashi Kawashima. This application, which originated in Japan, now extends to other kinds of collaboration outside the art world.This usage mimics the use of a similar mark in denoting botanical hybrids, for which scientifically the multiplication × is used, but informally a lowercase "x" is also used.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER X||LATIN SMALL LETTER X|
|Numeric character reference||X||X||x||x|
In the C programming language, "x" preceded by zero (as in 0x or 0X) is used to denote hexadecimal literal values.
X is commonly used as a prefix term in nouns related to the X Window System and Unix
G or g is the seventh letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is gee, plural gees.
H or h is the eighth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is aitch, or regionally haitch.
T or t is the 20th letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its name in English is tee, plural tees. It is derived from the Semitic letters taw via the Greek letter τ (tau). In English, it is most commonly used to represent the voiceless alveolar plosive, a sound it also denotes in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in English-language texts.
Y or y is the 25th and penultimate letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet and the sixth vowel letter of the modern English alphabet. In the English writing system, it sometimes represents a vowel and sometimes a consonant, and in other orthographies it may represent a vowel or a consonant. Its name in English is wye, plural wyes.
Z or z is the 26th and final letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its usual names in English are zed and zee, with an occasional archaic variant izzard.
Chi is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet.
Finnish orthography is based on the Latin script, and uses an alphabet derived from the Swedish alphabet, officially comprising 29 letters but also has two additional letters found in some loanwords. The Finnish orthography strives to represent all morphemes phonologically and, roughly speaking, the sound value of each letter tends to correspond with its value in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) – although some discrepancies do exist.
A caron, háček or haček also known as a hachek, wedge, check,mäkčeň, inverted circumflex, inverted hat, flying bird, is a diacritic (ˇ) commonly placed over certain letters in the orthography of some Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Samic, Berber, and other languages to indicate a change in the related letter's pronunciation.
In linguistics, a consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound, is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. In English, for example, the groups and are consonant clusters in the word splits.
A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme, or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined.
When used as a diacritic mark, the term dot is usually reserved for the Interpunct, or to the glyphs 'combining dot above' ( ◌̇ ) and 'combining dot below' ( ◌̣ ) which may be combined with some letters of the extended Latin alphabets in use in Central European languages and Vietnamese.
Italian orthography (writing) uses a variant of the Latin alphabet consisting of 21 letters to write the Italian language. Italian orthography is very regular and has an almost one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds, which is expressed in linguistic terms as saying that the Italian writing system is an almost perfect phonemic orthography. The most important of the few exceptions are the following :
The phonology of the Hungarian language is notable for its process of vowel harmony, the frequent occurrence of geminate consonants and the presence of otherwise uncommon palatal stops.
Dutch orthography uses the Latin alphabet and has evolved to suit the needs of the Dutch language. The spelling system is issued by government decree and is compulsory for all government documentation and educational establishments.
Ch is a digraph in the Latin script. It is treated as a letter of its own in Chamorro, Old Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Igbo, Kazakh, Uzbek, Quechua, Guarani, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and Belarusian Łacinka alphabets. In Vietnamese and Modern Spanish, it also used to be considered a letter for collation purposes but this is no longer common.
Polish orthography is the system of writing the Polish language. The language is written using the Polish alphabet, which derives from the Latin alphabet, but includes some additional letters with diacritics. The orthography is mostly phonetic, or rather phonemic – the written letters correspond in a consistent manner to the sounds, or rather the phonemes, of spoken Polish. For detailed information about the system of phonemes, see Polish phonology.
C or c is the third letter in the English and ISO basic Latin alphabets. Its name in English is cee, plural cees.
Portuguese orthography is based on the Latin alphabet and makes use of the acute accent, the circumflex accent, the grave accent, the tilde, and the cedilla to denote stress, vowel height, nasalization, and other sound changes. The diaeresis was abolished by the last Orthography Agreement. Accented letters and digraphs are not counted as separate characters for collation purposes.
In the course of time, I, V and X became identical with three letters of the alphabet; originally, however, they bore no relation to these letters.