Sealed with a kiss
Hello there. Faberoony show in Birmingham, but am flagging so a quick one from me today!
Friend E and I went to a fascinating free talk entitled " The ritual protection of Sussex" a couple of weeks ago. It's just not cricket to repeat the content here, but one question the speaker posed is why do we sign off with xxx meaning kisses and when did all this begin. I suppose for me it's a learnt behaviour and apparently we all have slightly different rules for how we use them. For me they represent love and I will only use them for those who are dear to me. However, these days with the increasing use of technology based communication, it seems they are sprinkled about far more liberally. I get sent kisses from people I don't know quite often [not a problem] and they seem now to be used to indicate friendliness of intention in the communication aswell as representing emotion.
What we do know is that the naturalist Gilbert White is the first documented person to use xxx in its modern understood form in 1763. How it started is not so clear. X was used to "sign" official documents for those who couldn't write, but it's also the first Greek letter in Christ's name. Medieval letters were actually sealed with an X....so really sealed with a kiss and perhaps this became a way of sending a Christian blessing to the recipient. Maybe this has evolved over time into the secularised version we use today. We shall probably never know for sure.