Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Okay, that title might be a little awkward, but I’m talking about a kiss. According to Dictionary.com, X as a symbol is used at the end of letters, telegrams (?), etc. to indicate a kiss. I’ll add “emails” and “texts” to this, in order to update the definition. My guess is that the letter X resembles the mushing of the mouth when you form your lips into a kiss.

So, if an X represents a kiss, what exactly is a kiss? Again, the same dictionary site says, “to touch or press with the lips slightly pursed, and then often to part them and to emit a smacking sound, in an expression of affection, love, greeting, reverence, etc.”

Hmm, well, my characters often kiss. A lot. In fact, kissing scenes are some of my favorite scenes to write. They offer me a way to show the depth of my characters’ feelings for each other. It can be a lingering kiss, a sensual kiss or a parting kiss. The kiss can show emotion that the characters can’t necessarily express in any other way.

Again, according to the site, there are many examples of kisses (related words), including soul kiss, buss, air kiss, French kiss, neck, smack. Think about these types of kisses, whether they’re ones you’ve engaged in or assigned to your characters. Just by reading the word, you can imagine, and in some cases, feel, the exact type of kiss that’s being described. What are the emotions that go along with the particular kiss you’re describing? Who is kissing whom and why?

So the next time you sign a letter or email with an “X,” think about the kisses you write about and decide for yourself: what exactly are you trying to say?


  1. And, of course, kisses don't have to be on the mouth...

  2. Good post, Jen. And good comment, Paula. Kisses are as varied as a touch. I'll definitely keep this in mind. Most of my kisses are heart-swell kisses, in real life and writing. I've not strayed into faux-kisses.

  3. Very true, Paula! And Ana, you're right, we all need to keep different types of kisses in mind when we write, just as we keep different senses in mind.