Christmas phrases

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by Kate Woodford

It’s Christmas! At Cambridge Dictionary, we like to get into the Christmas spirit so today, we’re bringing you festive phrases with a round-up of idioms that contain a word that we often associate with Christmas. Continue reading “Christmas phrases”

Merry Xmas

by Hugh Rawson

Many people – including leading authorities on language on both sides of the Atlantic – frown on the use of Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas. For example, Eric Partridge, the British lexicographer who did so much to popularize the study of slang, declared in his book on style, Usage & Abusage, that Xmas is “barely allowable in its common use in writing and printing” and is “intolerable in the pronunciation, Exmas.”  The editors of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language came to the same conclusion, noting that “In spite of a long and respectable history, today Xmas is offensive to many, perhaps because of its associations with advertising. It is not used in formal writing.” Continue reading “Merry Xmas”