Session 3

Millions of people finish their messages with an X, which means ‘kiss’ in English. Learn how X came to mean ‘kiss’ in today’s episode!
수 백 만명의 사람들이 ‘키스’를 의미하는 ‘X’로 메시지를 끝맺습니다. 오늘은 ‘X’가 어떻게 ‘키스’를 의미하게 되었는지 알아볼까요?

ఈ పాఠ్యాంశం లోని సెషన్స్

Session 3 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Why does X mean ‘kiss’ in English?

Millions of people finish their messages with an X, which means ‘kiss’ in English. Learn how X came to mean ‘kiss’ in today’s episode!
수 백 만명의 사람들이 ‘키스’를 의미하는 ‘X’로 메시지를 끝맺습니다. 오늘은 ‘X’가 어떻게 ‘키스’를 의미하게 되었는지 알아볼까요?

Before you listen!

Consider the following questions:

- How long have people been speaking your native language?
- Does your language ‘borrow’ words or symbols from other languages? What are they?

ఆడియోను విని పనిని పూర్తి చేయండి

రాత ప్రతిని చూపు రాత ప్రతిని చూపవద్దు

Bolam
안녕하세요! Listen Here에 오신 것을 환영합니다. 이 코너에서는 여러분이 영어 뉴스를 잘 이해할 수 있는데 필요한 표현을 알려드릴 거에요. 저는 손보람입니다.

Tom
And I’m Tom! Hi everybody.

Bolam
오늘은 메시지 마지막에 적는 ‘X’가 어떻게 해서 ‘키스’를 의미하게 됐는지 알아보겠습니다. BBC Radio 4의 Word of Mouth에서 오늘의 클립 Part 1을 들어볼게요. 편지에 ‘x’를 처음으로 쓴 건 언제일까요? 그리고 몇 번의 키스가 담겨 있었을까요? 숫자를 잘 들어보세요!

Insert
Well, we’ve been adding Xs, for kisses, at the bottom of our letters, since at least 1763, so the very first one we know of had seven Xs!

Tom
She said ‘since at least 1763’ !

Bolam
Wow! More than 250 years ago! And she said there were seven Xs!

Tom
That’s right! ‘X’ starts with a vowel sound.
Often, words which begin with vowel sounds can take the last sound of the word which comes before. ‘Seven Xs’, then, is pronounced ‘seveNexes’. I could also say ‘seveNever’.
Listen again for ‘seveNexes’. Which verb and preposition come before?

Insert
Well, we’ve been adding Xs, for kisses, at the bottom of our letters, since at least 1763, so the very first one we know of had seven Xs!

Tom
She said ‘the very first one we know of’.

Bolam
어떤 것이 존재한다는 것은 알고 있지만 그 대상에 대해 자세히는 알지 못할 때 ‘know of’라는 표현을 씁니다.

Tom
So, we know of a piece of evidence – this is the old letter which contains Xs.

Bolam
무언가에 대해 잘 알고 있음을 암시하는 ‘know about’과는 다릅니다.

Tom
We know of the letter, but we still don’t understand our main question! We need to know about X. Why does X mean 'kiss' in English?

Bolam
Let’s listen to the rest of the clip for the answer!
‘X’라는 글자는 어디에서 유래되었고 어떻게 발음하나요?

Insert
[Woman]
We get X from the Roman alphabet, which got it from the Greek alphabet, pronounced ‘kss’. And the Romans certainly found it good for…

[Man]
Oh! That’s nearly a kiss, isn’t it?!

[Woman]
Yeah, it is, isn’t it? I think a penny’s just dropped there.

Tom

So, X comes from the Roman alphabet! And they pronounced it ‘kss’.

Bolam
The Roman alphabet 로마 알파벳을 의미합니다. 두 사람이 이해한 바가 맞는지 서로 확인하기 위해 어떤 질문을 하는지 다시 한번 들어볼까요?

Insert
[Woman]
We get X from the Roman alphabet, which got it from the Greek alphabet pronounced ‘kss’. And the Romans certainly found it good for…

[Man]
Oh! That’s nearly a kiss, isn’t it?!

[Woman]
Yeah, it is, isn’t it?

Bolam
두 사람 모두 부가의문문을 사용했습니다. 절 뒤에 오는 의문문이죠.

Tom
So, after ‘it is’, we could say ‘isn’t it?’.

Bolam
정답이에요! 상대방의 반응을 이끌어내기 위해서 두 의문문 모두 강조가 되었습니다. 문장 끝 억양이 올라가죠.

Tom
That’s right! Repeat after me. We’ll begin with the stressed question. Ready?

isn’t it?

it is, isn’t it?

Yeah, it is, isn’t it?

Bolam
두 사람 모두 부가의문문을 사용해서 서로 이해한 바를 확인했습니다. 그리고 나서 어떤 관용구를 사용했어요. 다시 한번 들어볼까요?

Insert
[Man]
Oh! That’s nearly a kiss, isn’t it?!

[Woman]
Yeah, it is, isn’t it? I think a penny’s just dropped there.

Tom
They used the idiom ‘the penny’s dropped’.

Bolam
‘The penny has dropped’는 드디어 이해가 되었다라는 뜻입니다.

Tom
Hopefully, the penny’s dropped for you, too, now we know about X, and we know why it means kiss in English. I think this is a good time to finish, isn’t it?

L1
That’s right!
Listen Here 과 함께 해주셔서 감사합니다!

Tom
See you next week everybody! And I’m signing off with an X!

Language features

Listen to today’s clip in full here.

Source: Word of Mouth

Sound linking

Consonant to vowel linking is when the first word ends with a consonant sound and the second word begins with a vowel sound. 

‘SEVen EXes’ becomes ‘seveNEXes’. 

Tag questions

Tag questions come at the end of a clause. We use them to check our understanding of something, or ask for confirmation. The auxiliary verb in the tag questions matches that of the clause.
When the first clause is positive, the tag question is negative.

You’re an English teacher, aren’t you?

If the first clause is negative, the question is positive.

School isn’t open next week, is it?

If the first clause does not contain an auxiliary verb, we need to add one to the second clause.

You work in the bank, don’t you?

The penny has dropped

This is an idiomatic expression we use when we have finally learned or realised something. It implies a period of waiting has taken place. The expression is flexible – we can use it in different tenses.

I studied Spanish grammar for six months before the penny dropped! Now I can speak easily and fluently.

Thanks for explaining our homework! The penny has finally dropped and I won’t need any more help.

Why does X mean ‘kiss’ in English?

3 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
정답을 고르세요.

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Join us for our next episode of Listen Here when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
다음 주 Listen Here 에서도 유용한 표현도 배우고 리스닝 실력도 키워보아요!

Session Vocabulary

  • Xs
    [X의 복수형]

    alphabet
    알파벳

    know of
    알다(자세히는 잘 모를 때 사용)

    know about
    알다 (자세히/광범위하게 알 때 사용)

    the penny has dropped
    드디어 이해가 되었다