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The Silent T in Christmas

The Silent T in Christmas we say Christmas with a silent T, saying Chris Mas and not Christ Mas.


The Silent T in Christmas

The Silent T in Christmas

Christmas [kris-muh s]

Christ [krahyst]

Chris [kris]

-mas [muh s]

I saw someone mention this in an answer on StackExchange on the etymology on the Silent T in Christen.

As for the silent “t” in Christmas, McCawley explained that the “t” was once pronounced in words such as “Christmas,” “glisten,” “listen,” “mistletoe” and “soften.” (The pronunciation of the “t” in “often” by some speakers today is a remnant of this practice.)

But during the 1600s, the “t” sound was dropped whenever it was preceded by a spirant (a fricative consonant such as “s” or “f”) and followed by a sonorant (a voiced consonant such as “l,” “r,” “m” or “n”).1

So maybe we should start emphasizing Christ in Christmas. So saying it like this Merry Christ Mas [krahyst-muh s]. I know that Jerry that also works with the youth at my church says it as Christ Mas. I plan to try to start saying Christ Mas [krahyst-muh s]. After all Christmas is all about Jesus Christ!

It is funny how we don’t pronounce Christ, in Christmas. Maybe we should start doing that, after all the first seven letters are important … CHRIST. That is what CHRISTmas is about after all. The celebration of the birth of Christ.

1. StackExchange

First published December 21, 2016. Last republished or updated December 18, 2017.

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About

My name is Steve Patterson and I am saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. I have been blogging at Courageous Christian Father since 2012, however, I have been blogging since around 2004. At church I help with the youth, van ministry, ushering or wherever else needed. Currently, I am working on my bachelors of theology. I am a father of an adult child. I work as a graphic designer. I also love listening to nothing but Christian Music. I am an Eagle Scout class of 1994. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle.

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