What do you do with an ‘x’ – Xolo anyone?

Okay I’ve chosen the letter x or ‘ks’, to my students, NOT k, it’s not ‘sick’ it’s siks’;

So thought I would check for animals starting with ‘x’;

Did you know there’s such a thing as a ‘xolo’, hmmm,

probably not, poor thing he’s a Mexican dog, but hairless

and quite unlovely to behold; what about a xenopus?

He’s a ghostly pale frog who looks not too well at all,

But it appears he has claws!

You’ve surely heard of a xerus?

If you’re American you’ll think his face resembles a groundhog,

But he sports a tail and he’s an African ground squirrel.

(Question, a squirrel who doesn’t climb trees?).

There is an x-ray tetra covered in scales,

It is apparently almost transparent with some vivid colour bands;

Sought after for aquariums but originally from the Amazon;

The two feathered ‘x’s I came across are small and striking;

There’s an eye catching brown and white xenops from Central and South America;

Small with a flat beak curved at the tip;

And the bold little xantu’s hummingbird from California,

dappled iridescent green with a red beak and shimmery orange tail

And undoubtedly, a long nectar-sipping tongue!

X is not a difficult letter to form, but its pronunciation can be a little trickier, depending on your own native language. My students speak Khasi at home and there is no ‘ks’ sound in their language, so they need quite a bit of reminding, as ‘x’ is most commonly found at the end of simple words like ‘fox’, ‘box’ and ‘fix’. Two straight diagonal lines are easy to form and remember when writing and of course it’s always around in times tables and in kisses at the end of messages and texts.

It is apparently, the third least used letter in English after ‘q’ and ‘z’ and we all know it’s not a popular letter to pick up in Scrabble. You are not one of my favourite letters, ‘x’ but I still salute you for all the work you do!

7 thoughts on “What do you do with an ‘x’ – Xolo anyone?

  1. I can’t see an “X” without thinking of Sandra Cisneros’ story, “My Name, ” and the ever-with-me line: “Yes. Something like ZeZe the X will do.”
    With the cool designed Xs, bold and colorful, I realize how much they remind me of cheerleaders doing their thing. Can’t you just see pompoms waving atop outstretched arms? I love this post!


    1. You also reminded me of my attempt to get some semblance of Khosa pronunciation when I was in So. Africa.


  2. What a great little poem! It reminds me, for whatever reason, of the work of Ogden Nash. Maybe it’s because you take such great care to play with the language so cleverly. Thanks for this slice!


  3. This made me think of the book “P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever.” I will never look at X the same way again! Thanks for sharing your ode to the letter X!


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