Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.


On Exes – Or at Least X’s

I know it’s a rando question, but: Why do so many abbreviations have X’s?

And these are just the ones I know, not even all the ones that are out there ….

Bx: biopsy
Dx: diagnosis
Fx: special effects
Px: physical exam
Rx: prescription
Sx: symptoms
Tx: treatment
Wx: weather


Lawrence Sherman

Fx is also fracture
Ex is what most first spouses of physicians become

Glen Turpin

XML: Extensible Markup Language
UX: User Experience
MX: Music cue in a theatrical production


In my work, we use Tx for transplant (as in the organ kind)


My theory is that other than the ones that are obvious (like homonyms effects and FX or something with an “x” word like Physical Exam), it started out as a substitute for writing a period – you could write an “x” without lifting your pen from the paper, which was quicker.


Bx: Base Exchange
NEX: Navy Exchange
Vx: Airspeed for best angle of climb
Gx: Gravitational force exuded on the longitudinal axis
GOX: Gaseous Oxygen, I think
LOX: Liquid Oxygen
MUX/I-MUX: Multiplexor / Inverse Multiplexor
Mx: Maintenance
Rx: Receive
Tx: Transmit

Yeah, I’m a geek.



In the psychology world,
Bx = behavior
Fx = function
Hx = history
Tx = therapy (or treatment, as you’ve noted)

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