• 3-minute read
  • 6th July 2020

7 Kiss-Based Phrases to Celebrate International Kissing Day

International Kissing Day (also known as World Kiss Day) falls on July 6 each year. And to celebrate this day of worldwide smooching, we’re looking at some kiss-based phrases you might use in your writing.

1. X = Kiss

Let’s start with something you might know: using an “x” to mean a kiss.

This originated in the Middle Ages in Europe, when most people couldn’t read or write. Marking something with a cross was a way of signing it. The “x” represented the cross or Christ (like how Christmas is shortened to Xmas). Writing an “x” was a way of swearing that something was true.

2. Sealed with a Kiss or Sealed with a Loving Kiss

People use “sealed with a kiss” and “sealed with a loving kiss” to sign off letters to loved ones. These phrases are often abbreviated to SWAK or SWALK, which were commonly used by soldiers during the First and Second World Wars, who would write it on the back of the envelope.

Sealed with a kiss...
Sealed with a kiss…
(Photo: Auric)

3. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)

“Keep it simple, stupid” is a design principle based on the idea that simplicity makes most things easier to understand (and therefore makes them work better). The KISS principle is now applied in many fields and industries, but the phrase was first used in engineering in the 1960s.

4. Kiss and Tell

To “kiss and tell” is to reveal the intimate details of a relationship. Originally, people used this to say they wouldn’t share such secrets:

I would never kiss and tell.

Nowadays, though, it tends to refer to sharing those details, usually as a way to gain money or notoriety. For example, a “kiss-and-tell interview” might reveal the juicy details of a secret affair with a celebrity:

An exclusive kiss-and-tell interview with the former nanny.

5. Kiss of Death

To give something the “kiss of death” is to doom it to failure:

His input was the kiss of death for the project.

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This phrase originates from the Bible. The story is that Judas kissed Jesus to identify him, which led to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.

Not the most romantic kiss.
Not the most romantic kiss.

6. Kiss Something Goodbye

This phrase can, quite simply, mean a farewell kiss as you are leaving:

I gave my partner a kiss goodbye as I left for work.

However, people also use it to indicate that something is a lost cause:

If it rains, you can kiss goodbye to your picnic.

One of these is definitely preferable to the other!

7. Glasgow Kiss

And finally, here’s a kiss you definitely wouldn’t want to receive: the “Glasgow kiss.” This phrase is British slang and refers to a headbutt to the face (usually resulting in a broken nose).

The origin of this phrase? It supposedly refers to the violent nature of Glaswegians. But we think this is a little unfair – most people we know who’ve gone to Glasgow have managed to avoid being headbutted!

Are there any kiss-based phrases we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments. And if you need any help to check your use of idioms, why not submit your work for proofreading by one of our experts?

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