Spanish people tend to use "x" instead of "ch" in internet language, for example:

"mandixo" = me han dicho
"noxe" = noche
"muxo" = mucho

Why do they do that? Is it only because of save time/laziness reasons or does it have anything to do with imitating the oral language?

Thanks for your answers.

  • 1
    @DGaleano I get your point but for Spanish learners, it's probably for curiosity. I don't think the OP is willing to learn these forms. The OP is probably asking why some people use these forms as they were normal.
    – Schwale
    Mar 14, 2016 at 12:54
  • 6
    I think this question is actually a valuable contribution to the site. Slang is something study guides don't generally deal with, and yet a lot of learners may come across such constructions and wonder what they are. It's a positive thing that they have a place to ask what they mean or why they are used. I learnt tons of English slang on the social media and I hope we got more questions like this one. I upvoted this question and truly hope it won't get closed.
    – Yay
    Mar 14, 2016 at 15:25
  • 2
    @Yay +1 too, while unlikely in this particular case, sometimes such shortcuts make it to the official language (e.g. I was puzzled the first time I saw a "Ped Xing" sign in the US).
    – Gavatx
    Mar 14, 2016 at 17:18
  • 2
    First: Thanks for your answers! I am just writing an essay about the use of internetslang in spanish social media and therefore stumbled upon this phenomenon. I am aware of the fact that this has nothing to do with correct spanish. Actually this lack of orthography is the basis for my research work. Since there are a lot of examples of incorrect writing which have to do with the imitation of the oral language, I just wanted to know if this one belongs to this group as well. The topic is also tagged with coloquialisms and internetslang therefore I don´t see any problem :)
    – Hueblume
    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:41
  • 2
    I wasn't intending to upvote the question, but the mix of linguistic ignorance and classless classism on display in the comments here changed my mind. Mar 18, 2016 at 18:45

4 Answers 4


Although x was pronounced like English sh long ago and in fact some dialects now pronounce Spanish ch like English sh, I highly doubt such a link in pronunciation had anything to do with it. That said, for some languages that Spanish speakers are likely to know or be familiar with (like Catalan, Galician, Asturian, Portuguese, and perhaps some American languages), x has a sh pronunciation, and they may have picked it up via those languages — when ñ isn't available, most people switch to ny or nh, for instance.

In reality, x (along with k and w) is not a super common letter in Spanish. And in texting, you're limited to the number of letters that you can use, so it behooves you to reduce the total number of letters where you can. Using x for ch (or w for gu/gü or k for que) is an easy way to do that for arbitrary words without significantly affecting readability.

It's surely laziness for some people but frankly I find it harder to type with such abbreviations, and only use them when something is very informal and I need to save space. That was often true when they charged 0.15 € per text message, but nowadays is rarely useful.


The X vs CH pronunciation comes from Catalan/Valencian vs Spanish communities. In Catalonia/Valencia, for example, the infinitive form of the verb born is néixer/naixer. You can find many other examples in both communities.

My suspicion is you met a Spanish person from Catalonia or Valencia. Across Latin America you will not find the use of the X in that manner.


x is pronounced "ch" (/tʃ/) in Valencian and Western Catalan (and pronounced the similar /ʃ/ in Eastern Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, and Basque).

Everybody in Spain knows this and it has become a common shortcut even in exclusively Spanish speaking regions, like k instead of qu.

The multiplication sign X is used for "por" in areas beyond the mobile jargon. For example a promo commercial: "3 x 2" = tres por dos = the 3rd item for free, or "4x4" = cuatro por cuatro = a 4WD car.

That said, it does not serve the beauty of the literary Spanish language too much!

(The good side of technology being that ebooks give us the opportunity to reread and discover more of Cervantes or Calderón de la Barca etc.)


Because is faster to write and sounds similar as in English because (bcos), today (2day) ... but x can sometimes mean por as in xq (porque).

For More information about abbreviations we use quite often: "xq" in Internet slang/abbreviations

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.