We’re pretty big fans of xylitol here at Peppersmith HQ. It’s what makes our mints and gum so great for teeth. But we’re also the first to admit it’s got a bit of a weird name and unfortunately sounds like something you’d find in the small print of hair dye ingredients rather than the naturally derived sugar alternative it is (it actually comes from the word “xylon”, which is Greek for wood – you can find out more about the origins of xylitol here).
This got us thinking, what other weird and wonderful things start with the letter x? Here are some of our favourites:
Xylotherapy is the treatment of disease by applying wood to the surface of a body. This used to involve laying chopped up circles of wood on people’s bodies to cure various ailments. It still exists today, but you don’t need a handy lumberjack if you’re under the weather, oils made from pine or eucalyptus can be used instead.
Xography is better known as 3D photography. Brian May, yes that Brian May, is quite an authority on a branch of xography called stereoscopy. He’s even written a book about it. This might not sound quite as much fun as being in Queen, but don’t stop him now, he’s having a good time.
Xenomania is a hit factory that you’ve probably never heard of. They wrote all of Girls Aloud’s chart toppers and have had more top ten hits than Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera put together.
Xenotransplantation is any medical procedure that involves using cells, tissues or organs from animals. Last year scientists at Harvard University made a pretty major scientific breakthrough that could see entire organs from pigs being transplanted into humans in the future.
Xena the Warrior Princess. In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. And no list of excellent x’s would be complete without her.
Hopefully all this discussion of words beginning with x hasn’t induced xenolexia (grave confusion when faced with unusual words) and you can see why xylitol is a lot less scary than its name suggests (you can read more about it here). If you think we’ve missed any good ones, feel free to add them as comments below.