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That is a great question. I was wondering about it myself despite the fact I wasn't aware of these abbreviations in the medicine world. I come from the Aviation world where we use terms like Wx, Px, Tx, Rx, etc..
(Wx stands for Weather, Px stands for Passengers, Tx stands for Transmitting/Transmission communications as in radio, Rx stands for - you guessed it right - Receiving as in radio communications).
Someone mentioned that he recommends to use these abbreviations with caution because different people can interpret them differently, and my example proves his point.
My personal theory is that the letter "x" stands for a variable, just as it is in Mathematics, and at one point in time someone who was a bit lazy and creative and had to scribe same long words over and over again, decided to borrow the "x" representation for variable from Math, and started making up his own abbreviations for repeatable common long words, where he scribed the first letter of the word, and "x" represented the rest of the word, and it just became a common use since it made sense to many people.
Which makes it a written slang actually....
To understand the origin of "x" in medical abbreviations, go first to "Rx" which stands for "take this" as in a prescription. The Latin for "take this" is recipite, and when written in long hand and then shortened the last "e" looks like an "x" and thus = Rx. From that step, "x" then is attached to any medical command or understanding, from "dx' a diagnosis to "tx" a treament. To sum up-the "x" has nothing to do with anything we give to the letter "x" in any language. It simply looks like the original Roman letter "e" from 'Recipite" the medical command for take or do in order to get better.
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