One of the most highly regarded groups to emerge from the Los Angeles punk rock scene, X brought a commitment and maturity of vision to a genre best known for its expressions of rage. Fronted by vocalist Exene Cervenka and bassist-vocalist John Doe, both of whom wrote the band’s material, X stunned critics and fans alike with their debut album, Los Angeles, in 1980. After struggling to carry their music beyond a cult audience for the better part of a decade, the group finally disbanded, pursued solo projects, and then—after the multi-platinum success of such “alternative” rock bands as Nirvana—reunited for a new album and tour in the early 1990s.
John Doe was born in Illinois to a family that moved frequently; they finally settled in Baltimore, where Doe spent his teenage years in local rock bands. Tiring of the city’s limited music scene, he moved to Los Angeles in 1976. The following year he was united with guitarist Billy Zoom through an ad in the venerable free-ad newspaper The Recycler. Zoom’s roots were in rockabilly, and he played tasty, economical leads that
Members include Dave Alvin (bandmember 1985-87), guitar; Mick Basher (bandmember 1977), drums; D. J. Bonebrake (born December 8, 1955, in Burbank, CA; married; joined group 1978), drums; Exene Cerwnka (born Christine Cervenka, February 1, 1956, in Chicago), vocals; John Doe (born February 25, 1954, in Decatur, IL; son of librarians), bass, vocals; Tony Gilkyson (joined group 1986), guitar; Billy Zoom (born February 20, c. 1949, in Illinois; bandmember 1977-85), guitar. Cervenka and Doe were married. Both have remarried and had children.
Group formed in Los Angeles, 1977; released debut single, “Adult Books“/“We’re Desperate,” Dangerhouse Records, 1978; signed with Slash Records and released debut album, Los Angeles, 1980; signed with Elektra Records and released Under the Big Black Sun, 1982; signed with Big Life/Mercury Records and released Hey Zeus!, 1993. Appeared in films The Decline of Western Civilization, 1980, Urgh! A Music War, 1981, and The Unheard Music, 1985.
Cervenka is the author (with Lydia Lunch) of poetry collection Adulterers Anonymous, Grove Press, 1982; Doe and Cervenka released sob records, contributed to film soundtracks, and pursued film roles, among other projects, 1989-92; Bonebrake worked as session player and sideman, late 1980s-1992; Gilkyson played on Cervenka and Alvin solo albums.
Awards: Wild Gift named album of the year by Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Time, among others, 1981; named band of the year in L.A. Weekly readers’ poll, 1987.
Addresses: Record company —Mercury Records, 825 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10019; 11150 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025.
fit the emerging punk aesthetic of the period. “John and I had two totally different approaches,” Zoom explained to Rolling Stone’s David Chute. “We influenced each other and turned it into one thing. But we really didn’t have a sound until John met Exene in Venice [California].”
That meeting took place at a poetry workshop. Immediately impressed by the Chicago-born Cervenka’s writing, Doe asked her out; the two began a romance that
would last the better part of a decade and ultimately lead to marriage but would not outlast their artistic collaboration. Cervenka—who used “Exene” as an “Xmas“-type abbreviation of her given name, Christine—reworked one of her poems as a song lyric and auditioned for Doe and Zoom’s new band. “At the beginning, I wanted to do gospel vocals, all up and down with every word somehow bent,” she noted to Chute. “But it seemed that a sort of flat delivery, more like country singing, worked better.” While some listeners would consider “sort of flat” an understatement of Cervenka’s unusual, sometimes grating vocals—especially when compared to Doe’s supple and rich countrified tones—the two’s unique harmonies helped to define the group’s sound. Newsweek later called Cervenka’s approach “a keening kind of punk plain-song”; Doe told the magazine he considered it “good and natural.”
Drummer Mick Basher initially rounded out the foursome, but Doe and Cervenka were so impressed with D. J. Bonebrake’s work with the punk group the Eyes—whose performance they caught at the legendary underground club The Masque—that they persuaded him to leave his group and replace Basher. Bonebrake, the group’s only native Angeleno, debuted with X in February of 1978.
Over the next two years, X built a powerful reputation on the local rock scene through relentless gigging. Soon they were, in the words of Rolling Stone reporter Chris Morris, “the city’s most respected and written-about punk band.” Their 1978 single “Adult BooksTWe’re Desperate” helped fuel their underground success. The group’s sound was nonetheless too radical for the major record labels, which gravitated toward safer-sounding “New Wave” bands. X cast their lot with the fledgling company Slash, a tiny operation run by friends. They achieved a major coup, however, by enticing Ray Manzarek, keyboardist of the legendary L.A. band the Doors, to produce their debut album. Recorded for a mere $10,000 and titled Los Angeles, it would make X a musical act of national importance.
Rolling Stone’s Ken Tucker called Los Angeles “a powerful, unsettling work,” claiming, “X have already perfected a style that achieves jolting effects through enormously compressed, elliptical imagery held together by succinct, brutally played guitar and drum riffs.” Featuring such blistering original tunes as “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” “Sex and Dying and High Society,” and the shattering title song, along with a souped-up cover version of the Doors classic “Soul Kitchen,” Los Angeles became one of the most critically celebrated records of the year. The group’s sound during that period was captured live in Penelope Spheeris’s film The Decline of Western Civilization.
In 1981 X aced the sophomore jinx by releasing the compelling Wild Gift, which further refined the formula of their debut. The blazing “We’re Desperate” became something of a punk anthem, declaring, “We’re desperate/Get used to it.” The group also explored more diverse musical territory, even offering a touch of retro-balladry on the anguished “Adult Books.” Wild Gift made the Top Ten lists of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and Time magazine, among others. X’s increased popularity enabled them to leave Slash and sign with a major label, Elektra; the move angered friends at Slash and led some of the band’s industry-distrusting hardcore fans to accuse them of selling out. Undaunted, the group released Under the Big Black Sun in 1982; Parke Puterbaugh declared in his Rolling Stone review, “America needs to hear this album.” He added that the group “evince a surefootedness, a throttling punch, that’s deliriously subversive.” In addition to rockers like “The Hungry Wolf,” the album contained two songs commemorating the death of Cervenka’s sister: “Riding With Mary” and “Come Back to Me.”
X released its second Elektra album, More Fun in the New World, the next year; full of political fury aimed in large part at the values of President Ronald Reagan’s administration, it also represented a further development of X’s sound. Cervenka’s lyrics for “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” targeted radio cowardice, an issue first explored on “The Unheard Music,” from Los Angeles. This time out she decried the predominance of modish British pop—“glitter disco synthesizer night school”—and asked, “Will the last American band to get played on the radio/Please bring the flag?” More Fun sold fairly well, though X’s predictions about adventurous domestic music’s fate on radio would hold true for the rest of the decade. Indeed, Creem writer Richard Riegel proclaimed somewhat prophetically in 1984, “We can’t have a whole generation grow up who don’t realize until 1991 or so that they wish they’d gotten into X way back when.”
In 1984 the group released the single “Wild Thing,” a manic cover version of the rock classic by the Troggs. Doe and Cervenka recorded a punk/folk/country album for Slash as the Knitters; it was released in 1985, as were The Unheard Music, a documentary film about X that was some five years in the making, and the X album Ain’t Love Grand. The latter contained the single “Burning House of Love.”
Billy Zoom left X after the release of Ain’t Love Grand, and by the end of 1985 Doe and Cervenka had divorced. They decided to keep working together, however, and in 1986 were joined by guitarists Dave Alvin, known for his work with the Blasters, and ex-Lone Justice member Tony Gilkyson. In addition to their work with the Knitters and other L.A. groups, Doe and Cervenka pursued a variety of projects; Doe began fairly steady work as a film actor, while Cervenka, who had co-written a 1982 book of poetry with Lydia Lunch, became increasingly involved in political activism and toured as a spoken-word performer. She also did some film and television acting. Bonebrake became a popular sideman for local performers.
X released the album See How We Are in 1987; it fared poorly both with critics and consumers, despite the inclusion of Dave Alvin’s lyrical rocker “4th of July,” which seemed destined for radio success. Alvin left the group soon after the album’s release. X was named band of the year by readers of L.A. Weekly, but its members felt little momentum. They put out a double live album in 1988 and then lapsed into retirement.
Cervenka unveiled two solo albums, one in 1989 and another in 1990. Doe released a solo venture as well in 1990 and continued to act in films, including Roadside Prophets and Pure Country. X seemed a thing of the past. Then, in 1991, the commercial equivalent of a tornado hit the music industry. Its name was Nirvana, a punk-derived “grunge” trio from Washington that achieved mega-platinum success with Nevermind, an album of well-crafted but sonically abrasive songs. Suddenly, major labels, Top 40 radio stations, and MTV were very interested in “alternative” rock and the success of other bands who had felt the influence of groups like X, including Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Faith No More. This musical climate convinced Doe, Cervenka, and company to reunite. “Radio has changed,” Cervenka reflected in 1993 to Gary Davis of the Los Angeles Reader.
X signed with Big House, a British-based subsidiary of Mercury Records. Joining first with an English producer, the group ended up recording with Tony Berg, a music-industry veteran who would soon be an Artists & Repertoire executive for the Geffen record company. Working at Berg’s house, X recorded tracks that would become their 1993 release, Hey Zeus! While in their earlier days Doe and Cervenka had largely collaborated on songs, this time they wrote independently for the most part, offering a kind of song-by-song counterpoint. Doe penned the album’s first two singles, “Country at War” and “New Life.” As he told the L.A. Village View, “What’s different with X these days is that we have an incredible musical history, musical vocabulary, with each other.” He added, “The band’s friendship stayed intact, so it was a fairly smooth transition coming back together.” Both he and Cervenka had had children with other spouses, though any mellowing was not apparent on Hey Zeus!
Rolling Stone, in a generally positive review, noted that the group “seems to have come to terms with their postpunk identity.” Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times, who insisted that “X still has much to tell us,” reported, “X’s music remains honest, liberating and welcome,” though he did feel the record had its shortcomings. Spin, meanwhile, panned Hey Zeus! as little more than a “commodity,” qualifying this critique only by concluding, “When asked ’How’s the new X album?,’ the correct response is, ’Not as bad as it could’ve been.’” The band, however, seemed prepared to accept relatively poorer reviews and higher visibility, a marked contrast to its earliest reception. After a tour of southern California “area codes,” X planned a series of national shows. When Davis of the Los Angeles Reader asked John Doe how it felt to be a “survivor of punk,” the bassist replied with characteristic wit, “It’s fabulous! It’s just like being a non-survivor, except that you’re still alive.”
“Adult Books”/“We’re Desperate,” Dangerhouse, 1978.
Los Angeles (includes “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” “Sex and Dying and High Society,” “Los Angeles,” “Soul Kitchen,” and “The Unheard Music”), Slash, 1980.
(Contributors) “Beyond and Back,” “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” and “We’re Desperate,” Decline of Western Civilization (soundtrack), Slash, 1980.
Wild Gift (includes “We’re Desperate” and “Adult Books”), Slash, 1981.
(Contributors) UrghlAMusic War (soundtrack), 1981.
Under the Big Black Sun (includes “The Hungry Wolf,” “Riding With Mary,” and “Come Back to Me”), 1982.
More Fun in the New World (includes “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts”), 1983.
“Wild Thing,” 1984.
Ain’t Love Grand (includes “Burning House of Love”), 1985.
See How We Are (includes “Fourth of July”), 1987.
X Live at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Fabulous Sunset Strip, 1988.
On Big Life/Mercury
Hey Zeus! (includes “Country at War” and “New Life”), 1993.
Poor Little Critter on the Road, Slash, 1985.
Solo recordings by Exene Cervenka
Old Wives’ Tales, Rhino, 1989.
Running Sacred, RNA, 1990.
(Contributor) “Clean Like Tomorrow,” Roadside Prophets (soundtrack), Fine Line/Vanguard, 1992.
(Contributor) Tahachapi (soundtrack), Hemdale, 1993.
Solo recordings by John Doe
Meet John Doe, Geffen, 1990.
(Contributor) “Beer, Gas, Ride Forever,” Roadside Prophets (soundtrack), 1992.
(Contributor) “I Will Always Love You,” The Bodyguard (soundtrack), Warner Bros., 1992.
Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, St. Martin’s, 1989.
BAM, September 10, 1993.
Billboard, June 5, 1993.
Creem, February 1984.
Factor X, July 1993.
LA. Village View, September 10, 1993.
Los Angeles Reader, September 3, 1993.
Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1993.
Mademoiselle, January 1983.
Melody Maker, March 17, 1984.
Newsweek, April 19, 1982.
Ray Gun, August 1993.
Rolling Stone, July 10, 1980; August 7, 1980; October 15, 1981; August 19, 1982; September 30, 1982; June 24, 1993; September 2, 1993.
Spin, July 1993.
Venice, July 1993.
Additional information for this profile was provided by Mercury Records publicity materials, 1993.
Sound valuePhonetically, x as used in English is redundant, its standard value /ks/ being equally represented by cc in vaccine, ks in treks, cs in tocsin, and cks in socks, allowing such homophones as lax/lacks and cox/cocks. However, x is not always pronounced as ks, different environments inducing the alternatives /gz/ in example and /z/ in xenophobia.
Initial X and EX-(1) No vernacular English word begins with the sound /ks/, and the pronunciation is /z/ for initial x is such GREEK-derived bases as xantho- yellow, xeno- foreign, xero- dry, xylo- wood, and such names as Xanthippe and Xerxes. (2) Older SPANISH x as in Mexico, Texas is kept, with English pronunciation as ks, although in Spain these are today written Méjico, Tejas, and pronounced with a velar fricative /x/, as in ScoE loch. (3) When initial x stands for the letter x (Xmas, X-ray), it is pronounced ‘eks’. (4) X in the LATIN prefix ex- may be pronounced voiceless as /ks/ (typically when stressed, as in export, extra) or voiced as /gz/ (typically before a stressed vowel, as in exact, exist). In practice, however, voicing is often inconsistent, both realizations being heard in exit. The c in initial exc- (excel, excite) is assimilated into the voiceless value of x, while following h is usually assimilated into the voiced realization (exhaust, exhibit, but voicelessly in exhibition). A following root beginning with s loses the s (ex + sert becomes exert) and the x is voiced.
Medial X(1) In medial position, x is typically voiceless (maxim, vexatious, elixir, toxin, approximate, buxom, axle, sexton), but when an i-glide follows (whether represented by i with a following vowel, or by u with the value in music), the glide may be assimilated and x sounded as ksh (noxious, luxury, sexual), a palatalizing effect paralleled in other spelling patterns such as fractious, actual. (2) Voicing of this sound may occur medially before a stressed syllable, ‘gzh’ rather than ‘ksh’ being often heard in luxurious. (3) Anxious parallels noxious (though with the preceding n velarized as ‘ng’), but in the noun anxiety the i is not assimilated, the n remains velarized, and x is voiced but loses its /k/, being pronounced /z/. (4) English usually retains x as derived from Latin, as in exit from exitus and crucifixion from crucifixio/crucifixionis, but, since the 17c, connexion, inflexion (the etymologically appropriate spellings) have increasingly been written connection and inflection, probably by analogy with direction. Complexion and fluxion do not have alternative forms.
Final and silent X(1) Final x is common and except in recent loans has the value /ks/, usually after a short vowel (BrE axe, AmE ax, flax, relax, climax, wax, index, flex, complex, sex, vex, fix, mix, six, executrix, phalanx, jinx, ox, box, fox, pox, flux, crux), but in coax, hoax after a long vowel. Final /ks/ is normally spelt x in English, except when the /s/ is an inflection: contrast tax/tacks. (2) In French loans, final x is typically silent (choux, prix, Montreux) or pronounced /z/ if a plural inflection (tableaux). Sioux is modelled on French with silent x, although Amerindian in origin. (3) Latin morphology sometimes affects final x. When the plural of appendix, index, matrix, vortex follows Latin, x becomes c in appendices, indices, matrices, vortices. However, regular English pluralizing with -es (appendixes, indexes, matrixes) is common, though sometimes implying a distinct sense of the word concerned: for example, appendices in books, appendixes in the body. (4) Similarly, the Latin feminine suffix -trix is occasionally used as a counterpart to masculine -tor rather than the commoner French-derived -tress, as in dominatrix, executrix, victrix, as against actress, benefactress.
Miscellaneous(1) X sometimes alternates with sk by metathesis: Manx for earlier Mansk; piskey as a variant of pixie; ax as a dialect form of ask. (2) Buxom was formerly bucksome and pox derives from the plural of pock. Comparably, a recent tendency in commercial spelling reduces the morphologically distinct cs, cks to x: fax for facts and facsimile, pix for pictures, sox for socks, trux for trucks. (3) Disyllables ending in x include technical terms from Latin (helix, vortex) and, apparently as a consequence, many commercial and trade names (Kleenex, Tampax, Xerox). See C, K.
X , one of the most challenging groups to emerge from the Los Angeles punk scene of the late 1970s. Membership:John Doe (John Nommensen), bs., voc. (b. Decatur, III, Feb. 25, 1954); Exene Cervenka (Christine Cer-venka), voc. (b. Chicago, Feb. 1,1956); Billy Zoom, lead gtr. (b. Feb. 20, ca. 1949); D(on) J. Bonebrake, drm. (b. Burbank, Calif., Dec. 8, 1955). Billy Zoom departed in 1985, to be replaced by guitarists Dave Alvin (b. Los Angeles, Nov. 11, 1955) and Tony Gilkyson (b. Los Angeles, Aug. 6,1952). Alvin left in 1987, and the band ended in 1988; Doe, Cervenka, Gilkyson, and Bonebrake reunited in 1993.
X garnered critical adulation for their stunning debut album Los Angeles, on Slash Records. Featuring the ragged, oblique harmonies and demanding, pessimistic songwriting of John Doe and Exene Cervenka, X’s first four albums were produced by former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. Retaining artistic control over their recordings with their switch to the major label Elektra in 1982, X achieved their biggest-seller with 1983’s More Fun in the New World. However, X never achieved the commercial success envisioned by critics. Recording and performing in an acoustic folk and country style in the mid-1980s with the Knitters, augmented by Dave Alvin, X endured until 1988, and reunited in 1993.
John Doe grew up in Baltimore and manned local rock bands until moving to Los Angeles in 1976. In 1977 he met guitarist Billy Zoom, ostensibly a veteran of the bands of Gene Vincent and Ray Campi, and met Exene Cervenka at a poetry workshop in Venice, Calif. They played at Hollywood’s seminal punk club the Masque, and added drummer D. J. Bonebrake, who debuted with X in February 1978. They began winning a rabid following by regularly playing at underground Los Angeles clubs, and released their debut single, “Adult Books “Slash,” We’re Desperate,” on the Dangerous label in April 1978.
Spotted by former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek in 1979, X eventually signed with the independent label Slash. With Manzarek producing, their debut album, Los Angeles, depicted the seamy underside of the city and its punk subculture in such songs as “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” “Sex and Dying in High Society,” and the classic title song. The album drew praise from critics on both coasts. Doe and Cervenka married, and X appeared in the classic punk documentary film The Decline of Western Civilization, and later Urghl A Music War. Their second album, Wild Gift, was also critically lauded and included “In This House That I Call a Home,” “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch,” and “It’s Who You Know.”
Switching to the major label Elektra, retaining producer Ray Manzarek and winning artistic control over their recordings, X scored their first significant success with 1983’s Under the Big Black Sun. The album contained favorites such as “Motel Room in My Bed,” “Riding with Mary,” and the haunting “Come Back to Me,” but it failed to produce a hit single. More Fun in the New World, their final album with producer Manzarek, became their best-selling album, featuring the explosive “Devil Doll,” the countrified “New World,” and the funky “True Love.” In 1985 X employed heavy-metal producer Michael Wagener for the equivocal Ain’t Love Grand, which includes “Burning House of Love,” “Around My Heart,” and “Little Honey,” cowritten by Doe and the Blasters’ Dave Alvin. At the end of 1985 John Doe and Exene Cervenka divorced, and Doe left the band.
Beginning in 1984, various members of X and the Blasters assembled to play local benefit concerts. The loosely assembled aggregation became known as the Knitters and played acoustic-based folk and country-style music. In 1986 the Knitters, with John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Dave Alvin, D. J. Bonebrake, and stand-up bassist Johnny Ray Bartel, toured and recorded Poor Little Critter on the Road. The album includes Alvin’s “4th of July,” “Cryin’ But My Tears Are Far Away,” and a remake of X’s “The New World.”
After Zoom left X, guitarists Dave Alvin and Tony Gilkyson from the band Lone Justice took his place. Alvin stayed on for one album, See How We Are, which included his “4th of July” as well as “In the Time It Takes” and and the ballad “When It Rains,” before leaving for a solo career. X maintained through 1988 with Doe, Cervenka, Gilkyson, and Bonebrake.
Following X’s breakup, Exene Cervenka retreated to Idaho, taught herself guitar, and recorded two solo albums produced by Tony Gilkyson, while Doe recorded a single solo album and appeared in the movies Roadside Prophets and Pure Country. In 1993 John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Tony Gilkyson, and D. J. Bonebrake reunited as X for Hey Zeus on Mercury Records; they issued the live acoustic set Unclogged on their own independent label, Infidelity, two years later.
X: Los Angeles (1980); Wild Gift (1981); Los Angeles/Wild Gift (1988); Under the Big Black Sun (1982); More Fun in the New World (1983); Ain’t Love Grand (1985); See How We Are (1987); Live at the Whisky a-Go-Go on the Fabulous Sunset Strip (1988); Hey Zeus (1993); Unclogged (1995).THE KNITTERS : Poor Little Critter on the Road (1986).EXENE CERVENKA: Old Wives’ Tales (1989); Running Sacred (1990). JOHN DOE: Meet John Doe (1990).
X1 / eks/ (also x) • n. (pl. Xs or X's ) 1. the twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet. ∎ denoting the next after W in a set of items, categories, etc. ∎ denoting an unknown or unspecified person or thing: there is nothing in the data to tell us whether X causes Y. ∎ (x) (used in describing play in bridge) denoting an unspecified card other than an honor. ∎ (usu. x) the first unknown quantity in an algebraic expression, usually the independent variable. ∎ (usu. x) denoting the principal or horizontal axis in a system of coordinates: [in comb.] the x-axis. 2. a cross-shaped written symbol, in particular: ∎ used to indicate a position on a map or diagram. ∎ used to indicate a mistake or incorrect answer. ∎ used in a letter or message to symbolize a kiss. ∎ used to indicate one's vote on a paper ballot. ∎ used in place of the signature of a person who cannot write. 3. a shape like that of a letter X: two wires in the form of an X | [in comb.] an X-shaped cross. 4. the Roman numeral for ten. • v. (X’s, X’d, X’ing) [tr.] mark or make a sign with an X. ∎ overwrite or obliterate with an X or series of X’s. ∎ make void or annul; invalidate: we’re all X-ing things out of our curricula. X2 • symb. 1. a rating assigned to movies classified as suitable for adults only. Replaced in 1990 by NC-17. 2. (in systematic names of organisms) hybrid.
X3 PAD control;
X25 data signaling between the equipment associated with the PTT and the user;
X28 communication between a PAD and an ASCII device;
X29 communication between two PADs;
X75 communication between networks using X25;
X121 standards for addressing in an X25 network;
X400 message handling services: all standards in the range X400 to X499 relate to various aspects of message handling;
X500 directory services: all standards in the range X500 to X599 relate to various aspects of directory services.
X is traditionally used to signify an unknown person or thing, or to note the location of a particular place, as in X marks the spot.
X chromosome in humans and other mammals, a sex chromosome, two of which are normally present in female cells (designated XX) and only one in male cells (designated XY).X files a cult American television series (1993– , created by Chris Carter) in which two special agents, Fox Mulder and the more sceptical Dana Scully, repeatedly investigate cases which appear to involve the paranormal; final proof of extra-terrestrial activity, however, is always lacking, although it is indicated that this may be deliberately suppressed by government agency. The slogan of the series, ‘The truth is out there’, has become a catchphrase.
• (ital.) Maths., symbol for a Cartesian coordinate (usually horizontal, as in x-axis)
• Bridge, symbol for any card other than an honour
• symbol for cross (as in x-cut, x'd out)
• Commerce, Finance, etc. ex
• Meteorol., symbol for hoar-frost
• (ital.) Chem., symbol for mole fraction
• (ital.) Maths., symbol for an algebraic variable