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Definition: a diagonal cross, an “x”

Pronunciation: SAL-tayr


Dating back to the 1400’s, the middle French saultoir represented a stirrup; the French root of saltatorius and salire has to do leaping or the ability to leap, having much to do with a stirrup, but less so with the diagonal cross. The connection between stirrup to the diagonal cross is perhaps in the shapes that comprise it. But even to me the connection is very vague…

Why this word?

Because it is always intriguing to learn a word to something you never thought deserves a name of its own. Like the letter x, or the diagonal cross…

The saltire is very evident in various countries’ flags, such as the flag of Scotland and Jamaica, but also many coats of arms and various seals.

I mainly like it when describing the most simple “x”…

How to use the word saltire in a sentence?

A saltire is thus a noun representing anything having the shape of “x”.

“Oh look that this! She has a lovely saltire decorating her FAILED EXAM!!!!”

“Right answers should be marked by a check-mark while the wrong ones should be marked by a saltire”.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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