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Why Sox and not Socks?

Posted at 9:55 AM on October 28, 2005 by Ben Tesch (5 Comments)

Ever wonder why the White Sox and Red Sox are spelled that way? Wonder no longer! Around the turn of the century, there were movements towards spelling reform and shortening of words, and by the 1900s, "sox" had become a common way to shorten "socks", appearing that way in advertisements for hosiery. By 1921 the shortened way had stuck, and H.L. Mencken said it best: "The White Sox are known to all Americans; the White Socks would seem strange."


Comments (5)

I always wondered what the story was behind the "X" -- thanks for digging it up.....

Posted by daveZ | October 29, 2005 10:26 AM


Actually, Sox is a shortened form of stockings, not socks. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first pro team and wore distinctive red stockings as a marketing move. That name eventually was shorted down (and used by another team) to the Reds (except in the 1950s, of course), but imitators in Chicago and Boston (and headline writers) shortened things down to Sox.

Today Sox is also used by minor-league teams, like the Everett AquaSox, the Reno Silver Sox and the Colorado Spring Sky Sox.

Posted by Kevin Reichard | November 2, 2005 10:13 AM


The Boston Red Stockings were not the forerunners of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Stockings (and actually there were two in Boston, neither one of them the Red Sox) actually became the Boston Braves.

Posted by Bob Collins | November 2, 2005 1:13 PM


Never said the Red Sox were the ancestors of the Red Stockings. ;) My larger point was that the Stockings moniker -- and not Socks -- was shortened down to Sox.

Posted by Kevin Reichard | November 2, 2005 10:11 PM


Oops -- meant to say descendents.

Posted by Kevin Reichard | November 2, 2005 10:12 PM


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