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People have worked out what the H stands for in Jesus H. Christ
Featured Image Credit: Pascal Deloche/Nico De Pasquale Photography via Getty

People have worked out what the H stands for in Jesus H. Christ

There's a specific reason for the initial, and it's not what you think

People have had their minds blown after finding out the real meaning of the H in 'Jesus H Christ'.

These days, it might be a handy exclamation for when a simple 'Jesus Christ' just doesn't quite cover it - but there is a strange reason for the H.

And despite much speculation, it doesn't stand for a middle name.

So put away your ideas of Jesus Hannibal Christ, Jesus Hector Christ, or Jesus Hendrix Christ.

And no, it's not just an initial like Richard E Grant or Harry S Truman either.

So what does it stand for?

Well, it's bit more complicated than an initial or middle name.

If Jesus had been born in a time where he had a passport or other modern ID document, his name wouldn't read 'Jesus H Christ' in the form of a first name, middle name, and surname.

That's because he is a mononym, like Plato, Socrates, or Madonna.

'Christ' comes from the Ancient Greek χριστός (chrīstós), which means 'anointed one', so you could say it's more like a title or honorific.

But what about the H?

The resurrection of Christ from 1560.
Art Images via Getty Images

It has historic precedent, as it was noted down by Mark Twain, who wrote in his autobiography that Jesus was frequently referred to as 'Jesus H Christ', Did You Know Facts writes.

There has been a lot of speculation about the origins of this mysterious H.

One Quora user suggested: “Hominum. JHS = Jesus Hominum Salvator. It is Latin for ‘Jesus the Saviour of Mankind’. Homo is a third declension word, and ‘hominum’ is the plural genetive.

"But if you see it written as IHC, it is Greek iota-eta-sigma, which is read ‘yes’. It is shorthand for Jesus, just like Bob is for Robert or Tom is for Thomas.”

While others suggested their own theories.

One person wrote: “Dammit, I always assumed it’s ‘holy’."

Another commented: “I was told by a Jewish friend that the H stood for Hymie ‘cuz Jesus was a good Jewish boy but your answer makes more sense.”

A third said: “I like it being his second name, ‘Horace’, better. You know, with exactly that, historically accurate spelling.”

But none of these is it, so what is it?

The 'IHC' monogram.
Wikimedia Commons

According to Did You Know Facts, it comes down to the Chi Rho monogram, which you might recognise as an X symbol with a P on top, and the P's tail extending through the middle of the X.

This is often used to represent Jesus' name, and is formed from the first two letters of Jesus' name in Greek, Χριστό, so X and ρ.

But this isn't the only monogram - another one is called the IHC monogram and is instead based on the first three letters for Jesus in Ancient Greek - ΙΗΣΟΥΣ.

Can you see it yet? The first three letters are ΙΗΣ.

Through the miracle of misinterpretation, the letters were confused with the Latin letters IHC, with I being J in Latin.

Obviously, there's I and C for Iesus Christ, but the H just got sort of, added in?

So it turns out that the H is simply the result of someone who didn't know their Greek, and it stuck.

Jesus H Christ!

Topics: News, World News, Weird