So I stumbled over the Japanese word メロメロ (mero mero) wich is often translated as being in love.

I was wondering if it is related to the english xoxo (hugs and kisses) or is this just a coincidence?

  • 3
    Meaningwise, I'd say they are not even translations (I don't think English xoxo means the user is in love). It is rather translators' playfulness.
    – sundowner
    Feb 12 at 1:08
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    This seems to be entirely coincidental. Amusing, though. Feb 12 at 3:43
  • xoxo in English just means "hugs and kisses". It does not indicate any level of intimacy. It's often used between friends. It might also be used between co-workers (though now with worries about sexual harassment rising, not so much anymore).
    – A.Ellett
    Feb 12 at 4:09
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    You have a rich imagination. Few native speakers of Japanese would think of メロメロ when they see that apparently meaningless sequence of letters. I for one only thought of the XO sauce.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 12 at 5:42
  • I see. I was just wondering if the "love" association was added later on since there is also the translation "falling down drunk". Thank you for the clarification.
    – Bellian
    Feb 12 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


メロメロ seems to be a much older word than I thought. 精選版日本国語大辞典's entry for メロメロ even cites a usage example from the 13th century! According to the internet, the history of "XOXO" in English is not longer than one century, so it's definitely unrelated to the etymology of メロメロ.

  • Thanks for the answer. The meaning of the word changed quite a lot. Do you think that the meaning could be influenced or even the english xoxo originated from メロメロ? Quite interesting.
    – Bellian
    Feb 12 at 21:28
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    @Bellian In every language, the meaning of a word can drastically change over the course of hundreds of years, so there is nothing special with メロメロ. The etymology of the English "xoxo" is known. メロメロ and xoxo are false cognates at most.
    – naruto
    Feb 13 at 1:17

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