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Both sides X

Special thanks to a Plover community member for funding this lesson.

This lesson covers how you write the initial and final X on the steno machine.

Left side X

Left side X is given by the outline KP. Words in English don't start with an "x" sound, so this outline is used mainly for words that start in "ex" like "expect".


Here are several words that start with "x":

  • KPEU: xi
  • KPA*PBT: xanth
  • KPRAEU: x-ray

The rest of the strokes start with KP for "ex":

  • KPEUT: exit
  • KPEBG: exec
  • KPEBGT: expect
  • KPEPLT: exempt
  • KPALT: exalt
  • KPHAEUL: exhale
  • KPAPL: exam
  • KPEPT: except
  • KPERPT: excerpt
  • KPERT: exert

There are also these notable examples of words that contain an "x" near the beginning:

  • KPEUS: axis
  • KPOUS: anxious

Right side X

Right side X is given by the outline BGS, which comes from BG being "K" and "KS" having the same sound as "x" in English. The imaginary word "foks" and the word "fox" would sound the same.


  • EBGS: ex
  • TPOBGS: fox
  • HOEBGS: hoax
  • HRABGS: lax
  • TPABGS: fax
  • TPAUBGS: faux (spelling)
  • TPHRUBGS: flux
  • WABGS: wax

Resolving -KS and -X

You might realize at this point that "ks" words like "tacks" are homophones to "x" words like "tax". In order to resolve this, you can use BGZ instead of BGS to pluralize "-k" words. Because BGZ might be a little tough to finger, you can also pluralize with a separate stroke, writing TABG -S instead of TABGS.

  • TABG: tack
  • TABGS: tax
  • TABGZ: tacks
  • TABG -S: tacks
  • TABG -Z: tacks


Chord Translation Notes
KP examine
KPER examiner
KP-PL example
KPERZ exercise
KPES access
KP*ES excess The asterisk is used on the less common word in the conflict between "access" and "excess"
PRABGS practice
TEGT text
TRAEBGS extra tra-ex, inversion of "ex-tra"


1. Translate

Write the English sentence represented by these outlines, including punctuation.

2. Find Outlines

Find steno outlines that will write these English sentences, including punctuation.

  1. Let me give you an example you can see.
  2. I want more practice than you wrote.
  3. You should practice with the exercise part of the text.
  4. Open access is important to consider before throwing an event.
  5. Do not go in excess of limits set for good reason.
  6. I will examine the paper tomorrow.
  7. Did you get the x-ray back?
  8. If the shares drop more the exec will exit the company for sure.
  9. The examiner will be with you in a sec.
  10. This has been a terrible day, what could happen next?
  11. I would go except I hate that man.
  12. I would charge extra but you are exempt from this tax.

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