Acronymfinder.com lists TX as a rare abbreviation for "transaction", particularly in the context of computers. It use by the Bitcoin protocol may be its best-known application, but I've also found a few other instances. As the Acronym Finder suggests, it seems to be used sparingly at best, and I've found no non-technology-related uses of it.

Does anybody know of an origin or first use of abbreviating "transaction" as "tx"?

  • Sometimes it's also TXN. – tchrist Feb 22 '15 at 22:38
  • Medicine has a tendency to abbreviate many things using X: Biopsy - Bx, Dx - diagnosis, Fx - fracture, Hx - history, Sx - surgery, and Tx - transplant, transformation, transaction, therapy, treatment (though transaction is not the most common of terms in medicine). – Mitch Apr 11 '17 at 0:05
  • I'll note that "X" is a common way to abbreviate "trans", as in "xmit" for "transmit". But somewhere along the way the X got twisted to where some writers/coders use "TX" for "transmit" and "RX" for "receive". – Hot Licks Apr 11 '17 at 1:32

I will go with @undefined: the abbreviation TX for internet transaction is borrowed from telegraph abbreviation for transmission, Tx, for an internet transaction involves sending a coded signal from my computer to , say Amazon.com, internet site.


I have no evidence to support this answer, so feel free to downvote it, but this might help:

The X, itself, stands for trans (see also the answer by @undefined, with examples). I believe (again, I don't have proof) that this comes from the association of trans with its meaning of across (hence, a cross).

A guess (only a guess) would be that TX is related to this use of X.


In the old days amateur radio operators, who abbreviated wildly because they were using Morse code keys to exchange information, used to use XCVR as transceiver and XMTR as transmitter. A lot of older programmers also have amateur radio licenses so they probably just continued the tradition. I cannot begin to guess how you would ever find the first use of TX, but I would bet it's everywhere in early data communication standards documentation.


I have seen this in the context of older (think 1990's, e.g. Great Plains) computer implementations of accounting systems a number of times, for instance as the first two characters of transaction references, the remaining characters being digits.

  • 1
    This is more of a comment than an answer. – Drew Apr 11 '17 at 1:31

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