I hate this letter $\xi$. I dont understand why we have to use this symbol. I mean there are many greek letters easier to draw. Do we use this letter in order to imply the level of difficulty in the topic it appeared?

Anyway, I always wanted to ask how to draw this letter. Should I first draw an $\epsilon$ and make a curly tail on the bottom of it, or sholud I draw an $S$ with some curly $C$ on top of it?

Could you please enlighten me about this and help me to like this letter?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Use a computer to generate three full lines of $\xi$, then print it, and start tracing until you get the hang of it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ I hate it too! I ususally do the epsilon-with-a-tail approach, but it always looks awful $\endgroup$
    – GPerez
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ Nice question! This has been bothering me for years :D $\endgroup$
    – CODE
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ @1:10 And here are some other characters because answer needs to be at least 30. $\endgroup$
    – user88595
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ Well let me tell you about a great invention called google! Here is how to draw all greek letters: foundalis.com/lan/hw/grkhandw.htm $\endgroup$
    – Mohammad
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


One way, which I don't personally use but which works all the same, is to draw a lower-case $e$ (or even $\varepsilon$ I guess) and, without taking your pen off the paper, draw a lower-case $s$ directly underneath it. It certainly doesn't say anything about the difficulty level of the topic involved.


How to draw $\xi$


should I draw an S with some curly C on top of it?

No, it is better to draw it in one stroke. Start from the end of the little thing top left and follow continuously the curve until the little thing bottom right. Twice your pen should stop and go backwards, as is done once when drawing $\varepsilon$.

Do we use this letter in order to imply the level of difficulty in the topic it appeared?

Not that I am aware of, but $\xi$ is often used to correspond to $x$, like one would use $\alpha$, $\beta$ and $\gamma$ to correspond to $a$, $b$ and $c$.

Could you please (...) help me to like this letter?

Sorry but no I could not. I find it beautiful, you do not, end of story.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for your last point, though how you or the op has relatively strong feeling to a letter is beyond me. $\endgroup$
    – Lost1
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Lost1 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetic_emotions $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Jan 12, 2014 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ I just hope you don't take the same attitude if someone replace 'this letter' with the word 'probability'. $\endgroup$
    – Lost1
    Jan 12, 2014 at 12:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Lost1 Your hope is fulfilled, this is an entirely different matter. $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Jan 12, 2014 at 12:34

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