What is the X in X-mas?
1520s, shortened form of atwite, from Old English ætwitan "to blame, reproach," from æt "at" + witan "to blame," from Proto-Germanic *witanan (cf. Old English wite, Old Saxon witi, Old Norse viti "punishment, torture;" Old High German wizzi "punishment," wizan "to punish;" Dutch verwijten, Old High German firwizan, German verweisen "to reproach, reprove," Gothic fraweitan "to avenge"), from PIE root *weid- "to see" (see vision). For sense evolution, cf. Latin animadvertere, literally "to give heed to, observe," later "to chastise, censure, punish."
To suffer protracted humiliation, obloquy, regret, etc: The second mistake was to let Sherrill twist slowly in the wind/ just letting you twist slowly, slowly in the wind
[1973+; perhaps coined by John Ehrlichman, an aide of President Richard Nixon, fr the gruesome image of a hanging body]