What Are Some Emoticon Meanings?


Quick Answer

Emoticons indicate a wide variety of things such as emotions, character, appearance, action or occupation. The two most common text emoticons are :) for happiness and :( for sadness. They can be created with text characters or by using graphical images from a text editor.

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What Are Some Emoticon Meanings?
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Full Answer

The word emoticon is an abbreviation of the words "emotion" and "icon." Although they were originally used to express emotion, their use has expanded to a variety of things such as actions, creatures and objects. Some emoticons that express common emotions are :-o for alarm, >:( for anger and :-| for ambivalence. Some emoticons that describe appearance are q:-p for a baseball player, >:) for a little devil and :-{ for a person with a mustache. Some action emoticons are :'( for crying, (>..)> for dancing, and =P~ for drooling. Emoticons typed by people in western cultures tend to be tilted sideways, while in Japanese culture emoticons tend to appear upright.

The roots of emoticons date back to a transcript from an 1862 Abraham Lincoln speech where the emoticon ;) appears, although some people believe it was a typo. The first documented person to use the emoticons :-) and :-( suggesting they express emotion was Scott Fahlman. The suggestion was posted to a computer science general board at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982.

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