What is the most common smiley emoticon

Smileys: meanings and examples for more than 50 emojis

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Smileys: point, point, comma, line ...

A picture is worth a thousand words - this folk wisdom is ultimately the secret of the success of smileys, emojis and emoticons. Small pictures and symbols that often express more than long textual explanations. In popular messenger services such as Whatsapp in particular, it is hard to imagine conversations without smileys. Initially, the writer asked for more creativity.

Faces were imitated by certain sequences of characters. This is exactly where smileys have their origin: The basic components eyes, nose and mouth were represented by characters on the keyboard in order to express various emotions. This requires a little imagination and a sloping head position. Simple smileys like :-) or :-( become recognizable when you tilt your head to the left.

There are hardly any limits to the wealth of ideas with special characters - but that is exactly what makes the meaning of smileys so difficult. The characters strung together are a language of their own that not everyone understands equally. Translating the symbols does not lead to the same result for everyone.

Different spellings for smileys

Even those with experience of chatting can hardly see through the multitude of smileys, spellings and possible interpretations. The meaning is not only dependent on the knowledge or ignorance of the recipient and sender of various special characters. Personal preferences also influence the use and meaning of smileys.

The various implementation options are a simple example for a seemingly simple, smiling smiley:

  • The classic :-)

    This smiley consists of a colon, a hyphen and a closing bracket. A complete face is represented by special characters.

  • The variant: o)

    This smiley, on the other hand, uses the letter “o” in lowercase as a nose instead of a hyphen.

  • The lazy :)

    The question of letter or hyphen does not arise here - the smiley simply has no nose, similar to the last example.

  • The Insider ^ _ ^

    Atypically, this smiley does not use a colon for the eyes, but rather twice the circumflex and a stem between them. While all other smileys represent laughter through the mouth, here it is symbolized by the eyes.

What does: -9 among the smileys mean?

In the worst case, with some smiley faces, the recipient does not understand at all what is meant by it. Special and rarely used versions cause confusion. An example is this: -9 smiley face. Here some recipients are wondering: Does it even matter? Yes, but you have to consider whether the sender wanted to send the special characters like this at all:

  • Unintentional: -9

    One possibility: The author of the message made a mistake. He forgot to press the shift key and instead of the closed round bracket put the number nine, which is on the same key. Instead of: -9 a smiling smiley, i.e. :-), should come out.

  • Intentional: -9

    In fact, the combination is a smiley face. The number nine is supposed to symbolize the mouth and tongue, the sender licks his lips. The symbol is often used when talking about food or something really tasty.

Difference: smiley, emoticon or emoji?

The terms smiley (that or that), emoticon (that) and emoji (that) are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, however, there is a difference between the different names:

  • Emoticon
    The sequence of special characters described above is originally called an emoticon. The term is a suitcase word made up of “emotion” and “icon”, meaning feeling and image. They are pictures lying on their side that express an emotion. Emoticons are the typical stick figure faces.
  • Smiley face
    If this combination of characters is converted into a graphic when entering text via the keyboard, it is displayed as a smiley to smile = smile). So the term refers to the actual small faces that are displayed.
  • Emoji
    Emojis are a generic term for a wide variety of graphics. These don't have to have anything to do with faces or emotions. Plants, cars or food can also be shown in the pictures.

Incidentally, emoticons are older than the Internet and everything related to it. Typesetters who are keen to experiment have already published images based on characters in earlier centuries.

Their design also depends on cultural aspects. While the American emoticons are more aimed at the design of the mouth, the Asian ones vary mainly with the eyes.

Common smileys and their meanings

The selection of emojis and smileys is now huge. Hundreds of symbols can be inserted and created. In addition to the typical yellow displays, different skin nuances can now also be set. Programs either offer inserting with one click or convert the character combinations on the keyboard.

The HTML code can be required for this on websites. This then appears on the homepage as a corresponding smiley. To do this, you need to know both the code and what it means. This is the only way you can use smileys without many words or even decipher what the other person meant. We show frequent smileys to copy for your website - in the classic version, as HTML code and with the respective meaning:

  • Strong feelings

    • : P - HTML code: 😛 becomes 😛 (face with tongue)
    • : O - HTML code: 😲 becomes 😲 (astonished face)
    • 3 :) - HTML code: 😈 becomes 😈 (smiling face with horns, symbolic for "I'm not an angel")
  • Negative feelings

    • :-( - HTML code: 🙁 becomes 🙁 (slightly frowning face)
    • : ‘- (- HTML code: 😢 becomes 😢 (crying face)
    • : - / - HTML code: 😒 becomes 😒 (unamused face, sad-disappointed face)
    • > :( - HTML code: 😠 becomes 😠 (angry face)
    • >: @ - HTML code: 🤬 becomes 🤬 (face with symbols on mouth, angry and scolding face)
  • Positive feelings

    • :-) - HTML code: 🙂 becomes 🙂 (slightly smiling face)
    • : D - HTML code: 😀 becomes 😀 (grinning face, openly smiling face)
    • ;-) - HTML code: 😉 becomes 😉 (winking face)
    • XD - HTML code: 😆 becomes 😆 (grinning squinting face)
    • : -9 - HTML code: 😋 becomes 😋 (savoring delicous food, consuming delicious food - "delicious")
    • : - * - HTML code: 😘 becomes 😘 (face blowing a kiss)

Opinions are divided on the last example. This graphic is often used as a kiss smiley: 😗 (😗). However, in the Asian region it should not actually represent a kissing, but a fluting smiley.

Clearly a different picture. If you want to know what the smiley face with heart eyes means - it's very simple: We love something or someone 😍 (😍).

Overview: Popular smileys and their meaning

With every update, messenger services for Whatsapp also bring new smileys and emojis. The selection continues to grow. The pictograms have long gone far beyond pure emotions. Anything that might be of interest in a conversation can be shown as a picture. So there is ...

  • Emojis from nature that include animals, plants and weather,
  • Emojis for numerous foods, as well
  • Sports equipment, places, buildings, vehicles, flags and general symbols.

The Unicode consortium, which also includes large corporations such as Apple and Microsoft, issues uniform codes for emojis. Smileys continue to play an important role and are used particularly frequently.

We have the most popular smileys and their meanings listed in our large overview:

More than 50 smileys and meanings

  • 😳
    HTML code: 😳 Flushed face; Meaning: "Oh, how embarrassing!" For example, in the case of inappropriate compliments.
  • 😬
    HTML code: 😬 Grimacing face; Meaning: Stands for an unpleasant situation or "I made a mistake."
  • 🙃
    HTML code: 🙃 Upside-down face; Intentional meaning: Someone is fun or very lively.
  • 😎
    HTML code: 😎 Smiling face with sunglasses; Meaning: The sunglasses smiley indicates vacation or a good mood.)
  • 🙄
    HTML code: 🙄 Face with rolling eyes; Meaning: This is the mild variant of the smiley, which expresses how annoyed or bored someone is.
  • 😑
    HTML code: 😑 Expressionless face; Meaning: This smiley is the spicier version: Something is really so boring, annoying or impossible that one cannot speak.
  • 🤐
    HTML code: 🤐 Face with a zip in place of the mouth (zip-mouth face); Meaning: "My lips are sealed, your secret is safe with me." Alternatively, if someone is at a loss for words.)
  • 🤨
    HTML code: 🤨 Smiley face with one eyebrow raised; Intentional meaning: Someone wants to express skepticism, disbelief or disapproval.
  • 💩
    HTML code: 💩 Pile of poo; Meaning: "Such a Sch ...!" Can stand for the swear word or be meant, for example, as a criticism of a colleague's statement.
  • 🤮
    HTML code: 🤮 Vomiting smiley (face with open mouth vomitting); Intentional meaning: The Kotz smiley either indicates real nausea or illustrates - probably more often - what one really thinks of a situation.
  • 😁
    HTML code: 😁 Grinning face with smiling eyes; Meaning: "LOL", so loud laugh.
  • 😂
    HTML code: 😂 Face with tears of joy; Meaning: Great enthusiasm, laughter.
  • 😃
    HTML code: 😃 Smiling face with open mouth; Meaning: big grin, great joy.
  • 😄
    HTML code: 😄 Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes; Meaning: Very great joy.
  • 😅
    HTML code: 😅 Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat; Intentional meaning: Laughing makes you sweat on your forehead. Also used for embarrassment.
  • 😇
    HTML code: 😇 Angel face (smiling face with halo); Meaning: Signals that you are innocent.)
  • 😊
    HTML code: 😊 Smiling face with smiling eyes; Meaning: joy with slight blushing.
  • 😌
    HTML code: 😌 Relieved face; Meaning: "Phew!", Is also used when relaxing.
  • 😐
    HTML code: 😐 Neutral face; Meaning: indifference.
  • 😓
    HTML code: 😓 Face with cold sweat; Intentional meaning: It is unbearably hot. Is also used when something is very uncomfortable.
  • 😔
    HTML code: 😔 Pensive face; Meaning: The sender has to think about it a little more.)
  • 😕
    HTML code: 😕 Confused face; Meaning: irritation, confusion.)
  • 😖
    HTML code: 😖 Confounded face; Intentional meaning: Something bad happened.
  • 😙
    HTML code: 😙 Kissing face with smiling eyes; Meaning: Give someone a kiss, "Bussi, Bussi".
  • 😚
    HTML code: 😚 Kissing face with closed eyes; Meaning: More pleasurable kissing.
  • 😜
    HTML code: 😜 Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye; Meaning: "Loco" A bit crazy, confusing fun.
  • 😝
    HTML code: 😝 Face with stuck-out tongue and tightly-closed eyes; Meaning: disgust, also ironic tongue pointing.
  • 😞
    HTML code: 😞 Disappointed face; Meaning: Stands for a disappointing situation. "Oh dear."
  • 😟
    HTML code: 😟 Worried face; Intentional meaning: Someone is full of worry.
  • 😡
    HTML code: 😡 Pouting face; Meaning: Often indicates anger or annoyance.)
  • 😤
    HTML code: 😤 Triumphant Smiley (face with look of triumph); Meaning: Indicates feeling of victory, superiority, arrogance.
  • 😥
    HTML code: 😥 Disappointed but relieved face; Intentional meaning: Expresses not only disappointment but also a spark of hope.
  • 😦
    HTML code: 😦 Frowning face with open mouth; Meaning: Is often used for smaller shock moments.
  • 😧
    HTML code: 😧 Shocked face (anguished face); Meaning: great shock)
  • 😨
    HTML code: 😨 Fearful face; Intentional meaning: Stands for a frightening situation.
  • 😩
    HTML code: 😩 Weary face; Meaning: boredom, tiredness.
  • 😪
    HTML code: 😪 Sleepy face; Meaning: Great tiredness, just before going to sleep.
  • 😫
    HTML code: 😫 Tired face; Meaning: Lack of sleep.
  • 😭
    HTML code: 😭 Loudly crying face; Meaning: Great sadness.
  • 😮
    HTML code: 😮 Face with open mouth; Meaning: Expresses surprise.
  • 😯
    HTML code: 😯 A slightly surprised face becomes 😯 (hushed face); Meaning: amazement.
  • 😰
    HTML code: 😰 Grinning face with mouth open and cold sweat; Meaning: exhaustion.
  • 😱
    HTML code: 😱 Face screaming in fear; Meaning: fear.
  • 😳
    HTML code: 😳 Face with flushed cheeks and open eyes; Meaning: stare, surprise, fright.
  • 😴
    HTML code: 😴 Sleeping face; Meaning: Sender goes to bed, very tired, "good night".
  • 😷
    HTML code: 😷 Face with medical mask; Meaning: face mask, risk of infection, disease.
  • 🙅
    HTML code: 🙅 Repellent face (face with no good gesture); Intentional meaning: Person does not want to have anything to do with it.
  • 🙈
    HTML code: 🙈 Eye-closing monkey (see-no evil monkey); Meaning: “I don't want to see that!” Also used in moments of shame.
  • 🙉
    HTML code: 🙉 Ear-closing monkey (hear-no evil monkey); Meaning: Person does not want to hear about it,
  • 🙊
    HTML code: 🙊 Mouth-closing monkey (speak-no evil monkey); Meaning: "Oops!" Or "That can't be!"
  • 🙆
    HTML code: 🙆 Accepting face (face with ok gesture); Meaning: "Everything okay!"
  • 🙇
    HTML code: 🙇 Person bowing deeply; Meaning: recognition, respect.
  • 🙋
    HTML code: 🙋 Happy person raising one hand; Meaning: Is also used as a message. "Here, me!" Alternatively, as a complaint arm in the event of complaints.
  • 🙌
    HTML code: 🙌 Person raising both hands in celebration; Meaning: Worship, great respect for an achievement.
  • 🙏
    HTML code: 🙏 Person with folded hands; Meaning: Indicates great gratitude.

The fascination of smileys and emojis

It would not occur to anyone to include smileys in a business letter. And for other formal occasions such as congratulations on a birthday or a Christmas greeting from a business partner, the graphic additions should be dispensed with. The question is why smileys are still so popular?

The main reason: Abbreviations are popular in digital communication. Wherever possible, it is shown a little shortened. Smileys are added to make it clear to the other person what is meant. This makes the content clear, especially in the case of ironic or funny comments.

However, the images cannot completely replace the gestures and facial expressions of a real counterpart. But they are a start and, when in doubt, give an ambiguous message a friendly touch. 🙂

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