A Full Explanation of Smileys and Emoticons

They are all around us and we use them every day in almost every conversation. WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and the million other social media and instant messaging applications out there, all offer a variety of smileys that convey everything from your current mood, to where you are in the world and what it is that you are doing. 

Smileys usually follow after the punctuation, or in place of the punctuation, at the end of a sentence. A smiley tells someone what you really mean when you make an offhand remark. They're also called emoticons because they are "icons" which convey "emotion."

A Smile for Every Occasion

The so-called "modern smileys" (which look like graphical smileys) are known as emojis. The concept of the emoji, has become so popular in today’s world that they have their own full-length feature animation film, voiced by some of the best actors of our time. It doesn’t end there. They sport merchandise from cups, to soft toys, clothes and beyond. 

But what do they mean and how do you create them? This multi-billion dollar concept doesn’t come with instruction on how to type them out or how to know what it is that you are staring at when you are looking them when not in full technicolor. For example, everyone knows that a : followed by a ) is the commonly known smiley and that when you replace : with ; it is a winking smiley. Further if you replace the ) with the letter p it becomes a winking smiley sticking his tongue out. You get the idea. 

There are also straight-on smileys which are considered another form of art because you do not tilt your head to look at them, but rather look at them straight on, such as @(*0*)@ for a Koala and {=^;^=} for a cat.

Tracking the Trend

As you can imagine there are so many of these smileys and emoticons that it becomes almost impossible to keep track of them all. Almost. 

NetLingo keeps track of all the new generations of smileys and emoticons that are created and compiles them into a list that makes it easy for you to not only know what you are looking at, but also on how to convey your emotion in an icon.  And that's not all, there are also assicons and boobiecons and be sure to check out the Japanese smileys inspired by anime and the creative use of symbols used in leetspeak.

It does not end there. With the click of your mouse, NetLingo provides you with a link that takes you teaches you about the genealogy of the smiley. For those curious minds that like to know how it became what it is today.

Enjoy NetLingo’s every growing list of smileys and emoticons (as it is constantly being updated), created in order for you to know exactly how to express yourself in all your online conversations, when you win big playing Canadian online slots, or in any other situation. Or to know exactly what the funny looking characters that someone else sent you mean and why they sent it to you.