Tag Archives: emoticons

Emoticons from Kurjer Warszawski (5 March 1881) that depict joy, melancholy, indifference and astonishment just like these emoticons did a few weeks later.

via Wikipedia

Typographic faces in The Strand magazine, England, March 1909. from yesterdaysprint

The bottom ones are very similar to these emoticons from 1881.

Emoticons from 1893, published in the German Kreisblatt für den Kreis Malmedy. h/t Gleb Albert.

CIA:s list of kaomojis (aka dongers, emoticons, etc) or “Japanese style Faces” as they call it.

From Wikileaks via AtticusBones


St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, January 21, 1910


Dicky ASCII emoticons via Laura Brown.

Scott E Fahlman suggests a use of :) and :( in September, 1982. This happened on a bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. It caught on pretty fast, and in November there were already several variations.

There are many earlier examples of smilies, but this is likely what popularized emoticons as we know them today.

source + more

extracts from WHAT DOES ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ MEAN TO ME?
by Rusty Foster, 2014

A smiley from 1862?

“(applause and laughter ;)” from a transcript in New York Times of an Abraham Lincoln speech.


What seems to be a smiley from 1648 (top), written by the poet Robert Herrick, is most likely not. The same book contained more smilies (bottom) that indicate that it’s not supposed to be read as an emoticon. See Slate’s article for more examples and information.