What Does Smiley Mean?

A smiley is an emoticon used to express happiness in digital communications. Smileys are often used in digital communications, emails, instant messages, or sms text messages to show joy or happiness, or in response to something funny or amusing.


Techopedia Explains Smiley

Smileys, as well as other emoticons, can be represented in several different ways. One way is with digital icons that can be selected in a particular interface. The smiley and other emoticons can also be represented using text characters.

In using text characters to create a smiley emoticon, users have two distinct choices. There is a set of raw text emoticons typically labeled ‘Western’ which is different than a set of raw text emoticons that are typically labeled ‘Eastern.’ In the Western set, the right-hand text character represents the mouth, with the left-hand text character representing the eyes and the middle character representing the nose. In most of these, a parenthesis on the right creates a smiling mouth. The nose can be a caret, dash or other symbol. The eyes are typically composed of a colon.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.