What is the origin of the in-profile emoticon?
April 15, 2012 5:02 AM   Subscribe

Lately on Facebook I've been seeing a kind of smiley I've never seen before: c",) I'm curious to know where this type of emoticon originates. Have you seen them before? Do they come out of any particular internet culture?

The variants of in-profile emoticons I've seen are:




I've yet to figure out how to google for them.
posted by Kattullus to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe they'll show up on Urban Dictionary one of these days. I don't understand them, either. Unless they're backwards?
posted by SillyShepherd at 5:17 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's a head in profile. The c is the nose, the " is the eyes, the , is the mouth and the ) is the back of the head: c",)
posted by Kattullus at 5:21 AM on April 15, 2012 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: I also didn't pick up on it at first. They might have been around for a while and I just haven't seen them for what they are, but just dismissed them as nonsense.
posted by Kattullus at 5:22 AM on April 15, 2012

Response by poster: Actually, I see from the Urban Dictionary entry you linked to, SillyShepherd, that they've been around at least since 2008.
posted by Kattullus at 5:25 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fascinating. This is a third aspect for smileys, different from the US/European sideways :-) style and the face-on Japanese style (^_^).

You're right, you can't easily search for this on Google, Bing, Baidu, or Yandex; all their search parsers pick it up as the letter c. I hunted around variants of [emoticon nose profile] and didn't come up with anything. There's no reference to this style on Wikipedia (yet).

It's worth noting that two of your three examples are not ASCII, but require ISO-Latin-1 to type. That suggests they are newer than the Email / Usenet smileys that date back to the 80s.
posted by Nelson at 8:39 AM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah, that's a good point about ISO-Latin-1. I'm Icelandic and have Facebook friends in other European countries. Both ° and ¨ are standard on several keyboard layouts. c¨.) was used by an Icelandic friend, but I'm not sure about the other ones. I feel like if the head-in-profile emoticon was an Icelandic-only thing and has been around from 2008, I would've heard about it before.

Also, as a complete sidebar, I just realized that this emoticon style reminds me of Ziggy.
posted by Kattullus at 11:20 AM on April 15, 2012

To respond to your complete sidebar, they remind me of thesneeze.com's dad's cake face.
posted by artychoke at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: This isn't getting me closer to finding an origin, but I was talking to a friend about this who's very involved with gamer culture, and she has never seen the Ziggy style smiley. But she came up with this, a piggy: c"\/)~
posted by Kattullus at 4:26 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kattullus, fascinating! I agree with Nelson -- this is a third genre of emoticon that hasn't been seen widely before. I wonder if it traces back to a specialized chat or SMS service (the way some emoticons were developed for BBS or CompuServe or AOL environmental constraints).

As for search engines, I happened upon SymbolHound which allegedly offers code-search functionality across the wider web. It failed to turn up any of these examples, though.
posted by dhartung at 5:04 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ooh! SymbolHound found seven results for c",) and all by the same guy on StackOverflow. That guy is from Norway. There were some more results for c'',) (two apostrophes instead of a quotation mark) though most of these are doubles. The one person on StackOverflow who used that was from South Africa. Symbolhound found nothing for the other ones.

Some of these examples are pretty old, the oldest I found was from 2009. I'm tempted to think that this might be most common in Nordic countries, but I need a few more data points before I'm comfortable saying that.
posted by Kattullus at 5:29 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


- Enjoy!
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 3:19 AM on April 16, 2012

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