Word for Wednesday: Emoji

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All over the internet, people are celebrating World Emoji Day – so what better choice could there be for our Word for Wednesday? 

World Emoji Day was launched by Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge in 2014, though people sometimes posted the calendar emoji on July 17 before then. This is because July 17 is the date shown on most calendar emojis – though Facebook shows May 14, founder Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday instead.

Emojipedia is searched over 25 million times a month and the team there work on updating emoji definitions, tracking the changes to emoji definitions, and keeping up with the latest emoji definitions. Click here to find out some interesting stastics.

So where does the word emoji originate from? 

Many people think the word evolved from ‘emoticon’ which dates to 1994 and is a portmanteau of ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’. This is not the case and the similarity between the two words is a pleasant coincidence. Emoji was coined by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 from the Japanese ‘e’ meaning ‘picture’ and ‘moji’ meaning ‘character’. The word has been widely used in English since 2008. 

Although emoji and 'emoticon' are part of internet culture, the ‘e’ at the beginning isn’t linked to the ‘e’ in other internet-related words like ‘email’, ‘e-learning’, and ‘e-commerce’. In these cases, the ‘e’ stands for ‘electronic’.

What’s your favourite emoji? Let us know in the comments and join in the celebrations by using #WorldEmojiDay.

17 Jul 2019
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