This week we are celebrating the release of our new online Smiley Emoticon Dictionary, lovingly created on by the Smiley team at our happiness HQ in London! 🙂

The Smiley online dictionary contains over 500 individual Smileys, with plans to add many more over time. The collection is split into our 5 distinct styles – Tech, Toony, Glossy, Flat toony, and Nu, and then further broken down into one of 18 categories, including animals, characters, flags, love, sports, and food.

Sharing your favourites couldn’t be easier. With the new online Smiley dictionary we have added share widgets for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, so expressing yourself and spreading happiness to your friends and family can be done at the click of a button! You even have the option to download and save your favourites for later use, or to create your own digital artwork using the happiest icons around! 😀

You can check out the new Smiley Online Dictionary here, so why not share your favourite icons with us on Facebook and Twitter? 😉



Ever since 1996, when Smiley appeared for the first time in the digital space, we have seen emoticons and their emoji descendants evolve in a myriad of different ways.

The original Smiley icon was first licensed to Alcatel to use as a greeting message on their mobile phones. This prompted Smiley CEO and creative mastermind Nicolas Loufrani to investigate the way people were using text-based ASCII emoticons, and start using Smiley to create expressive icons that actually meant something to people.


Smiley online dictionary 2001

The first Smiley Dictionary, released online in 2001


Nicolas started by creating 471 3D Smileys that corresponded to a variety of different human emotions and to these pre-existing ASCII emoticons, and the next step in this project’s development was to create a writing system to replace words other than emotions.

This led to the introduction of 12 categories, which included; animals, colours, countries, celebrations, flags, food, fun, occupations, moods, celebrities, planets and of course moods. By 2001 the Smiley Company streamlined the collection to 393 very distinct icons and the first Official Smiley Dictionary was launched online, with the unique slogan “The birth of a universal language”.

Learn more about the History of Emoticons and Emoji today!