In honour of the fact that it was World Emoji Day yesterday (or 🌍😀📆 if you will), I thought I’d look into the etymology of the word itself. So, it was coined in Japan in the late 90s, and is made up of ‘e’ for ‘picture’ and ‘moji’ for character – nothing to do with the word ‘emotion’ then. Its counterpart ‘emoticon’ is however – that’s ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’ smooshed together.

Strictly speaking emojis are pictograms and emoticons are characters i.e. 😉 vs ;-). It seems like the similarity in the two words is just a nice semantic coincidence. ❤️