List of Korean Emoticons and How to Use Them

Korean emoticons have meanings far and wide. And knowing these Korean emoticons will let you know if your Korean friends are happy, surprised,  or just trying to be cute! Reciprocate your feelings using this list of Korean emoticons.

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Note: there are many Korean emoticons and interpretations differ. This list of Korean emoticons has been compiled with the help of a Korean college student.


^o^ | ^-^Happy face (two raised eyes/eyebrows)^^ is the easiest and most common form
ㅜㅜ | ㅠㅠ | ㅠㅡㅠSad/Crying face (vertical lines are tears) ㅠ or ㅜ also works
^^; | ^-^;Sweat running down a face Nervousness, apprehension, timidness (with a smile)
>//<Shyness, BashfulnessGuy: You’re pretty
Girl: >//<
=_=SleepinessAlso used when uninterested
in what the other person says
-_- | ㅡㅡSerious faceUsed when feelings are hurt (often jokingly)
Also used to express disbelief.
>_< | >ㅁ< | >3<Cute faceWhen trying to act cute = 애교 (egyo)*
+_+ | ㅇ_ㅇSurpriseㅇ_ㅇ requires Korean keyboard
~_~Boredom or “wtf” in emoticon form“wtf” = 어이없다 (eoieopta)*
★.★ExcitementFor stars, Yahoo Answers says press:
Alt + 9733 (number pad)
♥.♥ | ♡.♡LoveFor hearts, this site says press:
Alt + 3 (number pad)
ㅎ_ㅎ | ㅋ_ㅋCute FaceRequires Korean keyboard

*Language Tip:

애교 (egyo) – the act of turning on the charm (in a cute manner)
어이없다 (eoieopta) – phrase used for absurd situations or requests (akin to “wtf”)

For more Korean emoticons, check out this list of emoticons, or try taking this Korean emoticon quiz!

About Keith

Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea.Personal Blog: Facebook: Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeithe-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at]


  1. Shannon

    Oh, interesting! We use some similar emoticons here in Brazil, but some of them don’t have the exact same meaning.
    I really like to know about things like that. They’re a part of the “young culture” (?) Or maybe I’m just too into Korean stuff XD

    • 김신원

      ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  2. Karina

    Very nice!!! xD
    Pleeease someone know how to do this ” ^ ” in the korean keyboard??
    Sorry for my English 😀


  3. Misty


    I think it’s Shift 6.
    생각어요 Shift 6.

  4. Interesting that the cute face emoticon (>.<) is used to mean that you're angry or mad in Hungary… :)

  5. Jenny Kim

    Your comment…very interesting… @.@

  6. Hey 엄마!! ^ㅁ^ I like your @.@ hahaha

  7. hello there ^.~

  8. Louis

    Anyone know what this one ^^* means?

  9. Person

    Kamsamnida author-nim ^3^

  10. ARA

    anyone know this sign ~! means?

  11. Christine Park

    my language keyboard is not working

  12. Tan

    What is the meaning for @.@ and @.@;;; ?

  13. MiRi

    what is with ^ ^* this mean?? is it same with ^ ^ ??

  14. Rocio

    ARA, “~!” is just a cute way of writing “!” The ~ is also used to emphasize a word like so~ bored 아주~ 심심해요, But it’s usually just used the first way ^^

    Louis, *^^* is usually a blush or just showing that you’re really pleased.

  15. Kris

    @ Tan
    uhmm..I think @.@ has different meanings. I know some use it to express having “wide eyes” or “big cute eyes” and others use it for confusion (like swirly eyes of confusion), which is what I use it for.
    but mostly, I personally use ” .-. ? ” as a cute way to express confusion or just ” .-. ” when I’m being silly. Hope I helped! ^o^

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  17. kim

    Your comment…what does this mean 배ㅔㅗㅎㅌ

  18. Jin-Seong [Pepe]

    This is areally good post ^o^

    We Koreans do have other ‘faces’, but they contain the unicode characters which are hard to do on a western keyboard :c

    Also, just throwing one out:
    It’s kindof like an ‘ORLY’ face~