List of Korean Emoticons and How to Use Them – Seoulistic

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.

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.


Emoticon Represents Notes
^o^ | ^-^ Happy face (two raised eyes/eyebrows) ^^ is the easiest and most common form
ㅜㅜ | ㅠㅠ | ㅠㅡㅠ Sad/Crying face (vertical lines are tears)  ㅠ or ㅜ also works
^^; | ^-^; Sweat running down a face  Nervousness, apprehension, timidness (with a smile)
>//< Shyness, Bashfulness Guy: You’re pretty
Girl: >//<
^.~ Wink n/a
=_= Sleepiness Also used when uninterested
in what the other person says
-_- | ㅡㅡ Serious face Used when feelings are hurt (often jokingly)
Also used to express disbelief.
>_< | >ㅁ< | >3< Cute face When trying to act cute = 애교 (egyo)*
+_+ | ㅇ_ㅇ Surprise ㅇ_ㅇ requires Korean keyboard
~_~ Boredom or “wtf” in emoticon form “wtf” = 어이없다 (eoieopta)*
★.★ Excitement For stars, Yahoo Answers says press:
Alt + 9733 (number pad)
♥.♥ | ♡.♡ Love For hearts, this site says press:
Alt + 3 (number pad)
ㅎ_ㅎ | ㅋ_ㅋ Cute Face Requires 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!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. Shannon says:

    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

  2. Karina says:

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


  3. Misty says:


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

  4. johi says:

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

  5. Jenny Kim says:

    Your comment…very interesting… @.@

  6. Keith says:

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

  7. isabel says:

    hello there ^.~

  8. Louis says:

    Anyone know what this one ^^* means?

  9. Person says:

    Kamsamnida author-nim ^3^

  10. ARA says:

    anyone know this sign ~! means?

  11. Christine Park says:

    my language keyboard is not working

  12. Tan says:

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

    • 유피테르 says:

      Its a wide-eyed expression. or as some people call it, its the “wtf” expression. usually used when you’re weirded out, or shocked by something~

  13. MiRi says:

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

  14. Rocio says:

    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 says:

    @ 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 says:

    Your comment…what does this mean 배ㅔㅗㅎㅌ

  18. Jin-Seong [Pepe] says:

    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~

  19. Lu park says:

    I have a korean friend and she uses ㅎ what it means?

  20. Kim Hanae says:

    I’m going to show this to my American friend, she always uses American emoticons even wen talking to Koreans and they don’t understand, she doesn’t speak Korean but this would help a little.

  21. Melissa Wong says:

    Hello Keith. I have a Korean friend who recently used this ^&. Can you tell me what it means? Thank you.

  22. Sweet post! ^_^ I normally use these emoticons daily

  23. annabella says:

    @Melissa Wong
    I think it means ‘ampersand’ although I’m not quite sure.

  24. Min luna says:


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