A Dad's Guide to His Daughter's Emoticons ;-)

Someone close to me found out that his teenage daughter was in a relationship from Facebook. It came to him on his Blackberry one morning before he’d had enough coffee to handle it. (Or perhaps wine was more in order.)

Welcome to 21st century parenting.

I was quick to help him out (i.e. needle him) by translating the emoticons in his daughter’s message:

“<3 means love," I informed him. "Have a fabulous day."

So I thought I’d help parents everywhere — especially dads of daughters — by translating more emoticons they may come across on their kids’ Facebook pages:

:-) is a smiley face. It’s often accompanied by more exclamation points than the New York Times uses in a year, as in :-) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:-D is a big grin or laughing, used by kids who have overused their exclamation points so much, they’ve rubbed it off their computer keyboards and can’t find it anymore.

:-( is a frown. As in Dad won’t let me go to the party :-( or The Abercrombie at the mall is closing :-(

;-) is a wink. It could mean your kid is up to no good, she’s flirting or she has some inside joke with her friend involving the science teacher’s bad breath. It’s hard to tell.

:-P means she’s sticking out her tongue. You know, what you taught her not to do when she was 5.

:-o means she’s shocked, either about the Abercrombie closing or something her friend did at the party at your house while you were away. Uh oh. party? Now you’re :-o, huh?

<3 means love. <3333333333333333333333333 means a whole lotta love, perhaps like Led Zeppelin used to sing in your car back in the day when you were, oh you know ;-).

:-* is a kiss and can proceed or follow <3 and make you go :-(  or perhaps even :’-( (that means cry) right Dad?

:-X means embarrassed, which you’re going to be if your kid finds you using this list to translate her Facebook page, so get back over to CNN.com where you belong, Dad.



No responses to “A Dad's Guide to His Daughter's Emoticons ;-)”

  1. Dawn

    This is great :D

  2. Meredith Resnick - The Writer's [Inner] Journey

    Jen, I’ve needed something like this for a long time! Thank you :)

  3. Lana

    That poor dad! One of the attorneys at my office was told his 13 year old daughter was getting to be a beauty. He responded by saying “that is why she is going to an all girls school.”

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