Upside Down Smiley Face – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Shorthand, emoticons, memes, and emojis are all new ways used to get our point across with less effort. One such emoji is an upside-down smiley face.

This little emoji has the ability to express a range of feelings and meanings in just one click.

If you are looking to find out more about the upside-down smiley face, we are here to help. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The upside-down smiley face has a few different meanings, but the most common is that of irony or sarcasm. Over text or the internet in general, it can be hard to understand emotion without hearing a person’s tone. Emojis are a great way to get that tone across.

The upside-down smiley face means that a person is not being serious, or what they are saying is not to be taken seriously.

Using emoji to lighten the tone or to indicate silliness has also a common meaning. It can make a statement that seems harsh on the surface On the other hand, it can also be a passive-aggressive form of communicating a point. Where the angry face emoji is rather heavy, the upside-down smiley face shows annoyance without rising to the level of actual anger.

It can also mean that a person is embarrassed, for example, if you happen to send a message to the wrong person. Showing the upside-down smiley face is a way of sharing that you are embarrassed without writing out a full sentence.

Example Usage

“Wow, your dissertation is SO interesting (upside-down smiley face)”

“Hey, yet another startup idea, (upside-down smiley face), I wonder if you will follow through”

“Your outfit will really steal the spotlight (upside-down smiley face)”

“I am so excited to hear all about how your dog likes to sleep at night (upside-down smiley face)”

“That is some of the best-boiled water I had in a while (upside-down smiley face)”

“I am sure that everyone will be looking at your outfit during prom (upside-down smiley face)”

“It’s wine-o-clock time (upside-down smiley face)”


Unlike many other keyboard shortcuts and emoticons, the upside-down smiley face is a rather recent addition. This emoji was created in late 2018 on the iOS platform. When the iOS 9.1 update rolled out, the upside-down smiley face came along with it. A few others were released during the same update such as the block of cheese, the taco, the nerdy face, and even the burrito. When it first came out, most people were at a loss as to what it meant or how to use it.

There was no specific meaning for the emoji during its release, which left it up to the masses to create one. Over time, the emoji grew into its current meaning, which is mainly sarcasm or befuddlement.

Phrases Similar to Upside Down Smiley Face

  • /s – meaning harsh sarcasm
  • Feeling salty
  • Eye roll emoji
  • Giggling smiley face

Phrases opposite to Upside Down Smiley Face

  • Thumbs up
  • Smiley face
  • Check mark

What is The Correct Saying?


Ways People May Incorrectly Say Upside Down Smiley Face

  • Hey, you know that (upside-down smiley face) feeling after eating too much cake?
  • The world may never know my greatness (upside-down smiley face)
  • Hey Brenda, lovely weather we are having today (upside-down smiley face)!

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Upside Down Smiley Face

  • I am not sure if I am ready to make things IG official (upside-down smiley face)
  • Let’s grab that last case of beer and make memories (upside-down smiley face)
  • Wow, (upside-down smiley face) I never heard that before
  • I just happened to walk into the bathroom as our boss was pulling down his pants (upside-down smiley face)


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