What Does :'( Mean?

:'( means "Crying" or "Sad." This icon is typically used after receiving sad news. When typed, the colon represents eyes, the apostrophe represents a tear, and the open-bracket represents a sad mouth. Similar icons to this icon include:

Image for :'(

When I write :'(, I mean this:

crying icon

This icon means "Crying."

Summary of Key Points

"Crying" is the most common definition for :'( on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Crying or Sad
Guessability:guessability level 1
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults, Teenagers, and Under 13s

Examples of :'( in Sentences

Here are examples of :'( being used in conversations:
  • Nurse: Don't be alarmed. We've removed your legs, but there's good news: that guy wants to buy your sneakers.
  • Tony: :'(.
  • Wife: I've bought you some Viagra to test.
  • Husband: Excellent! Let's give it a go.
  • Wife: It's just to stop you rolling out of bed.
  • Husband: :'(.

An Academic Look at :'(

:'( is classified as an icon because it is a pictorial representation.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "I feel so sad" or "I am heartbroken" instead of :'(.

Example of :'( Used in a Text

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