Why is dingbat used to refer to characters such as "☺"?
(See for instance those at the Mozilla Web Developer FAQ.)
Doesn't dingbat mean a stupid person or something?
The word's etymology leads me to believe that it is a generic word, akin to widget, doohickey, and thingamajig.
Dingbat is a typographical device other than a letter or numeral (such as an asterisk), used to signal divisions in text or to replace letters in a euphemistically presented vulgar word.
I also think that the correlation with its other sense (a stupid or eccentric person) is rather apparent.
This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.