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Often I find people in the chat using emoticons. Most are simple to decipher, but I can't figure out what these two mean.

:3

and

:S

What do they mean?

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closed as off topic by Dusty, simchona, Hugo, ghoppe, Marthaª Nov 21 '11 at 15:22

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1  
I never use smileys, but I always interpret the first one as buttface. So don't listen to me. –  Cerberus Nov 21 '11 at 3:54
    
This doesn't relate to English IMO. –  Mahnax Nov 21 '11 at 5:48
    
@Mahnax It's not specific to English (theoretically), but it's a major factor in a lot of communications using the English language. –  John Nov 21 '11 at 5:53
    
I see no difference between asking about how to use this and asking about how to use some other aspect of English communication properly. –  John Nov 21 '11 at 5:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As with most smileys, but especially with these unclear ones, how they are being used by any given person might vary. However, this is my experience with them...

:3 is an animal face, especially a cat. It either means "cute" or "mischievous." As in "I'm too cute to be mad at, right?"

:S means "worried". The mouth is all contorted as if in pain. As in, "this topic makes me upset."

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:3, as suggested by Jeremy, is a cutesy animal face.

:S, however in my experience, is a confused smile, as you see in MSN messenger.

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:S in my experience is supposed to be like Charlie Brown's face when the mouth is just a squiggly line. It can mean confusion, embarrassment, or being at a loss for words, or some combination of them. –  kitukwfyer Nov 21 '11 at 4:35

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