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Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emoticons, here is an explanation of some emoticons:

8-) shades

I was wondering what does "shades" mean here? Does it mean smile?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, JeffSahol, Jasper Loy, simchona, Hugo Dec 18 '11 at 23:36

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I think it's off-topic –  FumbleFingers Dec 18 '11 at 18:17
    
I would say that it is on-topic, as it is asking the meaning of a word; it would eventually be a "general reference," but I am not sure I would close it for that reason. It is not even true it is too localized. –  kiamlaluno Dec 18 '11 at 19:29
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This is general reference. One link: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english/… –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:01
    
@Mahnax: how is somebody who doesn't know that shades means sunglasses supposed to guess that the emoticon means cool? Maybe he uses them to protect his eyes from the sun. –  TimLymington Dec 18 '11 at 21:23
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The 8-) Emoticon represents a smiling face wearing sunglasses (shades is an informal word for sunglasses as mentioned above). The emoticon is taken to refer to the context being 'cool' (informal for good).

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+1 for giving the answer that was needed rather than the literal one. –  TimLymington Dec 18 '11 at 19:27
    
I don't generally use these "exotic" smileys, but to be honest I'd have been more likely to interpret this one as boffin (scientists are often stereotyped as wearing thick pebble-glasses). So I'd assume it meant something along the lines of "Whatever I wrote before this smiley should be interpreted as having come from a person who knows the technical details of what he's talking about" –  FumbleFingers Dec 19 '11 at 17:03
    
However when rendered by message boards (IPB, phpBB & vBulletin) in addition to Skype and MSN messenger the 8-) emoticon is always shown to be a smiling face wearing black opaque sunglasses. This doesn't really fit with the 'boffin' concept, which I believe is not correct =) –  Rory Dec 19 '11 at 17:21
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Shades is an informal word for sunglasses. That is what that smiley should remind of: the face of a person wearing sunglasses.

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Thanks! What kind of emotion does 8-) mean? –  Tim Dec 18 '11 at 19:08
    
I generally see it used to mean "I am cool!" –  kiamlaluno Dec 18 '11 at 19:28
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