Everything You Need to Know About UwU and OwO

So, let’s take a moment just to get this out there: communicating through emojis and the (seemingly) outdated emoticons is hard when you are trying to desperately keep up with whoever you’re interacting with.  If you’re looking for some support in this area, we’ve got you covered.  We’ll be diving into everything you need to know about UwU and OwO.  What do they mean?  Are they the same thing?  Are these emojis even used?  It’s all waiting for you below.

How to pronounce UwU and OwO 

Since UwU and OwO is an emoticon, it's hard to properly pronounce them and there's really no one correct way. But most people say "oou-wh-oou~". Now, if you're actually really serious about using it the correct way in real life, you'll have to say it in a high pitch voice with a heart hand sign like so:

korean heart hand sign

What does UwU and OwO even mean?

You’ll be relieved to know that both of these emojis have very similar meaning.  Some people call them emojis others call them emoticons (sooooo 2006) and others consider them to be memes.  Whatever you determine to call it, it’s probably one of these three.

Synonymous, these are actually supposed to represent facial expressions, similar to the use of ^_^ or xD.  Think of the Us or Os as eyes and the w in between them is an up curved smile.  It may take you a few tries to see it that way, as the “mouth” should ideally be on the line below.

These both are used to represent a seemingly impossible amount of joy or excitement or cuteness.  Think about how you would use the word “squee” to describe a kitten that is purring and curled up around your finger.  UwU and/or OwO would be a more visual way to describe it.

More recently it could be described as some sort of low energy happiness, but it’s still more common to see it in an overwhelming cuteness and happy vibes online.

But what’s the difference between UwU and OwO? (fun fact, they’re not exactly the same!) UwU is mainly used as an expression trying to convey a “chill kind of joy” emotion, whereas OwO is mainly used as a “surprised joy” emotion (much like O.O).


Where did it come from?

There’s quite a bit of speculation on where this emoji came from, but it’s thought that it documents all the way back to 2005 and the world of fanfiction.  It was used in author’s notes or even in the text of some fanfics in order to better describe the reaction of a certain character to a situation.

Once memes became a thing a few years later, it was in one of the early adaptations of the “first generation” of memes which is long gone, now. 

The root of the expression is considered to be anime and Japanese artistic culture, as it is often thought to match the artistic design of most anime characters when you focus on the actual expression of the emoji itself.

It is, of course, widely used online all over the world, so it isn’t as thought to be specifically used by anime lovers any more. 


How did it ever become so popular?

In answering this, you need to take a moment to look at its history and the actual definition of UwU and OwO.  Once you understand how to use it, it’s pretty expressive.  When you’re in a place where classic actual emojis and emoticons don’t work, this one will do in a pinch.

This one is so popular because it’s fast to type in and it can convey your emotions perfectly. We now have the sheer power of communicating emotion through expressions that are made out of text…what a world!


Why do people keep saying it?

There are some people who don’t really get the world of emojis.  Some of these people are the older generation who are still relatively new to the world of these little yellow smiley faces, but there are also those who are “too cool” to use them.  These are the kinds of people that often will wonder why people keep saying and using it. Take a look.

  • No translation issues: Even if people are trying to communicate in two different languages, emojis need no translation. Great for making sure that emotion is properly communicated.
  • It’s fast to type: These are two of the easiest emojis to type in terms of keystrokes and effort. This is great for fast typists and easy communication.
  • It’s accurate in its sentiment: Once you understand the emoji, you have to admit that it’s pretty accurate and consistent as it’s used. Now the goal is to use it as much as you can to save yourself the trouble of having to describe how you feel!

There’s no question that emojis are here to stay.  Whether they’re used in facial form, text form, or combined with memes, they’ve got a lot of prestige amongst chatroom and general internet users all over the world.  UwU and OwO are certainly amongst the winners and now you can go on out there and join the crowd!

gif of gray cat being kissed by white uwu cat

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Everything You Need to Know About UwU and OwO

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