From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the emoticon. For the Xia king, see Jiong of Xia. For the Western Jin king, see Sima Jiong.
Jiong (囧) in Kaishu, Clerical, Seal and Oracle bone scripts (top to bottom).

Jiong[1] (Chinese: ; pinyin: jiǒng; Jyutping: gwing2) is a once obscure Chinese character meaning a "patterned window".[2] Since 2008, it has become an internet phenomenon and widely used to express embarrassment and gloom, because of the character's resemblance to a sad facial expression.[3]

Original meanings[edit]

  1. Window, according to Xu Shen's 2nd-century dictionary Shuowen Jiezi: “窻牖麗廔闓明” (an open and light window).
  2. Granary. 米囧 means “put the new rice into a granary”.
  3. Sacrificial place. Based on Chouli.
  4. Toponym.

Internet emoticon[edit]

The character for jiong is nowadays more widely used on the Internet as an ideographic emoticon representing a range of moods, as it resembles a person's face. It is commonly used to express ideas or feelings such as annoyance, shock, embarrassment, awkwardness, etc.

The use of jiong as an emoticon can be traced to 2005 or earlier; it was referenced on 20 January 2005 in a Chinese-language article on orz.[4] The character is sometimes used in conjunction with orz, OTZ or its other variants to form "囧rz", representing a person on their hands and knees (jiong forming the face, while r and z represent arms and legs respectively) and symbolising despair or failure.


  1. ^ An approximate pronunciation in English is /ˈjŋ/.
  2. ^ Li & Li 2014, pp. 252-3.
  3. ^ Hammond & Richey 2014, p. 141.
  4. ^