Icelandic Language Blog

Iceland emoticons? Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Icelandic culture, Icelandic customs


Emoticon army by gacabo at Flickr.

In the recent news the foreign ministry of Finland is releasing Finland-specific emoticons as a Christmas calendar. These include scenes and things so Finnish that the current emoticon lists don’t have anything even remotely similar on them such as a Nokia phone and people having sauna. Naturally it struck me that it’s unfair to let Finland have all the fun so here are some ideas I had for Iceland-specific emoticons!


Naturally, the Atlantic puffin was at the top of the list as a bird that’s very close to the hearts of both Icelanders and foreign visitors. Especially useful for people from the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman islands) for whom puffins are an integral part of life, especially during the season when the summer’s puffin chicks, pufflings, leave nests and occasionally make their way downtown by accident instead of swimming out to sea. Puffin emoticons could also be made in sets for all possible puffin feelings!

Raven, golden plover

Two more birds right after because both are heralds of a changing season: the ravens move to towns during the start of autumn and spend the winter among humanfolk. The golden plover likewise heralds a season, the spring. These two might not be as obvious for non-Icelanders but I guarantee here their arrivals are very much noticed. Additionally the Ásatrú people could probably use emoticons portraying not just one but two ravens.



Volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull glacier by Daníel Örn Gíslason at Flickr.

Erupting volcano

This one would have so many uses. It could portray explosive, overflowing emotions, extreme keenness on some matter, anger, or simply to denote an actual volcano erupting – “Hi mum, this Hekla-hike just turned really exciting!” *erupting volcano emotion*

Erupting Strokkur

The use could be similar to that of the erupting volcano except used for slightly more temperate emotions. To really annoy your friends you could also use it to mark every time Strokkur erupts – about every seven minutes.


For the times when you just have to let things flow. A massive burst of inspiration has caught you by surprise, some amazing person has swept you off your feet, that last drink was one too many, “Please tell me the queue to the toilets isn’t really long right now”.

Horizontal rain

Typical Icelandic weather phenomena, rain that attacks you from all sides at once. Some people refer to weather like this as “walking through a car wash” but in fact, for a full Icelandic weather experience you’d also have to stand knee deep in buckets of ice and slush with a randomly rotating wind machine tossing you this way and that. Someone throwing a trampoline at you would be extra points for accuracy.
As for what it could be used… well, most likely just for airing out your feelings about the weather maybe? I know that’s what the locals would use it for…



Twisted trampoline by Klobetime at Flickr.

 A flying trampoline

Like the previous one it would be really handy and no doubt popular when discussing just how windy it is today. To make one thing clear, Iceland is always windy, the only variation is in how windy it is. Trust me on this, the wind can also change in a moment’s notice from “slight breeze” to “trampolines flying around everywhere”.

Hot dog

Another one that might not seem so Icelandic unless you live here and know just how big a deal Icelandic hot dogs are for the locals. Any moment is a hot dog moment. However, because people’s hot dog tastes differ greatly I’m also going to suggest one for each possible toppings combination!


The token Reykjavík emoticon, that one building everyone recognizes the capital city for.



Hallgrimskirkja Reykjavik Iceland HDR by Jack Torcello at Flickr.

These are just the first ones that came to my mind though, so I think I’ll let you readers have the ball now – what emoticons would you suggest for Iceland? I’d also love to hear about your own home country, what kind of emoticons would best portray it?

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About the Author: hulda

Hi, I'm Hulda, originally Finnish but now living in the suburbs of Reykjavík. I'm here to help you in any way I can if you're considering learning Icelandic. Nice to meet you!


  1. Kenjpd / Ken Doran:

    As a student of Icelandic, your blogs have been so insightful. Takk fyrir

  2. Kenjpd / Ken Doran:

    Ég er að læra íslensku
    Reading these blogs has been so insightful
    Takk Fyrir

  3. Constanze:

    Hey Hulda, this is Constanze from the German blog. I just want to say that I adore this idea of country-specific emoticons! I may have to nick it for my own use. 😛 Great post!! x

    • hulda:

      @Constanze Hi, nice to meet you and thank you! Please do nick the idea, I’d love to see more country-specific emoticons. In a way they’re a very truthful window to the deepest roots of what it is to live in a certain country. 😀