Emojis: The New Hieroglyphics

If you were on the computer in the early 2000s, you likely remember AIM, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger, and all of the other instant messaging services before iMessage. Those of us old enough to remember these programs know that these new emojis aren’t the first of their kind.

Emojis aren’t new?

If you think about it, even those emojis weren’t the first of their kind. The Ancient Egyptians were using pictures to tell stories long before AIM.

Let’s take a look at some emojis now compared to their hieroglyphic translations.

Emoji Owl vs. Hieroglyphic Owl




Typically when we see an owl, the depiction of them is their head facing out and bodies facing the other way. This depiction actually derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphics.

In Egypt, they are seen as “keen-sighted hunters.” Egyptians also value how wise this animal is. The emoji owl may be adorable but be sure to remember it’s excellent hunting roots!

Emoji Snake vs. Hieroglyphic Snake



Egyptian, Hieroglyphics, Sign, Mummy, Grave, Pharaoh

Snakes are a huge part of Ancient Egypt’s history. Ancient Egyptian practice worshipping snakes and snakes are heavily associated with the sun god, Ra.

There’s even a Goddess, Wadjet. Wadjet is a goddess with a cobra head, says Britannica. This is a fantastic example of just how close our emoji is to the hieroglyphic.

Emoji Man vs. Hieroglyphic Man



Egyptian, Design, Man, Royal, Ancient Egypt, Collage

This is probably the most clearcut hieroglyphic we have a record of. The Egyptians leave very little confusion as to what’s going on or what they’re trying to portray.

It’s phenomenal that even after all of these years, we’re able to understand Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Will we as a society revert back to emojis? Do you think that future societies will look at our emojis like ours looks at hieroglyphics?

In Egypt, Arabic is now spoken. Learn the language of present-day Egypt with Cudoo’s online interactive Arabic course. Feel good about what you’re learning – for every course you complete, we’ll donate one!


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