In 2013 the word 'emoji' was in a dictionary for the first time. But in Slovakia a discovery has shown that emojis have been used for 400 years.
Modern emojis can also look quite old, but not as old as the oldest emojis in the world, which was dropped almost 400 years ago.
At the national archives in Trenčín, Slovakia, they think it could have happened this way:
In 1635, lawyer Jan Ladislaides had to take stock of the municipal balance in a village in the Strážov Mountains.
The lawyer was so pleased with the numbers that he signed a circle next to his signature.
He placed two dots and a line in the circle. Today, most people would see a smiley face in it.
Balance approved with a smile
Whether the world's first emoji actually originated in this way is unknown, says Peter Brindza, the head of the national archives in Trenčín.
There is no doubt, however, that lawyer Jan Ladislaides approved the balance in 1635 with a smiling face.
'Of course I cannot rule out the existence of older emojis that have not yet been discovered. But this is without a doubt one of the oldest, "says Brindza.
Acceptance and recognition
Although the face looks more neutral than happy, according to Peter Brindza it is obvious that the emoji expresses acceptance and recognition.
The lawyer has written a text above the signature and the face in which he expresses his satisfaction with the approved balance sheet.
The first digital emojis were created in 1999 in Japan, and in 2013 the word 'emoji' was in a dictionary for the first time. It is estimated that six billion emojis are sent every day worldwide.