How to Make a Thumbs-Up on the Keyboard

By Karie Lapham Fay

Social psychologists and sociologists suggest that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Verbal communication, in other words, is incomplete without nonverbal cues such as the tone of voice, facial expression and body language. Technology-savvy individuals overcome this barrier to a large extent with symbols -- emoticons or keyboard characters to express personality and emotion. Accepted symbols vary among cultures. The thumbs-up symbol is simple to make, regardless of the form you use.

Step 1

Hit the caret symbol, "^," to represent a thumbs-up symbol. Less commonly used and more informal, the caret symbol is often used in math. Inserted into a text or email, the symbol indicates a thumbs-up.

Step 2

Type "(Y)." "Y" often represents a "yes" answer on forms and questionnaires, so the implied meaning is to go ahead -- a thumbs-up. Some messenger programs insert an emoticon with a thumbs-up when you insert this symbol.

Step 3

Type a colon, a dash, and a "b" followed by a "d" for another thumbs-up symbol: :-bd. This is a double thumbs-up and ppears in some messenger programs as well as in other informal electronic communications. Remove one of the letters to create a single thumbs-up. Many symbols for emoticons are based on the human face. In this symbol, the colon signifies eyes, the dash a nose, and both the "b" and "d" resemble fists with thumbs sticking up.

Step 4

Create your own thumbs-up emoticon for informal chat or posts on social websites and in e-mail. Use the symbols for fists, eyes and even carets to invent new thumbs-up prompts. For example, typing "b^.^d"looks like eyes and a nose with two thumbs-up on either side. Your friends and contacts are sure to get the hint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Meaning is culturally-based. Depending on where someone lives, the meaning of a gesture may vary greatly. In some Middle-Eastern countries, for instance, a thumbs-up is an obscene gesture. The context of the situation can also change the meaning. Use thumbs-up gestures and emoticons with caution.