Where does the word ahegao come from ?

Where does the word ahegao come from
Table Of Contents

Most people in Japan, a country where ahegao is a well-known term, are unaware of its origin. It may come as a surprise to many that this word has nothing at all to do with anime or manga. The term ahegao comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the English phrase “ah eh goh” which means “I am happy”. This is because ahegao usually refers to an expression on someone’s face when they are so overcome by happiness and emotion that their eyes become red and watery, and their mouth hangs open slightly as if gasping for air.

Ahegao is a common expression in a Japanese online communication. Online culture in Japan has a long history of communicating ahegao through text-based chat programs like LINE, a messaging app which is especially popular in the country. To express ahegao, a user can input a sequence of alphanumeric characters in their messages and this will communicate to other users that they are overcome with happiness. This word may also be used to express emotions such as extreme joy or shock. This term is very versatile because it can be expressed in many different ways.

Etymology

The word ahegao has a rather simple etymology. It comes from a merging of two Japanese words, ahe which means “happiness” and aho which means “open”. A combination results in a term that literally means “open happiness” or “happy open mouth”, a somewhat apropos name for a facial expression. It is a very descriptive portmanteau because ahegao literally describes a face that looks as if the person has been overcome with happiness and emotion.

  • Ahegao is a word used to describe a facial expression
  • Ahegao is a Japanese term with a literal meaning of “open happiness” or “happy open mouth”
  • Ahegao is commonly used in the Japanese online community and has a long history of being used through text based chat programs like LINE
  • Ahegao can be used to express emotions such as extreme joy or shock

History

Most people in Japan, a country where ahegao is a well-known term, are unaware of its origin. It may come as a surprise to many that this word has nothing at all to do with anime or manga. The term ahegao comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the English phrase “ah eh goh” which means “I am happy”. This is because ahegao usually refers to an expression on someone’s face when they are so overcome by happiness and emotion that their eyes become red and watery, and their mouth hangs open slightly as if gasping for air.

Ahegao is a common expression in a Japanese online communication. Online culture in Japan has a long history of communicating ahegao through text-based chat programs like LINE, a messaging app which is especially popular in the country. To express ahegao, a user can input a sequence of alphanumeric characters in their messages and this will communicate to other users that they are overcome with happiness. This word may also be used to express emotions such as extreme joy or shock. This term is very versatile because it can be expressed in many different ways.

Ahegao is commonly used in the Japanese online community and has a long history of being used through text based chat programs like LINE

A hegao can be used to express emotions such as extreme joy or shock.

The history of this word began a long time ago in a country a long way away. It was a time when not everyone had a slew of electronic gadgets at their disposal to communicate with one another. In fact, many people would use a device that is still popular today instead of a phone – a typewriter. Ahegao has its origins in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States where it was used as shorthand for “I will go now” or some variation thereof in text based role playing games which were extremely popular at the time. There were innumerable multiplayer online computer RPGs (or MUDs) starting from around 1978 to 1989 during a period known as the second generation of Dungeons & Dragons , which became extremely popular among teens and young adults who enjoyed a very active and exciting role playing experience. These types of interactive games were a social media phenomenon in their own right and a space where people could gather to interact with one another while assuming a particular identity and role within the community – a precursor to the virtual reality we have today.

The popularity of text based MUDs led to a gaming culture which was dependent on these programs for communication. Because ahegao is an expression that literally means “happy open mouth”, it became a word used by players when they wanted to comment on how another player looked online or express surprise at a situation happening in the game world. The emergence of this term can be directly attributed to the role playing games played via text-based chat programs and a culture that was very much dependent on interaction with one another.

The ahegao phenomenon is a byproduct of a Japanese online community which is also heavily reliant on the use of text-based chats and messaging apps to communicate online. While a Japanese person who does not play video games may have never heard the word ahegao, anyone who spends a lot of time in chat rooms and message boards will know exactly what it means because ahegao has become synonymous with many different aspects of Japanese Internet culture.

Ahegao clothing in japan

1. What ahegao means ?

Ahegao is a Japanese term with a literal meaning of “open happiness” or “happy open mouth”. – ahegao is commonly used in the Japanese online community and has a long history of being used through text based chat programs like LINE. – ahegao can be used to express emotions such as extreme joy or shock.

2. Where ahegao comes from ?

Ahegao has a rather a simple etymology. It comes from a merging of two Japanese words, ahe which means “happiness” and aho which means “open”. – ahegao literally means “open happiness” or “happy open mouth”, a somewhat apropos name for a facial expression

3. How ahegao is used in the Japanese online community ?

Ahegao is a common expression in a Japanese online communication. Online culture in Japan has a long history of communicating ahegao through text-based chat programs like LINE, a messaging app that is especially popular in the country. To express ahegao, a user can input a sequence of alphanumeric characters in their messages

Conclusion

Ahegao is a Japanese term with a literal meaning of “open happiness” or “happy open mouth”. Ahegao is commonly used in the Japanese online community and has a long history of being used through text-based chat programs like LINE. A heega can be expressed to express emotions such as extreme joy, shock, etcetera. This word may also be used to describe a facial expression where someone’s eyes become red and watery from an overwhelming state of happiness or emotion. The etymology behind this word comes from combining two words: ‘Ahe’ which means “happiness” and ‘aho’ which means “to open up” (or possibly happy opening their mouths). It literally translates into a state of a person being so overcome with happiness that their mouth hangs open a bit in a gasping manner. By taking a sequence of alphanumeric characters and inputting this into a chat program, ahegao can be communicated to a user’s conversation partner(s). This way, it is possible for people to communicate that they are happy or excited without actually saying the word itself.

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It may seem confusing as to why a heega has such a meaning behind it. However, when looking at the history of Japanese online communication culture, one will see that ahegao has been used by users on different messaging platforms long before the term “ahegao” even existed. One example is an ASCII art version of a ahegao, which can be seen on a Japanese message board dedicated to a popular video game. This ASCII art was used in a thread started in 2007 where the author of said ASCII art boasts a heega while other forum users make fun of his geeky handiwork. It is safe to say that there has been a history of ahegao culture existing online as early as 2007.

As for why “ahegao” happened to become the term for this expression, it comes down to how written Japanese works. Since certain characters resemble their sounds and are easy to type, people tend to use such characters when communicating through chat programs (such as LINE) instead of using more common character representations like hiragana or katakana. A good example of a commonly used character that gets a lot of use in Japanese chat programs is a fishhook-like symbol which replaces a single “o” and a hyphen for a character sequence like ahegaoooooooo (the long string of O’s is pronounced as ahegao). This particular sequence was popularized when people would write the expression “ah, yan [fishhook]”. If this were written out fully into the actual characters (which are much more complicated), it would look like あへがぁ、やん? For a Western audience it may not be immediately obvious why such a word exists but to those who are familiar with ahegao a direct translation into English does not really make sense. So a convenient shorthand was needed when writing Japanese characters and “ahegao” filled that need.