Where does come from?
Unicode approved snowman without snow emoji ⛄ in 2009 under Unicode 5.2. In August 2015, it was also added to its Emoji 1.0 set.
Snowman emoji, ☃️, which features falling snowflakes, existed before actual emoji did … as a Unicode glyph in 1993 and originally didn’t feature snow. Go figure.
Snowman without snow emoji is ⛄ used interchangeably with snowman emoji. Discerning emoji-ers may opt for snowman emoji ☃️ for extra wintry effect.
Most versions of the snowman without snow emoji ⛄ have only two mounds (a head and a body), as shown in the screenshot from Emojipedia below. It is displayed with a top hat, carrot nose, stick arms, and often scarf … Frosty the Snowman style.
Why only two mounds, you ask?
The West is more used to seeing three-mound snowmen, but there may be a reason why Japanese ones only have two. The Japanese word for snowman is yukidaruma, which literally translates as “snow daruma.” A daruma is a type of little, round, wooden, or papier mâché doll, closely linked to Buddhist practice and often used as a token of good luck. Legend has it that the doll represents a Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma, who meditated for nine years sitting down, atrophying his legs—which is why the doll is round.
OK, why are we telling you this story?
Early to medieval Japanese woodblock paintings have depicted two-mound snow sculptures resembling daruma, which suggests a link to Japanese two-mounded snowmen to the legend of Bodhidharma.
Who uses ?
Snowman without snow emoji ⛄ is most often used with pictures of snow, snowy places, wintery things and activities, winter holidays, and, well, snowmen.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) January 17, 2016
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02/04/18 ♥ • • • #🏔 #ceresolereale #memories #bluesky #nature #mountains #naturephotography #likeforlikes #photo #mothernature #clouds #italy #panorama #toptags #l4like #snow #⛄ #outdoors #happiness #💙 #landscape_lovers #goodvibes #ricordi #instagram #picoftheday #igdaily #colorful #frozen #❄️
It can also be used to visually represent that a person is cold.
It’s also sometimes used in reference to Disney’s 2013 animated film, Frozen. That’s most likely because it bears a slight resemblance to the character Olaf, who is a sentient snowman in the movie.
In early 2016, there was a dramatic spike in search interest for snowman without snow emoji ⛄ in the midst of several winter storms on the North American east coast and in the UK.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) January 18, 2016
— BBC_HaveYourSay (@BBC_HaveYourSay) January 24, 2016
— Mediabistro (@Mediabistro) January 22, 2016