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Updated on March 20, 2009

All About Wingdings

While watching Cash Cab, there was a question about a symbol font with links to conspiracy theories. This piqued my interest, so after about an hour of research and writing, here's everything I discovered in one spot. The history and conspiracies of The Wingdings Font!



n. Informal

A lavish or lively party or celebration

A Brief History of Wingdings

Everything you never knew you needed to know

Wingdings is a TrueType dingbat font included in all versions of Microsoft Windows starting with version 3.1, released in 1992. It was originally developed in 1990 by Microsoft by combining symbols from Lucida Icons, licensed from Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes, whose original design was meant to complement the Lucida family of fonts.

The Wingdings font is a registered trademark of Microsoft, and the order of the symbols was patented. This font contains many largely recognized shapes and gestures as well some recognized world symbols.

The NYC Theory

NYC = Death to Jews, Thumbs Up

In 1992, only days after the release of Windows 3.1, it was discovered that the character sequence "NYC" in Wingdings was rendered as a skull and crossbones, Star of David, and thumbs up. This could be interpreted as a message of approval of killing Jews, especially those from New York City.

Microsoft strongly denied that this was intentional, and insisted that the final arrangement of the symbols in the font was largely random. In the later Webdings font, the character sequence "NYC" is rendered as an eye, a heart, and a city skyline. This could be interpreted as "I Love New York City". Microsoft has stated that this is intentional.

The 9/11 Theory

Q33NY = Plane Crash into WTC and Death to Jews

Shortly After the attacks of September 11, 2001, another rumor circulated about the Wingdings font. If the sequence "Q33NY" is typed in Wingdings, the "Q" becomes an aircraft, the "3's" become lined documents (which resemble skyscrapers), the "N" becomes a skull and crossbones, and the "Y" becomes the Star of David.

The resulting graphics look like an aircraft preparing to impact the World Trade Center, with a message of death for those of Jewish faith. The "NY" stands for New York, and "Q33" allegedly was the designation of one of the aircraft.

Under scrutiny, this theory is easily shown to have no validity as none of the aircraft used on that day bore the designation of "Q33." It is often suggested that "Q33" was a reference to a bus route, typically alleged to be at the World Trade Center itself, or to one of the airports involved. In reality, bus route "Q33" serves LaGuardia Airport, and none of the hijacked aircraft took off from or were heading there.

The Doomsday Font

The notion that digitized fonts might actually be prophetic first gained currency in 1999, when doomsday predictions of all kinds abounded. Some clever soul discovered that typing out the word "MILLENNIUM" in Wingdings produces the result above.

Disseminated to a doomsday-obsessed worldwide audience via the Internet, this nugget of trivia was soon being characterized as "eerie," "spooky," and "a weird coincidence" - which it most certainly was. As we know, all of the millennial doomsayers were ultimately proven wrong, but by then font folklore had already shifted away from conspiracy theories and into the arena of prophecy.

Wingdings Reference

Wingdings Reference
Wingdings Reference

Found more interesting combos in Wingdings? Or just want to comment? Please do!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      N and A aren't for North America.

      America took A and N for Army and Navy for callsigns.

      They then added a single Morse character after these to create civilian versions, W and K.

      So... America think they own Army and Navy, and their international callsign letters are W, A, N, K.

    • Mathiias profile image

      Mathiias 8 years ago

      @anonymous: Please read what you are commenting on before criticizing it. It is stated very clearly above that "none of the aircraft used on that day bore the designation of Q33." It is a rumor, and an untrue one, and stated as such above. And Spell Check could be a good friend to you too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Q33NY is incorrect.. sorry.. just another stupid roomer..

      no plane hit the towers, pentagon or some field under Q33NY

      the planes were as follows:

      UA93 was N591UA

      AA11 was N334AA

      UA175 was N612UA

      AA77 was N644AA

      No north american planes will start with Q.. his an N, or A for (North America)

      Get your facts straight guys. this is bull

      and trust me im big in conspiracy and i can see through this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      H1N1 is also interesting but I don't know what it mean for now .... First symbol is a house and the second on is a rectangle the third one is a eye and a square ... Does it mean they will have an eye on us ???????????????????????????????

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      yeah just cuz it doesn't actually have any bearing on the american murder of their own citizens on that september morning, it is still weird the way there are lots of relligious icons and violent ones, but none for love and reason

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      do it

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i had to do a school project in this thx for the website

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      OMG! This is SO cool! I can't wait to show this site to all my friends. I mean, who'd have known. How did they make up these random signs for all the letters? Why can't there be a heart? Why does it have to be so violent?