Before we start, a quick definition is in order. Internationalized domain names (IDNs) are domain names that are displayed in a native language's script or alphabet. That is to say, a script or alphabet not found in the English language. Like emoji domains, IDNs are converted to punycode (a limited set of characters in ASCII) in browsers to prevent homograph or phishing attacks.
Today we talk about unique domain names. By unique, we mean unconventional whether it looks different or because of its background is different.
As fans of emoji domains, we know it is sort of strange to highlight what is different with pictographic domains that are already different from their textual counterparts. Yet we have managed to find a few rare ones. So let's go over some of what we think are not only uncommon but also compelling.
First up is the Egyptian hieroglyph ".com" domain above that shows a man on two giraffes is clearly unique visually. Can any domain say it is more unusual than this one? Despite its appearance, it's not an emoji but an IDN. It is considered a letter or a component of a word in ancient Egypt.
Other domains are less obvious, like the modern pentathlon ".to" domain below. The character is currently not an emoji but a Unicode character:
The Unicode character above was set to become an emoji in Unicode 9.0 in 2016 but due to a last-time objection by Apple and backed by Microsoft -- something they both agreed on! -- it was rejected. The objection was the emoji candidate had a man shooting a rifle. What they thought about the fencing, swimming, horseback riding, and running is anyone's guess. The pentathlon is a summer Olympic sport.
In the same Unicode meeting, Apple and Microsoft also objected to the rifle emoji:
The objection seems more reasonable here until we found out the origin of this rifle. Like the pentathlon, the rifle idea came from the Olympics. The biathlon is a winter Olympic sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The rifle shooting was to test the athlete's skill in marksmanship.
And like the pentathlon, the rifle too was rejected from emoji status but kept its Unicode character status.
We tried to reach out to those who were there at the meeting and below is the response we received:
We are a member and official sponsor of Unicode, albeit we are relatively new. We plan to be more involved in Unicode in the future.
Needless to say, we'll keep our pentathlon and rifle domains because we believe it represents well a social issue at the heart of why so many Americans feel the way they feel, whether it's for gun control or gun rights.
Going back to the Egyptian ".com" hieroglyphs there are a few more we would like to hightlight:
The first of the three above is the Egyptian god Bes, who is a defender of the household, guarding all that is good and keeping away all that is bad. Unlike other Egyptian gods, he isn't shown in profile but in full face, which indicates a readiness, even an attack mode. What's hanging down between his legs is probably what you would suspect, since he also represents entertainment and sexual pleasure. Is your domain this exotic?
The second of the three above looks like a flower vase but it is in fact a pen and ink pot. A writing device. As a collector of fountain pens, we like this hieroglyph very much. There is another hieroglyph domain with the pen on the left and the ink pot on the right, which we also own. Perfect for left-handers!
The third of the three above is a female pharaoh holding a flower. However, what is unusual about her is she is wearing a beard, which represents royalty and authority. Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh, was known to wear one. You want gender equality? Well the Egyptians seemed to have achieved it thousands of years ago.
We also like well-balanced emoji domains, especially if it's in relations to the extension's name:
Of course we enjoy what emojis are most famous for -- silly faces:
The uniqueness of an emoji domain name isn't even limited to single characters. Sometimes, a multiple-character domain would be more valuable than a single. For instance, when you want to go to a five-star hotel or restaurant, you don't want to go to a one-star emoji domain. You would need a five-star emoji domain:
Emoji domains are already inherently different when compared to millions of domain names in text. So to find the truly unique emoji domain, you would have to be creative beyond words. And going beyond words is what we at Punycode.com enjoy and specialize in.