The Origin of Beating A Dead Horse

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Livius-Beating A Dead Horse.gif

The Beating A Dead Horse smiley has made it's way into pop culture and can be found on forums and message boards everywhere. And why not? It's a very useful smiley.

So lets discuss who made it and why.

Although it looks like one of Fool's smileys, it is actually not his. The smiley in question was actually made way back in Feb 4 2005, by an artist from deviantART known as livius.[1]

At the time, it sparked a lot of controversy from Animal cruelty activists and people not familiar with the expression.

??? number of comments complaints/controversy

In fact, people were STILL commenting on it even 3 years later.

In 2008, having had enough, it sparked this response in her dA journal.[2]

If one more person lectures me about animal abuse in the comments on my Beating a Dead Horse emoticon, I swear to Harold my head is going to explode.

I need a "It's just an expression, people, get the fug over yourselves" stamp. Please, I beg of you. Assuage my agony. It doesn't have to be in those words. It just has to convey that message to keep me sane.

And possibly to link future such commentors to because I don't think I can stand to answer them in complete sentences anymore.

So there you have it.

BTW Livius no longer creates smileys anymore, however all of her art can be found on her deviantART page.


  1. ^ Link to image.
  2. ^ livius, (2008-02-10) dA journal Urge to Kill... Rising. Again.
Article Information
Author: BradLee
Date Published: Article has not been published yet
Other Contributors: None
Last Modified: July 9, 2010

*** This article has not been reviewed or approved by the referenced artist ***