ANIMATION with Blissymbols

film (cylinder + camera [enclosure + light {eye + sun}]) + pencil: film on which images are drawn

Julie Millar and Shirley McNaughton have had some fun looking at the ways in which Blissymbols have been animated through the decades. They have chosen three examples and made three short videos to demonstrate them. Enjoy!

Playing with Blissymbols

This video (3:48 minutes) is taken from the film, "Mr. Symbol Man", produced by The National Film Board of Canada and Film Australia in 1974. It shows children playing with felt Blissymbols at the McGill Family Centre before being shown the film "Symbol Boy". After seeing the film, one little girl is asked to name the felt symbols. See how many symbols she learned, just though seeing the film once!

Learning with Bliss

This video (2:17 minutes) is taken from the film "Take the Time", produced for Rogers Community Mississauga Productions in 1995. It includes the Blissymbols for seeing, talking, hearing, walking, being introduced, followed by and Shayne Dennis using the combine strategy when communicating with his teacher, Barbara Rush in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Music with Bliss

This video (2:23 minutes) is taken from "Celebrating 50 Years of Bliss" produced by Blissymbolics Communication Institute - Canada in 2021. It shows Blissymbols accompanying the "Blissymbols Alphabet Song", animated by Julie Millar and sung by Aaron Lightstone. Julie is editor of narrative videos produced by Blissymbolics Communication Institute - Canada, through funding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Resilient Communities Fund 2021. Aaron is music director of the Bliss I-Band, a project of Blissymbolics Communication Institute - Canada.

Symbol Secrets

Back in the early seventies, I received funding from the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, to publish a book about the children in our first Blissymbol classes. It was an exciting project, providing a glimpse into the type of experiences we had, as children used Blissymbols for the first time. The changes in their lives were profound, as they learned to share their thoughts and imagination. Our classrooms grew from a part-time class in the basement of the Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre (OCCC), now the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, to two full-time classrooms in the school wing. Throughout our initial program and its expansion, we were supported by an interdisciplinary team of committed professionals. From this early beginning in 1971, the use of Bliss spread to 32 countries and 17 languages. When our Bliss archival collection is completed, there will be many more experiences to share. For now Symbol Secrets provides a beginning!

On Sunday Aug. 2, Don Heights Unitarian Congregation devoted the zoom  service to sharing the creative accomplishments of members and friends. There were presentations of humorous short stories, thoughtful reflections, and, best of all, three children’s stories. One was a loving tale about a friendly giant and a lost butterfly, called The Princess Butterfly, written by Bev Gorbet with her young students many years ago. One was about a pig that angered his fellow farm animals by biting them until one day he learned to stop, accompanied by a song, by Chris White. This story and song had been written when Chris was a teenager, trying to stop his very young brother from biting family members. Lastly, I read a section of Symbol Secrets, sharing the fun we had in our early Bliss program. There was a bit of a mix-up with no sound accompanying the video of Symbol Secrets at the beginning, but we were able to rectify the situation by my reading live. 

I was delighted to share part of Symbol Secrets with the Don Heights zoom group, and I invited them to hear the end of the story here, at Blissful Thoughts.

I hope those who come to our blog for Symbol Secrets will leave their comments for the Bliss users and friends who are regular Blissful Thinkers.

Symbol Secrets by Shirley McNaughton

Help with interjection – “I feel outraged!”

Now that we have a way to add Comments or make contributions to Blissful Thoughts, I would like to ask for ideas regarding a particular symbol. This time the interjection symbol needs to represent the phrase, "I feel outraged!"

(If you would like to review how to make an Entry, type contribute in the Search Box that appears on each Entry site)

This is what the Search Box looks like (example only, not active here)

Several “interjections have been demonstrated in a previous Entry.

(To review previous interjections, type interjection in the Search Box that appears on each Entry site.)

I invite thoughts regarding the two following suggestions for “I feel outraged!”.

interjection +anger (feeling + opposition) + intensity

interjection + feeling + explosion

If you don’t like either of the above suggestions, please share your idea for this interjection.

Here is some help in thinking about the meaning:



violent, uncontrollable anger."her face was distorted with rage"


feel or express violent uncontrollable anger."he raged at the futility of it all"



arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone).

"he was outraged at this attempt to take his victory away from him”

Bliss Interjections


Let’s explore using the Blissymbol for “interjection”!

An interjection is a short exclamation, sometimes inserted into a sentence.

It is easy to remember the Bliss elements in “interjection”
feeling + mouth “feeling expressed by the mouth”

We have had this symbol element for a long time!

We used it in “Wow” and “Yuk” in the seventies, when we first began using Blissymbols.

'Blissful Thoughts' gives us the opportunity to have some fun, thinking of ways to express interjections in Bliss. 

I am going to suggest ways to represent some interjections we use in English, and offer a personal interjection that I use frequently!

I invite those interested in Bliss to comment on my suggestions and also to offer their ideas for representing their personal Bliss interjections. 

Oh  - used to express a range of emotions including surprise, anger, disappointment, or joy, or when reacting to something that has just been said.

Bliss elements   interjection + feeling + intensity

uh-uh - used to express a negative response to a question or remark

Bliss elements   interjection + opposition

"I can't agree!"

uh-huh - used to express assent or as a noncommittal response to a question or remark

Bliss elements   interjection + agreement

"I can go along with that!"

whatever - used to show disinterest or disbelief in answer to a statement

Bliss elements   interjection + disinterest

"If you say so!"

aha -used to express insight, satisfaction, triumph, or surprise.

Bliss elements   interjection + insight

"I get it!"

“Nuts!” or “Oh, Nuts” -  My personal interjection when I accidentally do something, unintended,  that irritates me. Don’t ask me why!

Bliss elements   interjection + seed + tree + plural

"How stupid of me!”


The above symbols are examples of ways to use “interjection” for personal use in conversation. These interjections will NOT be found in the BCI Authorized Vocabulary (AV). They are offered as a strategy for personal use only. 

I look forward to your thoughts on the interjections above and I hope you will share your favourite interjections with us.


Shirley’s First Blog

For this first Blog, I would like to share the display created by Wern Palmius (Sweden). It gives us vocabulary to use during the Covid19 pandemic. (See Above.)

Secondly, I am adding a “farewell” for email messages, during this physical distancing time. Why don’t you choose the symbols you would like to use at the end of your email messages?

It’s a good way to remind your friends of the unique way
 in which Blissymbols represent meaning

I have chosen to use “physical” distancing to reinforce the terminology we are using in Canada, and because  it was the symbol that was preferred by our Bliss Study Group.

Closing message for emails during pandemic
Term is used in Canada