The Universal S

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People from all over the world have been drawing this S-shaped symbol for decades yet no one seem to know anything about it. In this video I explore some of the popular origin theories and showcase my own findings after five years of on and off searching.


Jazz Spastiks - Bananas Instrumental
Fabien Tell - Never Before
Jazz Spastiks - Fresh Oranges Instrumental
Grant Newman - Last March of Heroes
Jazz Spastiks - Apples Instrumentals
Jon Björk - Divisive Alliance
Charles Holme - Informal Parameters
Fabien Tell - The Farmer

[Credits & References]




10 août 2019

stussyletter ss symbols things signsuper ssuperman ssuper s stussyslipknotstyxsuzukilogosacred reichgraffitidrawingpaintingdoodlescribblenumber 8infinity symbolouroborosfigure 8mysterious spointy stwo rows of three vertical linesschoolclassroommöbius stripmoebius stripskater sstoner ssurfer sgangsta sgangster scool ssmile spuzzlematchstick puzzlejon naarsator squarekilroy was herememeuniversity




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Commentaires 14 295
Dylan Camp
Dylan Camp Il y a 18 secondes
To me it was always the Stussy S, because it featured prominently on their clothing in the 90s.
Snivy is epick
Snivy is epick Il y a minute
Imagine if he did this video for a school project. He would get an instant F for gang signs. P.S. Great video.
UnchartedSky Il y a minute
I love how including myself, there are 2 million others out there that are fascinated in and love learning about things with such little purpose.
Keko keko
Keko keko Il y a 2 minutes
I suspect drew it and I was in Egypt
BWM Il y a 3 minutes
I absolutely love that this entire video is predicated on the internet being unable to tell a lie. You are hilarious. Subscribed.
Zack Attack
Zack Attack Il y a 4 minutes
I remember my long lost friend showing me this symbol and just figured that it was some sort of gang sign.
tsunami tutu
tsunami tutu Il y a 4 minutes
I'm from Iraq and I love designing logos and signs and I've always seen the symbol as an 8 not an S, also something interesting, I made a code language when I was 12 years old and my favorite number is 8 since I was a kid and still is, and my name when I converted it in the code language appeared to be 'thetah' which is so similar in pronunciation to greek letter 'theta', so I designed a symbol with elliptic shape that resembles both 'theta' and number 'eight' and I named my design 'th8a' or 'theighta' which is pronounced 'theita' combining both 'theta' and 'eight' and the most shocking thing to me is that 'theta' is the 8th letter in the greek alphabet. so yeah :P
Steven 1773
Steven 1773 Il y a 4 minutes
I seen this S form a 50 cent video then copied it form that but who knew it was this.
Thoma Il y a 5 minutes
I always thought this was some kind of graffiti letter and nothing more, because there is so many different styles of letters made by graffiti artist. I'm sure many artist has made this by "themselves" and thought they were the first because it's so simple but still looking so dang good
Bob van Woesik
Bob van Woesik Il y a 6 minutes
Does anyone know which keyboard he is using?
Officer Earl
Officer Earl Il y a 7 minutes
you didn't show czech and slovakia on the map we used to draw this symbol all the time exepct i was the only one that didn't know how to draw it
Decline Il y a 9 minutes
When your last name started with S 😤
obsado! Il y a 10 minutes
SUMMARY: *its an s*
FireCat HAUS
FireCat HAUS Il y a 10 minutes
Why do you have a german keybord?
TurboAalgaEntertainment Il y a 17 minutes
It's the Suzuki logo
MrStork Il y a 17 minutes
5:04 Oh my God....
Seki09 Il y a 19 minutes
On your map Czech republic and Slovakia remained white while we used to draw this all the time as kids. I'm from Slovakia. Maybe you just don't have much Slovak followers.
SannaLodin Il y a 19 minutes
Funny, smart, manically investigating, thanks for another great vid Lemmino!!
Fraser McFadyen
Fraser McFadyen Il y a 21 minute
Year 2079: "Anyone remember that 'L' we used to draw?" "What the Lemmino L?" ...
American 350
American 350 Il y a 23 minutes
Why is background music similar to a call jingle in Skype? Got me a few times, even though I don't use Skype for like 2 years
5imbah Il y a 26 minutes
I thought it was a sketchers S.... at least that's what we called it
Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard Il y a 27 minutes
the editing in these videos is soooo clean
Alexander A.
Alexander A. Il y a 27 minutes
I approve this was and still is viral in Bulgaria.
Michael mayne
Michael mayne Il y a 28 minutes
My friends all told me it was a gang sign from the south side lmao
Kronan20 Il y a 28 minutes
Är du Svensk?
Bonezee Il y a 28 minutes
What if aliens landed on Earth thousands of years ago and they bore a symbol very similar to this as the icon of their race; and now people draw it subconsciously as tribute to them, without knowing truly what it is for?
PucK3001 Il y a 29 minutes
I'm halfway through, and I remember falling into it. I think it's an easy pattern you develop from sketching. So it could have many independent "origins".
Sirius Il y a 30 minutes
I thought I've already watched this wtf
NessMasterGengar! Il y a 30 minutes
I always thought it was the Scooby Doo logo
Florescu Andrei
Florescu Andrei Il y a 33 minutes
learned this in romania in early school, you can use a variation of this pattern to create straw buckets and the like..
Augusto Severini
Augusto Severini Il y a 34 minutes
It bothered me throughout the whole video how he chose to draw the simbol in a wag such the angle of the midle section is not the same as that of top and bottom.
Holy shit...I live in NJ and have seen Princeton University with my very own eyes. Wow.
Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson Il y a 35 minutes
It's just one of those cool line drawing tricks. My dad used to draw shapes, while we watched him draw, simple circles and squiggly lines would transform into a clown or a WW1 pilot with goggles and flappy cheeks. It's kinda cool know that maybe the S came from an old geometry teacher though.
SunnyD Il y a 36 minutes
Ive never heard of, drawn, or seen the symbol until i was around my teens and had access to the internet. This is probably because i was isolated from other children by home schooling and my parent's religious activities. And then I also happen to be a artist- and Im kind of glad because repetitively drawing a symbol just because its easy is kind of sad to me X")
Dessert Storm
Dessert Storm Il y a 37 minutes
I think this is a very simple explanation. The rounded S symbol is basically a figure 8 drawn in sand or dirt. Try it yourself, where the line crosses in the middle it automatically creates the 3d overlap effect. BEfore people had regular access to paper or vellum, they would draw in the dirt with a stick, and the rounded S symbol is how a figure 8 would appear. I do not claim to know what it represented, but its a symbol that is easy to recognise and can be drawn in one stroke, so I don't doubt that it was commonly used for various groups to mean any number of things.
Omg Gamer
Omg Gamer Il y a 38 minutes
JosephGallagher Il y a 39 minutes
Hahaha, first video I watch from this chanel. Subscribed.
Random Penguiness
Random Penguiness Il y a 40 minutes
haven't seen this channel in a while
Дмитрий Иванович
graffiti? that's nice, what does it says?
Magnus Buht
Magnus Buht Il y a 43 minutes
more important question.. what in the heavens is that keyboard???
Havox Il y a 46 minutes
Finding where it came from is one thing. but what started everybody drawing it? like who taught the kids back in the 70s how to draw it or how did the first kids come up with it? its just weird
dema don't control us
dema don't control us Il y a 47 minutes
the mere fact that you took years to research this just shows how much care you put into your videos. dude you deserve every view and sub you have and much more!
DELES Il y a 49 minutes
The year is 2058, there are rumours Half life 3 being announced in 5 years, and yet, after around a total of 2500000 hours of digging and digging, we still, have no damn idea of where or when did this symbol started
Latenight Il y a 51 minute
Smile was the full word
Callum Macey
Callum Macey Il y a 53 minutes
Swilly S
PK-JIN Il y a 54 minutes
Used to draw these in 4th grade in a missionary school in Indonesia 2004-2005.
_ NEGAN _ Il y a 54 minutes
It’s obviously a slipknot symbol, duh?! Lol
Osmium Il y a 55 minutes
This video gives my Goosebumps at the fact of all this research and life behind something seemingly so simple. I LOVE THIS!
Gage Willson
Gage Willson Il y a 56 minutes
I remember for like a year, drawing this would get you suspended at my middle school.
gianttigerfilms Il y a 57 minutes
Thanks! I drew this is in middle school in 2009 and thought it was a gang sign 😂
Sense Of Amendments
Sense Of Amendments Il y a 57 minutes
Do you genuinely use duckduckgo
Dennis Shows
Dennis Shows Il y a heure
@ 7:51 the shape of the end of the fingers and the ratio of the 2nd and 4th fingers length stood out to me. The slightly bulbous tip of the fingers is sometimes correlated with heart problems. The ration of the 2nd and 4th finger length could also correlate with sexual orientation.
P4v3 Il y a heure
what a bout nordic patterns?
perseus the first
perseus the first Il y a heure
My elementary had it
X X Il y a heure
Can we just take a moment to realise the amount of effort this guy puts in his videos. Wow, just wow...!!!
Byakuya Asukai
Byakuya Asukai Il y a heure
Serbia wasn't coloured red yet I remember my classmates in primary school drawing this symbol in 2004. So +1 country
SteeW Il y a heure
The actual universal symbol drawn in every school's blackboard is the Almighty penis.
DELES Il y a heure
i thought it was the "Sikdope" logo
ignacio mendez
ignacio mendez Il y a heure
Growing up In the ghetto it was always the south side S
Scottis Il y a heure
we drew this on desks and everything in elementary school. from like 2003-2006
Logic Il y a heure
See LEMMiNO video: I click Before I watch: I like
the game bustr
the game bustr Il y a heure
took you long enough
Royed King
Royed King Il y a heure
Well zoinks scoob this mystery has been solved....
Amelia Says:
Amelia Says: Il y a heure
Gal from Norway here. My mom showed me how to draw this for Just about 15 years ago. She showed me the variant with the horizontal ends in the "other veriants" section of the video. She told me she and her classmates used to draw it when they were young as well
Da Roze
Da Roze Il y a heure
that explains the mystery of LEMMiNO not uploading
PantakesVGP Il y a heure
Im from Greece and when i was a kid, my Mother would always draw the word "smile" with this S in it, so i learned it from her. I always loved drawing it.
ha! you just got benjamin prankedlin!
your content is one of the best on youtube man!! never stop doing what you’re doin !!
Per Nindiker
Per Nindiker Il y a heure
Wtf i drew the smile with palm trees when i was young wtf dude that is scary shit i live in germany but i drew one like the ones in the video
El BigShegun
El BigShegun Il y a heure
Only OGs remember drawing these in your notebooks lol Sur13 S lmaooo
jiggus figgus
jiggus figgus Il y a heure
Universal S for Spongebob and Universal S for Sandy! That way they can identify their bodies!
Darth Mauldin
Darth Mauldin Il y a heure
My man doing God’s work over here
Elizabeth Armitage
Elizabeth Armitage Il y a heure
I learnt to draw this symbol at Church sometime in the mid - late 2000s.
Snappl's Palace
Snappl's Palace Il y a heure
Dan Knight
Dan Knight Il y a heure
Maybe I’m missing something, but this is just a stylized “S” and what’s so special about this? So it’s very common, but among all the examples shown, even, is some variation. Point being, why does there need to be an “origin?”
Sarah Fitzgerald
Sarah Fitzgerald Il y a heure
I always thought that S was cool and I would draw it sometimes but I was always told it was a gang symbol and not to draw it :/
KevinShultz Il y a heure
It is a symbol of European colonialism. Wherever they went that 's' emerged..
Michael Sandell
Michael Sandell Il y a heure
I definitely think it goes back to graffiti done by gangs on the west coast; it was banned in my LA-area elementary school in the very late 90s/early 2000s because it was considered a "gang sign".
casinogiant Il y a heure
It's infinite.
Got memes?
Got memes? Il y a heure
the only symbols I drew in school where dicks and swastikas
Anders Køhl
Anders Køhl Il y a heure
0:51 In sweden you have to write with an IKEA pencil no matter what
Nike SB x Stüssy