Coded messages, hidden meanings, easter eggs, no matter what you call them, this kind of cryptic communication has been around since the Victorian Era making it into our high tech world of communication.

Some forms of communication like emojis aren't even hidden, rather quick or simple ways to send a message. But sending messages to people without regular, everyday language is nothing new and has been around for centuries whether they're hidden or not.

Although sending letters and cards through the mail isn't nearly what it used to be, it was the main way of communicating and when it came to the affairs of the heart, it was all about love or lack there of.


According to the Site Point website the upside down stamp started as a hidden way to say "I love you" in the mail.

Postal deliveries were a big event for any household – rich or poor – so it was practically impossible to get mail to someone without the entire household knowing about it. At a time when ‘Victorian morals’ were central and privacy wasn’t, this made personal, private messaging between couples very difficult.

But this was just one of a bunch of ways to communicate via stamp placement. Way back when, stamps didn't have to be in the top, right corner, rather they could be placed anywhere on the envelope.

Also, the receiver of the letter had to pay for the letter so often they would look at the placement of the stamp for the hidden message, then refuse to pay for the letter.

According to the Philatelic Database website, here's what stamp placement meant.

I Love You: Upside down, top left corner

I Hate You: Right angle, top left corner

Do You Love Me: Right angle, top, right corner

I Long to See You: At right angle in line with the surname

My Heart is Another's: Crosswise on top left corner

I'm Engaged: Upside down in line with surname

Accept My Love: Upright in line with surname

Write, No More: Upside down, top right corner

I Desire Your Friendship: Upright top right corner

Goodbye Sweetheart: Upright anywhere

Write Immediately: Centered on right edge

Yes: Top, center of envelope

No: Bottom, center of envelope

Nowadays, the upside down stamp in the top, right corner of an envelope or postcard is more of a fun, symbolic way to say "I Love You" to keep the history of stamp language alive.

It's also used in the military with various meanings on stamp positioning according to the We Are the Almighty website. Click here to learn more.

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