2

I think they have smaller file sizes meaning they are zipped. Is this right?

4

These are backup files created by Emacs. See Backup in the Emacs Manual.

The manual also says this:

When Emacs makes a backup file, its name is normally constructed by appending ~ to the file name being edited; thus, the backup file for eval.c would be eval.c~.

Update:

To answer the second (main) part of the question:

No, backup files created by Emacs are not compressed; the smaller size of foo.txt~ compared to foo.txt means that foo.txt was smaller when foo.txt~ was created.

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