What the Tech? The Meaning Behind All of Those Emojis

Have you ever typed out a text message using an emoji to express yourself, only to find out the emoji doesn’t mean what you thought it meant?

Like, sending a flirty text to a Tinder contact only to find out you just told them you loved them. How embarrassing right?

When the international Unicode Consortium approves and releases new emoji, they come with a description. When people start using them, however, they can take on a new meaning. A subtle difference in an emoji face can mean entirely different things. These descriptions and meaning comes from www.emojipedia.org

For example, a face blowing a kiss with a heart means you’re sending them a kiss goodnight. The same face blowing a kiss with no heart conveys sentiments of love and affection.

A very similar kissing face with smiling eyes carries feelings of surprise, admiration or feigned ignorance. The same exact kissing face with closed eyes and blushing face means romantic love and affection. Just small changes carry very different meanings.

A grinning face with mouth open and showing the top row of teeth means general pleasure or good humor or cheer. The same smiley face with big eyes conveys happiness and good-natured amusement. The same smiley face with squinting face means “awesome” but a smiley with a bead of blue sweat is like saying “whew”.

All are very similar in artwork, but different meanings.

The same goes for smiley faces with hearts. Smiling with hearts means you’re in love with the person you’re texting. A smiley face with heart eyes conveys a more enthusiastic feeling of love.

A smiley face with stars for eyes often expresses something that is amazing or impressive. Using a smiley face with the tongue sticking out can convey a sense of fun, silliness, or joking (JK) but the emoji showing a squinting face with the tongue stuck out is often used in suggestive ways.

The smiley face emoji without a mouth means you’re at a loss for words, while the same face with a zipper for a mouth means you’ll keep a secret (my lips are sealed) or it’s used to tell someone to stop talking.

The third most-used emoji right now is the pleading face with a slight frown, puppy dog eyes, and furrowed eyebrows. It can mean you’re begging or pleading but many people use it to represent adoration or feeling touched by a loving gesture.

Adding some confusion to all of this is the same emojis but on a cartoon cat face. If you’ve ever seen or used emojis with hands, they also have different meanings.

The emoji of open hands is for sending hugs. Raised hands celebrate success. Folded hands mean either please, thank you or for prayers. One of my favorite emoji is nail polish going on fingers which means nonchalance or indifference to something.

As I mentioned before, while these are the most popular definitions and meanings of the smiley face emojis, people who often use them redefine what they mean. By combining emoji in one text or message can take on entirely different meanings. We’ll talk about those next time along with some emoji combinations that parents should know.

Currently, there are 3,304 emojis with others being released every year.

See all of the emoji definitions and meanings at the emojipedia released by Unicode Consortium at www.emojipedia.org

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