What do these emojis really mean?

Sending messages with only words in them? Some smartphone owners happily throw around emojis. These digital stickers not only make your message more fun but in some contexts even clearer. But do you actually know what emojis mean? We list the most popular ones for you, including the meaning of the emoji.

This is where emojis come from

Did you know that emojis were born in Japan? The ‘e’ stands for picture and the ‘moji’ for the character. These pictures literally give character to your messages.

Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita created the first emojis in 1999, purely to convey information faster. In the 2000s, emojis were used en masse on internet forums and messaging apps such as MSN and Hyves.

And because of that, the popularity of emojis has grown very quickly. In 2009, Google and Apple were also on board, they believed that emojis should be accessible to everyone.

That is why they asked the Unicode Consortium (the organization that sets the worldwide standards for digital letters and other forms of communication) to accept emoji as an official means of communication.

In 2010 the time had come: a new language was born. Even the White House and government institutions now use emojis.

Unicode reviews new emojis every year. After these have been approved, they will be added to the emojis via the Apple and Android updates.

Meaning of emojis: the difference between emojis and emoticons

Emojis have now become an indispensable part of every form of message. Outside of WhatsApp, they are also used fanatically on social media to brighten up Stories, posts, or feeds. We don’t blame you!

However, there may be some confusion about the difference between emojis and emoticons. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but there is a clear difference.

Here’s how you can tell the two apart:

  • Meaning of emojis: digital images
  • Meaning of emoticons: typographical symbols such as 😉 and 🙁

Meaning of emoji: the most famous emojis

Without hesitation, you use the laughing turd or the monkey with hands over its eyes every day. You think you know exactly how and when to use this emoji, but surprise!

Most emojis have their origins in Japanese culture and can easily mean something completely different. That’s why we serve up the real meaning of the most popular emojis.

The grimace

So this is not a smiling mouth, but you use this emoji when you are in a slightly uncomfortable situation.

The laughing turd

You would think: this is a turd, it won’t mean more than that, right? Nothing is less true! The Japanese word for poop (unko) starts with the same sound (“oen”) as the Japanese word for happiness.

And this has created something of a craze in Japan when it comes to smiling turd objects related to congratulations. So you’re actually saying something along the lines of “good luck” with the turd.

Kiss or… whistle?

Does this emoji really whistle a happy tune… or does he purse his lips for a nice treat? If you regularly have discussions about this with your friends, we have the redeeming answer for you: this emoji is ready to give a smack.

Don’t know! Or…cheer? emoji

Is this lady at a loss? Or does she cheer with joy? Surprise: neither. This lady makes the Japanese gesture for ‘okay’! Good to know if you are in Japan again and are at a loss: it is better to make it clear that you need help in a different way!

Angry, or proud?

You use this emoji when you turn your nose up at something in a proud but disdainful way and distance yourself. A bit complicated, we think.

Worrying… or your face after a workout?

This emoji actually means ‘disappointed, but relieved’. It’s hard to determine what kind of situation will make you feel disappointed and relieved at the same time, but if the situation arises, you’ll know which emoji to use.

Think very deeply

Sorry, we’re going to disappoint you, because it means something completely different. Japanese culture comes to the fore again here: this is a figure that bows deeply. A sign of gratitude in Japan.

The monkey comes out of the sleeve…

That’s not quite what the creators of this emoji had in mind. This monkey is part of the ‘see, hear, speak silently’ trilogy – together with the other two monkeys: one with hands over his ears and the other with hands over his mouth – and is aimed at not seeing, hearing, or speaking evil. Double oops!

Praying, or a high-five?

This is another Japanese gesture that we don’t use very often in everyday life: holding hands together to say ‘thank you’. Like during yoga people often hold their hands together, bow and say ‘namaste’.

Cold or tears?

Surprise: This emoji is neither cold nor sad. In Japanese Manga comic books, the sniffle is a sign that someone is sleeping.

Crying with laughter or sad?

Do you use this emoji when you indicate that you are sad about something? Oops! This emoji means that you are crying with laughter.

Fantastic or exciting?

Can you spot the flame? Then you know that something is really ‘fantastic’ or ‘cool’. So it has nothing to do with a real fire, although you can always use it however you want.

Big hug or happiness?

Actually both! Would you like to send someone a big hug? Then you’re in the right place with this emoji. But you can also send this emoji if you want to comfort someone. Although the happy face is not entirely appropriate.


This emoji depicts a smile, while you are not 100% content. This emoji describes the feeling when you don’t completely agree with something, but you can’t do anything to change the situation. So a bit of a whatever feeling.

Big kiss or love

This sweet emoji is extremely popular and not without reason. It’s the perfect ending for messages to your crush, friends, or family. It means ‘love’ and ‘big kiss’.

Very much in love

Are you completely in love with your best friend’s new pet, or your new shoes, or do you want to let your crush know how you feel? Then you are in the right place with this emoji in all cases. This emoji means – how could it be otherwise – ‘in love’.

Send endless emojis with Simyo

Now that you know exactly the meaning of emojis, you naturally want to be able to use your knowledge without any worries. In the case of emojis, this means that you must have sufficient data to use social media and WhatsApp.

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My name is John. I’m currently focusing on different topics, namely: Apple, Tips, Smartphones, Technology and Entertainment niche. So, My main priority is to search for new content and present it in front of you to learn something new.

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