The Meaning of Emoji and Emoticons

Emoji and emoticons are graphic images used to convey ideas, emotions or feelings. These characters are very popular in online communications, such as: social networks, SMS and instant messaging applications (such as Whatsapp).

WhatsApp emoticons

WhatsApp is one of the communication applications where emojis are used most often. In many cases, these icons can replace entire sentences, conveying the speaker’s message with just one character.

Whatsapp has its own emoji design, which is available on all platforms except iOS (which uses standard Apple emojis).

However, many of these graphics may be misinterpreted. To avoid confusion, we have compiled the official meanings of the most popular emojis.

Smiling | smiley smile (grinning face)

This smiley is represented by a face with a big smiling mouth with teeth. This symbol is often used to show a person’s happiness or joy about the content previously presented in a message.

Copy this emoticon: 😀

Crying with laughter | LOL (Face With Tears of Joy)

This emoji means that a person laughs so hard that his eyes even water, giving the impression that he is crying.

It is usually used when someone wants to make it clear that he finds something very funny.

The popularity of this symbol is so great that in 2015 it was recognized as the “Word of the Year” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Copy this emoticon: 😂

Downcast Face With Sweat

This emoji is represented by a sad or neutral face with a drop of sweat running down his head. It is often used in text messaging to convey feelings of frustration, anxiety, or frustration about anything.

As the name suggests, emoji, this symbol can also be used to show how physically or emotionally tired a person is.

Copy this emoji: 😓

Sending a kiss with a heart | emoticon kiss (Face Blowing a Kiss)

Image of a winking face with a small heart near his mouth, as if he was blowing it.

This emoji is very popular and often used when the goal is to send a very gentle kiss to another person. There are many emoticons of kisses, but this one is one of the most used.

Copy this emoji: 😘

Face Without Mouth

Face with eyes but without mouth. This emoticon is an act of silence.

This one is often used when someone wants to clearly state their decision not to comment on anything, even if they have something to say on the topic under discussion.

But it can also be used to express the inability to comment on a specific topic, especially when a person is speechless, when faced with, for example, what he just read.

Copy this emoji: 😶

Face With Rolling Eyes

A person with rolled eyes is used to indicate feelings of boredom, contempt, or neglect of someone or the subject of conversation. Depending on the context, this emoji can also be used to indicate sarcastic commentary.

Copy this emoji: 🙄

Crying Face

This emoji shows that a person is upset or offended because of something, but not enough to fall into despair or hysteria.

Copy this emoji: 😢

Wrinkled, showing teeth (Grimacing Face)

This one is often mistaken for a Grinning Face emoji, but its meaning is completely different from it. Wrinkled emojis are ideal for situations that are uncomfortable or unfavorable for a person.

It may also mean that a person is nervous or uncomfortable in a particular situation.

It can also be interpreted as a sign of bullying of a person who, for example, does not speak seriously about the subject.

Copy this emoji: 😬

Neutral Face

This emoji represents the absence of any special emotions. Commonly used when something is so uninteresting that there is no feeling suitable for expression.

Copy this emoji: 😐

Pensive | Thinking Face

This is a very popular emoji used when someone wants to show what they are thinking or thinking about something. In some cases, it can also be used to, for example, sarcastically present the question of the authenticity of a statement.

This is one of the few emoticons that shows a hand.

Copy this emoji: 🤔

Hugging Face

Smiley with open hands and a smiling face. It is used when the goal is to show the tenderness and affection that a person experiences for another, wanting to hug him.

Usually sent when a person really wants to hug the one with whom he communicates, but cannot because of the distance.

The image of this emoji usually varies greatly depending on the device (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.).

Copy this emoji: 🤗

Angry and Disappointed (Face With Steam From Nose)

This smiley is represented by smoke that comes out of the nose. This gives the person an idea of ​​irritability, disappointment and contempt for something.

Usually this smiley is often used when a person is annoyed by something, if it upsets him or the topic is not very important.

Copy this emoji: 😤

Sleeping face

This emoji means that the speaker wants to sleep, and the “Zzz” at the top of the head of the emoji is a symbol indicating drowsiness. It is often used in two main cases:

a) to show that a person is literally sleeping (sleepy); or

b) to show complete disinterest in the subject, because he considers it too boring.

Copy this emoji: 😴

Sleepy Face

Like the previous emoji, this one is also used to show that a person wants to sleep or is tired of the content of the conversation.

Unlike the Sleeping Face, this one is presented with a water bubble in the nose. This is very common in Japanese cartoons – indicates that the character is fast asleep.

Copy this emoji: 😪

Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes

This smiley is used to show that a person is in love with someone or something. Usually people send this emoji as a synonym for “I love you” or “I love it.”

Copy this emoji: 😍

Screaming in fear (Face Screaming in Fear)

This smiley is based on the character in Scream by Norwegian artist Edward Munch. This emoji is usually used to express the idea of ​​fear, apprehension or great surprise.

Copy this emoji: 😱


Two-eyed emoji are often used to indicate that a person is paying attention to something. It is usually used in response to any comments that a person approves of or that interests him particularly.

Copy this emoji: 👀

Fist Forward (Oncoming Fist)

This emoji is a clenched fist, as if a person were punching another in the face with a fist.

Copy this emoji: 👊

Flexed Biceps

This emoji consists of a bent arm showing muscles. Commonly used as a signal of strength, decisiveness or resistance to circumstances.

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Crossed index and middle fingers (Crossed Fingers)

This emoji is used to show a person’s desire for something to happen or to convey luck to someone.

Copy this emoji: 🤞

Waving Hand

This emoji is represented by a hand with signs that symbolize movement. It is often used as a greeting to say hello or bye.

Copy this emoji: 👋

Index Pointing Up

This emoji is represented by a hand with the index finger raised up. It is often used to symbolize that a person wants to ask a question or make a comment on a specific topic.

Another use of this emoji is to emphasize the importance of what was said earlier, that is, the message that appears just above this emoji. In this way, the emoji finger appears to indicate a message.

Copy this emoji: ☝️

Raised both arms up (Raising Hands)

It symbolizes two hands raised up. It is used to celebrate something, such as the good news that has been long awaited.

It can also be used to express one’s devotion to God, acting as a synonym for “hallelujah.”

Copy this emoji: 🙌

Folded Hands, palm to palm (Folded Hands)

In Japanese culture, this symbol, which represents two hands together, can mean a gesture of gratitude. However, in the West this is usually used as a symbol of prayer for something.

Some interpretations also suggest that this emoji is used as a synonym for “high five,” a greeting when two people clap their hands during a celebration.

Copy this emoji: 🙏

Person Covering (Person Facepalming)

This emoji represents a person covering his face with his hand. It is used to express feelings of disbelief, shame, and frustration about one’s behavior or situation.

Copy this emoji: 🤦

Bowing Person (Person Bowing)

Initially, this emoji was created to present a code of etiquette for Japanese culture known as Dogeza. This gesture demonstrates the great respect that one person has for another, and is often used to express an apology.

However, in the West, other meanings are attributed to this emoticon, such as: doing push-ups, a lying person receiving a massage, among other interpretations.

Copy this emoji: 🙇

Gesturing No Gesture

This emoji is represented by a person forming a cross with his own hands. It can be interpreted as a negative response to something. It is very often used to show that a person does not agree, for example, with a certain thing or situation.

Copy this emoji: 🙅

Gesture OK (Person Gesturing OK)

Emoji, which represents a person with arms above his head, forming a kind of circle, is used to express the same as “OK”. That is, when someone uses this emoji, he sends the message “everything is fine” or approves something.

Copy this emoji: 🙆

Person Raising Hand

It is a figure of a man with his hand raised up, as if he were asking or answering something.

Copy this emoji: 🙋

Person with a bent arm (Person Tipping Hand)

This emoji, also known as a person from the Information Service, is characterized as a person with a raised and bent arm, as if carrying an invisible tray.

There are many possible interpretations of this emoji, but the most popular ones are related to the idea of ​​transmitting sarcasm or insolence.

Copy this emoji: 💁

Shrugging | smiley shrugs hands | emoticon “don’t know” (Shrugging)

This is usually used to indicate a person’s indifference to the subject of conversation. It can also express a person’s lack of knowledge on a particular topic.

This emoji came from the ¯ _ (ツ) _ / ¯ emoticon, which still means the same as “anyway” or “I don’t know.”

Copy this emoji: 🤷

The difference between emoji and text emoticons

Emoticons consist of typographic symbols used to form figures that help imitate human emotions, such as, for example, sadness or joy.

The creation of the first emoticon is attributed to Carnegie University professor – Mellon Scott Falman. In 1982, he first used the sequence of characters that formed this emoticon: 🙂

Examples of emoticons:


: – ‘(




(͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

And emojis were created in Japan in the 1990s. Responsible for the concept of these images was Shigetaka Kurita, who developed a set of figures illustrating some basic types of human emotions.

Unlike emoticons, emojis can be more complex, moving from special characters to more complex designs. The first emoji was created in 1995 and consisted of a heart image: ❤️.


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