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A few emojis instead of a thousand words.... What could be more simple! But because of the ambiguous or non-obvious meanings of several emoji, they can be interpreted differently, and, as a result, they do not always convey real thoughts, emotions and feelings.

This has also been confirmed by surveys. For example, according to Adobe, 50% of Americans don't hide the fact that they use emoticons differently from their original meaning, and almost as many admit that the smiley they sent had been misunderstood by the interlocutor.

But how can you avoid such mishaps?


An interesting and unexpected one. But the list of emoji with dual meanings is topped by the ๐Ÿ˜‚ "Loudly Crying Face" emoji, recognized as the Oxford word of the year 2015 and named by the author of "Emoji Dick" as universal.

This smiley face depicts a person laughing to the point of tears and is usually used to make jokes and show something funny. But often ๐Ÿ˜‚ is sent as the face of a loudly sobbing character when you need to show extreme sadness and resentment.

Popular emoticons with double meaning

Another controversial emoji is ๐Ÿ˜ฌ "Grimacing face". This smiley face is designed to express negative emotions, including nervousness, embarrassment, awkwardness and disgust. But sometimes used as a mischievous grimace, which causes misunderstanding.

And finally, ๐Ÿ˜ค "Angry face". This smiley with a steaming nose is meant to represent rage, aggression, and contempt. But users of some platforms interpret it as pompousness and pride.

Hand gestures

The ๐Ÿ™ "Person with folded hands" emoji is the most controversial of the gestures. The smiley face is often interpreted as a prayer and by analogy with the Indian sage or "Namaste" substitutes gratitude. But some users consider it an embodiment of the "High five!" emoji.

What's also interesting, though, is ๐Ÿค˜ "Sign of the horns", which has seemingly innumerable meanings as a gesture. For example, in Mediterranean cultures the sign is used to reflect the "evil eye" and bad luck, in Buddhism such a mudra drives out demons, and in hatha-yoga it is used for rejuvenation. Also the emoji is used in music, denoting the style of "heavy metal".

Popular emojis from the category "Hands" with a double meaning

Further, we should mention the ๐Ÿ‘Œ "Ok hand sign" emoji, which in Europe often carries a vulgar sexual connotation, and we should also mention the famous โœŒ๏ธ "Victory sign". Since the middle of the last century, the latter has been used as a peace sign, but is seen as an offensive gesture in South Africa and New Zealand.

Most misunderstood emojis of 2022

In the Adobe survey, among these were listed the emojis ๐Ÿ’ "Cherries", ๐Ÿค  "Cowboy hat face", ๐Ÿ™ƒ "Upside-down face" and ๐Ÿ˜ถ "Face without mouth". Generation Z is the most unsure of the mouthless emoji, while boomers don't understand the cowboy hat one. And now about all the meanings in more detail.

Most misunderstood emojis of 2022

The ๐Ÿ’ "Cherries" emoji represents the fruit and is often used literally. For example, in the story about the ingredients of drinks or summer meals. But social media users put sexual connotations in the meaning, associating the emoji with women's breasts.

The emoji ๐Ÿค  "Cowboy hat face" has many connotations. From the personification of a cheerful and friendly person, to representations of everyone who wears a hat. In metaphorical terms, the emoji speaks of adventure, self-confidence, and sometimes even pretense.

By sending the emoji ๐Ÿ˜ถ without a mouth, the interlocutor shows that he doesn't want/can't talk, promises to keep a secret, and as if exclaiming "No comment!" or "No words!" Its other meanings are sadness, frustration and disappointment.

As for the ๐Ÿ™ƒ inverted face, the emoji's creators had in mind representing a normal smiling person. But the emoji is also used to convey sarcasm, silliness, or embarrassment.

To sum up, it's okay to understand emoji meanings in your own way. The main thing is to consider the context when sending this or that emoji to avoid confusion and misunderstanding from other users. In other cases it is desirable to memorize the examples mentioned above or check the meanings of the desired emoji on our website ๐Ÿ˜‰.