8 Emojis You Might Not Know The Real Meaning Of

Oh sure, we all love the sticky-out-tongue smiley face, monkey and cocktail emojis, but are there real meanings imbued in the images? Turns out there are, so we've launched an emoji-vestigation.


If your weekend routinely starts with Snapchat or Whatsapp messages that say things like, “Wanna go for emoji dancer and emoji drinks tonight?” then it’s a dead cert you’re a fan of emojis (we are). And we reckon that if a picture says a thousand words, then in our tech-obsessed culture an emoji’s a sure-fire shortcut to at least 140 characters, huh?

We’re super-fond of splicing them together to form funny pictograms to make our mates laugh too (no, do not send the peach and aubergine to your mother), but what you might not realise is that outside of the really obvious ones – smiley face, crying face, love hearts – each one is actually designed to mean something quite specific. Uhuh, honey. Here are eight you’ll never look at the same way again.

Persevering face

emoji persevering faceThis is for those moments when you’re on the verge of tears, your face is scrunched up and you’re about to wail, but you’re struggling on through what may be a helpless situation. #whoknew #nowyoudo #goyou

Pile of poo

emoji pile of pooIt’s actually called the pile of poo. How… delightful. And that’s its literal meaning as well, so if you’ve been inserting it in messages when The X Factor’s been particularly lame, then carry on; you’re doing a fine job. Confession: we’ve got a real soft spot for the smiley, happy looking pile of poo.

Information desk person

emoji info desk ladyGotcha. You’d no idea that this lady was meant to represent “an information desk person, iconically represented in the Apple emoji artwork as a girl holding out her hand as if she were a waitress carrying an invisible tray of drinks,” didya? All we can say is, now you do.

Confused face

emoji confused faceThis face is so pissed off with you right now. WHY didn’t you tidy your room? It isn’t sad, but it is disappointed in you, puzzled by your behaviour and therefore should be the emoji of choice of every passive aggressive person the land over. Oh, and in case you were wondering, “on the spectrum of displeasure, confused face sits between neutral face and unamused face.” Duly noted.

Growing heart

emoji expanding heartFallen hard? Think your new beau is definitely, maybe the one for you? Then the growing heart emoji’s for you. Designed to give the impression of a heart increasing in size, it’s your way to tell your loved one that you adore them – or you’re taking steroids. Either/or.

Splashing sweat

emoji splashHands up, you thought this one was water, didn’t you? Nope, it’s all about sweat, so it’s the one to use when you’re sending messages to your office Whatsapp group about smelly Dave from accounts. Poor smelly Dave.

Love hotel

emoji love hotelYou could take your growing heart off to a Love hotel… or perhaps not. These by-the-hour room rentals are a Japanese fave and are usually used for funny business, as opposed to catching some zeds. So if you’ve been using this one thinking it was a nice emoji for a hospital or something to use to represent home is where the heart is… um, honey, no.


emoji gustOkay, we’ll ‘fess up: we always use this one for fart. Not, you understand, that we’d ever do such a thing. But it turns out that the little puff of air emoji’s all about representing dashing, picture-stylee. Ah, er, okay then.

Want more? Good news: there’s a whole new emoji set coming in 2015 (yay!) and the emojipedia is a mine of info too. What’s your fave? Tell us below.