The Most Confusing Emojis and What (We Think) they Really Mean


Emojis are used to convey a message, but have you ever given a virtual “hug” to your boss by accident? As it turns out, some of us might use emojis inappropriately and incorrectly. The reason why is because there are a lot of pretty confusing emojis, and not everyone is knowledgeable about their meaning. 

For instance, the emoji that has two hands clasped together looks like a praying gesture, but in reality, it means “please” or “thank you” in Japanese culture. 

What are the most confusing emojis used today?

1. An act of prayer?

Most people often use the two hands clasped together as a sign of praying. In reality, this is not what it means; rather, this emoji symbolizes “please” and “thank you” in Japanese culture. 

So it is rather inappropriate to use this emoji when you are saying your condolences to someone who has passed. But of course, since this emoji is viewed as a sign of prayer by most Americans, this one can be forgiven.

2. Is it whistling or kissing?

Another emoji that can be quite confusing to most people is the “kissy-face” or “whistling” emoji. The official name of this emoji is the ” kissingface.” However, some people use it in situations like “nothing to see here” or “are you sure about that?” 

3. Snoring or crying?

Now, this is arguably one of the most confusing and misused emojis of all time. Ever since the release of this emoji, people have been using it to symbolize the emotions of sadness. However, this should not be the case. This emoji actually represents snoring! That bubble near the nose is what people call “a snot bubble,” and that often means someone has fallen asleep. 

4. Feeling gassy or hurriedly dashing away?

The emoji that resembles a puff of smoke does not symbolize feeling gassy, as some people would think it to be. What this emoji actually means is the swift movement of something, be it an object or a person. 

5. Push-ups or bowing down?

People who often go to the gym use the emoji of a boy that has his hands in front of him with mini triangles over his head. Some say that it resembles a person doing push-ups. While it does seem that way, it is not the correct meaning behind the emoji. 

This emoji stands for a person bowing, similar to the customs of Japanese folk. Furthermore, bowing is a sign of respect, which is a common thing to do not just in Japan but in Asia overall. 

6. Frustration or the face of triumph?

The emoji that has two puffs of steam coming out in the nose area is often used in situations where people want to convey feelings of frustration, annoyance, pride, dominance, and other negative emotions. 

The official name of this emoji is “Face with Look of Triumph.” Normally, the right use for this emoji would be in times when someone has achieved something. 

7. Shooting star or being dizzy?

The emoji of a star with a curved band of light behind it is often misinterpreted as a shooting star. It is understandable that people would see it that way since, at first glance, it really does look like one. 

The real meaning behind this emoji is dizziness. Think of cartoons; when characters get hit with something, stars appear above their heads as a symbol of getting dizzy. 

In conclusion, it may help avoid some embarrassing situations to know the true meaning behind certain emojis. After all, you wouldn’t want to be caught randomly “hugging” your boss, like me!

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