Internet Web Culture

5 Emojis That Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean

Akshata Shanbhag 12-10-2015

Emojis have never been more popular than they are now. They’re even acceptable as standalone replies in a conversation. But are you using them properly? Maybe not, because several emojis mean something entirely different than what you might expect.


Here are five emojis that may surprise you.


Grinning face with smiling eyes: This face is commonly used as a variant of the Grimacing face, but it’s really a variant of the Grinning face. Does it mean cheekiness? Impishness? Neither. It’s just a big smile.


Girl with hands above her head: I thought it meant “No way!” Or maybe even ballet. In reality, she’s raising her arms to make an Okay sign with her body. Um, okay.


Girl holding an invisible tray: Is she being sassy? No. Is she saying “tada”? Nope. Apparently she’s an Information Desk person who’s just being friendly.


Face with violent nostrils: Some interpret this one as “frustrated”, “being in a huff”,  or even “angry like a bull”. It’s actually meant to show triumph. Go figure.


Scrunched up face with closed eyes: If you guessed “helpless and on the verge of tears”, then you’re right. I thought it conveyed disappointment, as in “Oh no! Not that.”

So, how can you find out what emojis really mean?

You could use our Emoji-to-English dictionary What Does This Emoji Mean? Emoji Face Meanings Explained Confused by the emojis in that text message you just got? Here are the commonly accepted meanings of popular emojis. Read More to familiarize yourself with commonly-used expressions and their meanings, but sticking to the misinterpretations is more fun and hilarious, don’t you think?

Did you already know what these emojis meant? Tell us about which emojis you always misinterpret down in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

Image Credit: Man thinking with cardboard box on his head with serious emoticon face expression by igor.stevanovic via Shutterstock

Explore more about: Emojis, Emoticons, Online Community.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    You mean APPLE emoji. It's pretty clear what they mean in Google's emoji font.

  2. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    "Grinning face with smiling eyes"
    Looks definitely like the grimace of a guy who just got kicked in the family jewels.

    If an emoji is not intuitive, then what good is it?

    • Sadsaque
      August 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      ding ding ding fcd
      If you can't read an emoji expression, emoji fail. I thought we were gonna learn how peoples' facial expressions are so different in Japan. Nope.