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Do YOU know the true meaning of emoji? What symbols on Instagram and WhatsApp REALLY mean

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  • MailOnline has revealed the meanings behind some of the most cryptic emoji
  • It comes after Holly Willoughby’s ‘pink heart’ amid the Philip Schofield fiasco



Whether it’s a creeped out moon or a sexually-motivated lorry, the true meanings of emoji can be baffling.

Some even believe that Holly Willoughby has jumped on the cryptic Gen Z bandwagon, posting a pink heart to show ‘girl power’ amid the Philip Schofield fiasco. 

With thousands to choose from, it’s no wonder that misunderstandings occur, leading us down a rabbit hole of awkward conversations and clarifications.

To dodge disaster, MailOnline has revealed some of the most puzzling emoji and their secret meanings.

The truth may just surprise you. 

Some even believe that Holly Willoughby has jumped on the cryptic Gen Z bandwagon, posting a pink heart to show ‘girl power’ amidst the Philip Schofield fiasco
It is what it is: ‘That moment you’re left speechless, confused, unsettled. Unsure what you just saw, unsure what to do next’

1. It is what it is   

‘I think I’m having a quarter life crisis’ and ‘I did a squat the wrong way’ are among thousands of posts sharing this cryptic eye emoji combination.

So, what does it mean? 

Tech expert Josh Constine claims it’s the modern day version of  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – a feeling of helplessness in the midst of unravelling chaos.

‘That moment you’re left speechless, confused, unsettled. Unsure what you just saw, unsure what to do next. But there’s no denying what happened. It is what it is,’ he wrote. 

As it turns out, there’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to just this emoji, which jokingly released a statement to confirm that it simply is ‘what it is’.

The unverified account claims: ‘A group of us changed our Twitter names to include *emoji* because we thought it was a funny trend from TikTok.

‘People started noticing the change on their timelines, noting the creepiness of the emoji in particular.  

‘For a brief period of time, everyone who added the emoji to their name was added to a giant Twitter group conversation. From there, things unfolded.’

‘I think I’m having a quarter life crisis’ and ‘I did a squat the wrong way’ are among thousands of posts sharing this cryptic eye emoji combination
These peeping eyes are widely used to react to any unfolding tensions or drama online

2. Unfolding drama

There’s also more to what meets the eye with this next emoji – often referred to as the side glance.

These peeping eyes are widely used to react to any unfolding tensions or drama, according to retailer Fonehouse.

For instance, just two years ago, Twitter was flooded with comments as many claimed that an American anti-bullying activist was throwing shade at former president Bill Clinton.  

Monica Lewinsky posted just this emoji alone when asked: ‘What’s the most high-risk, low-reward thing you’ve ever done?’

Followers widely viewed her emoji response as a nod to the affair she once had with Clinton, but this has not been confirmed.

Despite this, there’s no doubt that the side-eye can be used for more simple purposes such as calling someone attractive or suggesting you’ve spotted something. 

Twitter was flooded with comments as many claimed that an American anti-bullying activist was throwing shade at former president Bill Clinton
This emoji combination is widely recognised as a way of expressing shyness and even hesitation to ask a question

3. Shyness

If you thought these were just two pointing fingers, think again.

This emoji combination is widely recognised as a way of expressing shyness and even hesitation to ask a question. 

Emoji experts at Know Your Meme said: ‘Although the set of emoji have been used since they were available for iPhone in 2011, the action of performing the finger touch or adding it to text in memes became popular in March 2020 on Twitter and TikTok.’

The site also claims it is often used to express ‘simping’ which was one of the most Googled words amidst the pandemic in 2020.

This slang term refers to a desperate man who would do a bit too much for a woman they like.

Perhaps best avoided if you’re not keen on being the office sex pest. 

It is often used to express ‘simping’ referring to a desperate man who would do a bit too much for a woman they like
You may know that peach emoji are often used to show buttocks, but what about a lorry?

4. Large bottom

You may know that peach emoji are often used to symbolise buttocks, but what about a lorry? 

Parental control software Bark warns that the so-called ‘dump truck’ can refer to a large and/or shapely bottom.

Gen-Zers often use this in combination with the taco and noodles emoji, meaning vagina and nudes respectively.

Bark said: ‘Lately, sexual language and slang has been evolving extra quickly because of the different rules social media platforms have for certain words.  

‘For example, on TikTok, posts that feature the word “sex” may get taken down. To prevent this from happening, users may use an alternate spelling like “seggs” to get past it. 

‘Eventually, once you start seeing this term enough, it becomes interchangeable with “sex”.’

Noodles: Known as a secret term for nude images
Taco: Turns out this emoji can sometimes mean vagina
The so-called hair flip emoji has become synonymous with sassiness or sarcasm online

5. Sassy

To some, this emoji may appear as a shrug or even a wave, but it’s much more than that.

The so-called hair flip emoji has become synonymous with sassiness or sarcasm in the online world.

While there are many depictions of this emoji, including a gender-unspecified version, its earliest form was a woman.

As a result, the emoji has also been linked to ‘girl boss’ culture, which Collins dictionary defines as: ‘A woman who is self-made, independent, runs their own business and acting at their own boss’.

From its earliest depictions in Adam and Eve, the snake has always symbolised slyness

6. Backstabber

From its earliest depictions in Adam and Eve, the snake has always symbolised slyness.

Now, Gen-Zers are using it too, when discussing backstabbers and online controversies.

For instance, in 2018, Kim Kardashian’s Twitter was flooded with snake and rat emoji as followers claimed she had bullied Taylor Swift for two years.

This came after Kanye West’s controversial song Famous which included the lyrics of: ‘I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/I made that b**ch famous.’

This emoji – albeit just a smiling moon – is widely used by Gen-Zers to show they’re feeling freaked out by something

While the rapper claimed to have Taylor’s permission , she disputed this, sparking the Twitter fiasco as Kim called her a snake.

7. Creeped out  

While the smiling moon emoji may look innocent, it is now widely used by Gen-Zers to show they are freaked out by something.

‘Popularly perceived as creepy, used to throw shade (express disapproval), or convey various suggestive or ironic sentiments,’ Emojings writes.

Others may also use it in a sarcastic way when flirting with someone online.  

When an attractive man posts on Instagram claiming they are ‘so ugly’, Gen-Zers may be tempted to comment the fishing emoji

8. Fishing for compliments

When an attractive man posts on Instagram claiming they’re ugly, Gen-Zers may be tempted to comment the fishing emoji.

According to WhatEmoji.org, this depiction can be used to hint that someone is fishing for compliments.

‘Do you sense that someone’s fishing for something? Are you texting that person about it, giving them a reality check or telling someone else about the same? If yes, you can use [fishing emoji] in those contexts,’ the site wrote. 

READ MORE: Never use emoji in work emails! Smiley face emoticons make you seem incompetent, claim scientists 

While you might think that adding a ‘smiley’ emoji to a work email helps to convey a friendly tone, a new study suggests that the practice could be more of a hindrance than a help.

Scientists indicate that using smiley face emoji in work-related emails can make you seem incompetent – especially if you don’t know the recipient.

The researchers hope their findings will encourage people to think twice before adding emoji to professional emails.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev looked at the effect of using emoji in work-related emails.

Dr Ella Glikson, one of the authors of the study, said: ‘Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence.’

 

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