Have you been using emojis all wrong?

Aubergine has a whole new meaning

If you have an iPhone, chances are you've used an emoji - or at least been sent them by your children and spent hours trying to decipher their intention. However, what most of us don't realise is that often, we're using emojis all wrong.

Emojis have gone from being icons used on internet chatrooms to a huge part of our everyday speech. We all have our favourites (we're partial to the kiss blowing emoji in the GoodtoKnow office) but do you really know what they all mean and are you using them correctly?

Normally we can rely on our children to correct our embarrassing technology mistakes, but we're sure that even they wouldn't know what some of these emojis are really saying...


1. Praying hands = High five

The two hands placed firmly together emoji looks a lot more like somebody raising their hands in prayer than a high five, especially since the first version of this emoji had a heavenly yellow burst of light in the background. However, it was actually designed to be a high five emoji.

Don't use for: pretending you went to church on Sunday. Do use for: congratulating your friend on that promotion.


2. Wincing face = Persevering face

After studying this face in great detail, we were certain that it was an exact replica of our own when we stub our toe and try not to swear loudly in front of our mother-in-law. Turns out it's actually meant to signify perseverance. Who knew?

Don't use for: embarrassment when your child swears in the playground. Do use for: having to watch Frozen again.


3. Fried egg = Cooking

We always thought the fried egg was one of the more black and white emojis - after all, where is the grey area with a picture of an egg being fried in a frying pan? Apparently, it actually means any form of cooking. You learn something new every day.

Don't use for: asking your husband to make you breakfast in bed. Do use for: in conjunction with the word ‘not' when arguing your case for getting takeaway.


4. Marshmallow = Fish cake

We have to admit that the ‘marshmallow' emoji was a slow burner, and we were never quite sure when or how to use this in the first place, but after careful deliberation we had decided that something so pink and fluffy looking could be nothing more than a marshmallow sweet. Maybe we were right to be hesitant, as it's actually meant to be a Narutomaki fishcake - always served in Asia with a swirly design.

Don't use for: promising your kids a reward for finishing their homework. Do use for: very niche discussions of global fishcakes only.


5. Get well soon hospital = Love hotel

The pink hospital emoji complete with a love heart seems to be the kindest get well soon emoji we can imagine, especially as the Microsoft version is even more ambiguous with a love heart above a hospital bed. But if you're a serial user, you should probably know that it is actually a ‘love hotel' - hotel rooms in Japan that can be hired by the hour rather than as all night accomodation...

Don't use for: sending to your elderly neighbour in lieu of a bunch of flowers. Do use for: an anniversary weekend away.


6. Locked bag = Lost luggage facility

The blue square emoji is part of the airport set, sitting alongside a passport officer and customs, we should have guessed it was another airport facility, but why the key? The suitcase with the locked key is meant to be lost luggage facility.

Don't use for: trying to find your keys in your handbag. Do use for: hopefully not on your summer holidays.


7. Angry Face = Pouting

This emoji was the most deceptive of all, a red face with frowned eyebrows and a look that rivals even the best death stares, this emoji was surely anger? However, after a bit of digging, we've discovered it's actually meant to signify pouting. If you say so...

Don't use for: When you're trying to make your point heard. Do use for: your best Kim Kardashian impression.


8. Raging = Face of triumph

An emoji face with air being blown violently out of its nose seems pretty clearly to represent pure rage, and many times we have reverted to its violent huff when we don't have the words to convey our fury. Turns out, all along we were telling people how triumphant we were feeling...if only that had been the case.

Don't use for: when you find out it's parents evening tonight and you wanted to watch EastEnders instead. Do use for: when you manage to convince your other half to go to parents evening alone.


9. Sassy girl = Information desk girl

We all have a sassy girl hidden somewhere inside us, and this emoji with the woman flicking her hair just encapsulates that perfectly. So we were distraught to find out that this is actually a Japanese Information desk girl (no, us neither). We will continue to use this for sarcasm and sassiness, regardless of its actual purpose.

Don't use for: when you're trying not to annoy someone. Do use for: daily life, of course. We're defying this one completely.


10. Aubergine = Aubergine (but...)

Yes we know, you knew this was an aubergine - perfect for a moussaka or that new Jamie Oliver recipe you wanted to try out. Just be careful who you're sending it too - with the rise of Netflix and chill (if you don't understand, ask a teenager) the aubergine has taken on a whole new meaning.

Don't use for: asking the ASDA delivery man when your shopping will be arriving. Do use for: a fun Friday evening...


Trusted, informative, and empathetic – GoodToKnow is the ultimate online destination for mums. Established in 2007, our 15-year-strong archive of content includes more than 18,000 articles, 1,500 how-to videos, and 7,000 recipes.