WHILE some emojis are simple smiling faces, others are fancy objects and symbols – and it often seems like there's a picture for everything, especially on Snapchat.
Here’s everything you need to know about the tiny text images, and why you should always be careful before suggesting aubergine for dinner.
Where did emojis come from?
Emojis originated on Japanese mobile phones in 1998, but became popular in the 2010s when they were added to more mobile operating systems.
Apple introduced it into all their IOS keyboards in 2011, and their versions are usually the most recognised.
Before the text icons existed, people would use emoticons – creating facial expressions with punctuation marks such as ‘:-)’.
However, now emojis can include objects, weather symbols, transport, and symbols.
In 2015, the Oxford English Dictionary named Emoji (more specifically, the Face With Tears Of Joy emoji) as their word of the year.
What do Snapchat emojis mean?
Snapchat isn't just an photo-sharing app – those little emojis have a lot of meaning.
If you're not clued up, this is what those graphics mean.
Snapchat emoji meanings
- 🌟 Gold Star — Someone has replayed this person's snaps in the past 24 hours.
- 💛 Yellow Heart — You are number one best friends with each other – you both send the most snaps to the other.
- ❤ Red Heart — You have been number one best friends for two weeks straight.
- 💕 Pink Hearts — You have been number one best friends with each other for two months straight.
- 👶 Baby — You just became friends with this person.
- 😎 Face With Sunglasses — One of your best friends is one of their best friends.
- 😬 Grimacing Face — Your number one best friend is their number one best friend.
- 😏 Smirking Face — You are one of their best friends – but they are not a best friend of yours.
- 😊 Smiling Face — Not your number one best friend, but they are up there.
- 🔥 Fire — You are on a Snapstreak – you have snapped this person every day, and they have snapped you back.
- 💯 Hundred — 100 Day Snapstreak.
- ⌛ Hourglass — Your Snapstreak is about to end and you will need to snap this person pronto to keep it alive.
- 🎂 Birthday Cake — This friend has a birthday today.
How do they differ between different operating systems?
There are currently over a thousand emojis in the Unicode standard, which provides a number and name for each one.
However, they may simply be named“grinning face”, and don't specifically dictate what each one must look like – for example, the Pile Of Poo emoji is smiling on Apple, Google, and Microsoft, but has no mouth on the Samsung version.
A study by GroupLens at the University of Minnesota found that each emoji has at least 17 different versions, which can lead to miscommunications.
When they asked respondents to rate them from negative to positive, they disagreed around a quarter of the time (however, many would disagree even within the same platform).
What are the hidden meanings behind some emojis?
The aubergine, circus tent, and water splash are actually used as rude symbols, as they mean penis, erection, and ejaculation respectively.
The banana image can also be used when referring to a penis – so perhaps avoid suggesting moussaka or banoffee pie for dinner if you don’t want to appear rude.
The nail painting emoji can be used as an air of ‘sassy’ nonchalance, often used at the end of a sentence.
Meanwhile this emoji quiz asks how many of these 26 well-known sayings YOU can guess.
And this mum brilliantly uses emojis to help her kids handle their emotions and others vow to nick her idea.
Plus this tricky quiz challenges Brits to guess the country from the emojis, so how many can YOU get right?
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