16 Emojis You've Been Using All Wrong

For starters, these hands don't mean "praise."

If you have an iPhone, chances are you've used an emoji or two in your past. But are you using them correctly? Thanks to the sharp minds at Unicode (opens in new tab), we have the official meaning behind some of the most commonly misinterpreted emojis:

1. The Folded Hands

If you've been using this much-debated icon to signify a high five, you're wrong. This is actually meant to be a person who is praying or bowing.

2. The Japanese Ogre

This red-faced emoji isn't a mask, the devil, or a character from Where The Wild Things Are–it's a Japanese ogre, a monster commonly found in Japanese art and literature.

3. The "Disappointed But Relieved" Face

This looks like a crying emoji at first glance, but observe the placement of that water droplet. It's on the side of the face, signifying sweat (disappointment and relief!) rather than tears.

4. The "Shocked" Face

The double Xs make this emoji look, well, dead—but it is intended to demonstrate astonishment.

5. The Celebration Hands

See this and think, "praise Jesus"? Womp, womp—it's actually just a regular person celebrating.

Finger, Sharing, Thumb, Gesture, Collaboration, Graphics, Sign language, Symmetry, Symbol, Clip art,

(Image credit: Archives)

6. The Face Massage

If you've always wondered what's on this woman's head, that would be a set of hands. She's getting a massage—now leave her alone!

Face, Cartoon, Head, Nose, Skin, Clip art, Cheek, Forehead, Joint, Animation,

(Image credit: Archives)

7. The "Hushed" Face

This appears to be a shocked emoji, but it actually means "hushed." Use it next time you're in the library.

8. The "Grinning Face" with Smiling Eyes

A very impatient child this is not. It's an extremely smiley, incredibly happy emoji.

Emoticon, Facial expression, Smile, Yellow, Mouth, Head, Nose, Icon, Smiley, Comedy,

(Image credit: Archives)

9. The "Kissy" Face

This face looks like it's whistling, but it's actually just another kissy face, one grade below the kissy face with a heart. It's basically perpetually on a first date.

10. The "Savoring Delicious Food" Face

The emoji with its tongue hanging out (opens in new tab) is often used as a goofy or teasing emoji, but surprise! It simply means you are enjoying your food (opens in new tab).

11. The "Information Desk" Person

If you've been using this to express some sass, brace yourself for the much less exciting truth: It's just a helpful information desk person.

Cheek, Chin, Forehead, Eyebrow, Jaw, Collar, Cartoon, Animation, Lavender, Pleased,

(Image credit: Archives)

12. The Hot Springs

This definitely looks like steam from a hot cup of tea or soup, but it actually means "hot springs."

Carmine, Maroon, Graphics, Coquelicot, Symbol, Artwork,

(Image credit: Archives)

13. The "Weary Cat" Face

Though this cat's face appears to be shocked, Unicode insists it is actually just weary.

14. The "Face with the Okay" Gesture

According to Unicode, this is a woman making an "okay" gesture. Does anybody actually do this when trying to signal that they're okay?

Emoticon, Yellow, Facial expression, Cartoon, Violet, Smiley, Purple, Pink, Smile, Mouth,

(Image credit: Archives)

15. The Name Badge

No fire here, though this certainly looks like flames. It actually means "name badge."

16. The Person Bowing Deeply

If this guy looks stressed out, it's because he is, in fact, bowing deeply to show how sorry he is. Perhaps he is apologizing for being such a confusing emoji.

Cartoon, Clip art, Fictional character, Illustration, Smile,

(Image credit: Archives)

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Sam Escobar
Sam Escobar

Sam's enthusiasm for makeup is only rivaled by their love of all things relating to cats. In their spare time, they enjoy watching scary movies, putting avocado on everything, and seeing how many shades of the rainbow they can dye their hair before 30.