The Emoji Bible: Translating Their Multiple Meanings

  The emoji keyboard is filled with sushi, churches, sunsets and trees, Santa, angels and leaves but somehow they forgot a taco and shark – which I find myself looking for way too often. 

 It seems like emojis have transcended past a once expression crutch into replacing the words we type all together. Whether it be through text, tweet or even email there is no escaping them. Because emoji’s have become such a tool to convey the tone and non-verbal context behind our communication it's important for us to rule out the confusion of their multiple meanings once and for all. 

Thanks to Emojiopedia, the unofficial emoji bible, we are able to break it down for you:

Ok –

Sleepy face:

I personally misused this one as a “sad but just one tear is falling,” face when I'm ABOUT to cry. Plot twist. Apparently this is the “sleepy face” and that isn’t a tear that is actually a snot bubble. The idea stems from Japanese anime, to express a character is asleep the bubble inflates and deflates in sync with breathing. Similar to how western cartoons use “Zzz” to show slumber.

Cold Sweat:

This emoji represents something way more specific then I thought. The blue at the top of his head denotes a cold sweat. And here I was sending to people when I was stressed out. 

Okay gesture:


This little lady is holding her hands above her head in the shape of an “O” and this is intended to be a signal of “okay”. Okay little lady, I’ll be using you a lot more. 

Twinning Emoji:


Twins, Best friends or something close to that! This emoji comes in handy for me when I want to call someone a “soul sister.” The popular two girls wearing bunny ears and leotards actually stems from Playboy bunny or in Japan known as a “Bunny Girl.” 

Roasted Sweet Potato:

I’m sure you’ve seen this emoji tossed around through your feeds and Imessage conversations. But I think it’s a rare occasion for it to be used in the context it was intended for. This right here is a Roasted Sweet Potato or the “Yam emoji.” So there you go! 

Praying Hands/High Five:


The most controversial emoji of them all. The “High five, dude” vs. “Praying 4 u” argument is always fun to witness. But in actuality this is a symbol of gratitude in Japanese culture and the emoji was intended to be used for “please” and “thank you.”

Tired Face: 

You may have been using this emoji in the wrong way too. I’ve always seen it been used for Complaining, or distraught. Well folks, this guy is just fine he just needed to yawn. 

Face with look of Triumph:


So this one is definitely never used correctly. But was originally intended to be an expression of triumph after great frustration. I’m pretty sure we will keep using it as the “fuming mad – don’t mess with me” face but thanks Emojiopedia



I didn’t think there was any debate on this one, it is clearly a fart. But when I looked it up, I was far far off. This emoji actually is meant to use for something moving very quickly. 


It seems like the only one we’ve really nailed is the smirk face. Or otherwise known as the “flirting emoji,” “Sexual face,” “Suggestive smile.” Were all sly when it comes to using this bad boy through text. 

Written by: Emily Armistead