Have you ever wondered if there's a hidden meaning behind the emoji you just received? Or worse — have you ever sent an emoji only to realize your recipient might read into it in a way you didn't necessarily intend to communicate? If either of these scenarios apply to you, you certainly aren't alone. Emoji are a strange form of communication, but they've gained a ton of popularity in terms of texting, Instagram, Twitter, and even email. Heck, people can even write masterpieces in emoji. Of course, communicating through emoji, like all other forms of communication, is subjective: Some people will receive an eggplant emoji and think it's in reference to stopping at the farmer's market, while others will receive it and think it's a sexual innuendo.
There are a ton of emoji to choose from — over 800, in fact, that split into about 60 different themes. Even still, there are emoji I'm shocked don't exist: While we finally got the taco emoji, I'm waiting on a hipster emoji or a coffee shop latte to appear. But while we're waiting on new emoji all the time (because let's face it, we're all addicted to our phones) people have gotten creative with the emoji we already have. After all, when words fail (even when there's a keyboard right in front of us...), pictures speak — and sometimes those pictures come in the form of emoji.
In fact, the engineers behind Emojini — a nifty little tool that will analyze any photo you give it access to and produce the appropriate emoji for it based on what people are tagging similar images with on social media — recently discovered that people aren't just using emoji to communicate their literal meanings; they're using them to communicate other, slightly less obvious meanings. Here are seven "secret meaning" emoji according to Emojini I think you'll relate to using... and if not, this list might at least help you make sense of half of your friend's strange text messages!
1. Celebrate Your New Tattoo With A... Syringe
That's right: There's not really a designated "tattoo" emoji, which is surprising, given how popular tattoo pictures are on Instagram. In fact, many tattoo artists are using Instagram to gain more followers for their work.The syringe emoji stands in for the tattoo needle, which does make sense.
2. Open Your Hands For... An Energy Drink
Emojipedia says these hands represent "openness" and can also signify a hug. Emojini takes it in a total different direction, however, and suggests it to caption pictures of the energy drink Red Bull.
3. Lust After Your "Woman Crush" With A... Bathroom Sign
Now, on Android, this one shows up as a literal toilet, so I think there might be something lost in translation based on the device you're using. For what it's worth, though, he "WC" here traditionally stands for Water Closet (aka bathroom) — but in emoji world, it stands in for "Woman Crush." It's usually used to celebrate #womancrushwednesday.
4. Time To Get Running... To Your Next Vape Session
That's right! The "dash" emoji is commonly associated with vaping. In theory, it could be used along with the "running" emoji, to signify someone really covering the pavement, or behind one of the cars or trains, to signify speed. More often than not, however, the "dash" emoji signifies vaping.
5. Caption Your Selfie... With A Silhouette
I know the world likes to complain about women who take selfies, but let's face it: Nearly everyone does it, and that's not a bad thing! While many people will caption their #selfie pics with the "camera" or "princess" emoji, many others will use the "bust in silhouette" emoji to signify the bright background caught in many selfies.
6. Goat For Your G.O.A.T?
The Goat emoji first of all represents, well, goats. As in the animals. Beyond that, it's often used in association with the Capricorn zodiac sign. Beyond that, however, it's often used as a symbol associated with the acronym G.O.A.T, meaning, "Greatest Of All Time." This phrase is often used in reference to athletes, so you migth find a goat pegged to a photo of an impressive display of athletic prowess.
7. Fist Bump... On Your Dirtbike
Last but not least, the raised fist emoji is often associated with fist-bumping. That is to say, celebration, triumph, and fun. It's also associated with dirt bikes. Maybe the adrenaline of riding dirt bikes is enough to put anyone in a celebratory mood?
So there you have it! If you're anything like me, emoji aren't something you use very often, so that list may have been full of surprises. However, if you're a frequent social media user, that may have only been the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you really want to jump down the rabbit hole, I suggest taking some time to load your own pictures into the Emojini — it "reads" your image then suggests three to four appropriate emojis to caption it. Awesome, right? I ran this with about 30 of my own pictures and nothing too crazy or unusual came up, but there's always a chance you'll find a thought-provoking or hilarious new association between your image and an emoji.
Images: Emojipedia (7)