25 Common Emojis You’re Using Wrong

Posted by , Updated on December 14, 2023

Are you sure you’re using that emoji correctly? Chances are you’ve at least got one wrong. But, let’s be honest, they can seriously be hard to interpret. Sometimes we think they mean one thing when they were really intended for something else. It can become embarrassing if you’re not texting the right thing to people. Knowing what emojis mean isn’t exactly a hard science, but Unicode set specific definitions when they created them. We’re here to set the record straight and help you use the right ones. Ready to become a texting pro? Here are 25 Common Emojis You’re Using Wrong.


Sad but Relieved Face

disappointed emojiSource: https://emojipedia.org/disappointed-but-relieved-face/

Due to the small size, it’s easy to get this one mixed up with a person crying, but it really symbolizes anxiety and stress.


Name Badge

name badgeSource: https://emojipedia.org/name-badge/

Many people think this one is an emoji representing fire, and it’s easy to see why. Believe it or not, it’s just a name badge.


Hugging Face

hugging faceSource: https://emojipedia.org/hugging-face/

You totally thought this one was “Jazz Hands” didn’t you? Well, it’s not. It’s just an emoji wanting a hug.


Savoring Food

savoring foodSource: https://emojipedia.org/face-savouring-delicious-food/

With the tongue sticking out, some think this one is a joking emoji. It’s actually an emoji for enjoying or savoring food.


Weary Cat Face

weary cat faceSource: https://emojipedia.org/weary-cat-face/

This one looks utterly terrified by something, so people mistakenly use it to symbolize that feeling. According to Unicode, it’s actually just a “Weary Cat Face.”


Raising Hands

raising handsSource: https://emojipedia.org/person-raising-both-hands-in-celebration/

The “raising hands” emoji might look like someone’s praising Jesus, but it’s really just two hands going up to celebrate success.


Face With Look of Triumph

face with look of triumphSource: https://emojipedia.org/face-with-look-of-triumph/

It’s easy to see why this one might be confused with looking frustrated and angry. But, Unicode calls it “Face with Look of Triumph,” so you’re really supposed to use it when you’ve overcome some kind of obstacle.


Sign of the Horns

sign of the hornsSource: https://emojipedia.org/sign-of-the-horns/

The “Sign of the Horns” emoji can be used for “Rock on” or “Heavy Metal,” but under no circumstances should it be used as the hang-10 sign.


Hushed Face

hushed faceSource: https://emojipedia.org/hushed-face/

It might look like this emoji means “surprised,” but it’s really a quiet and hushed face.


Two Person Bunny

two person bunnySource: https://emojipedia.org/woman-with-bunny-ears/

Most people use this emoji to signify friendship or wanting to party. What they might not know is that this emoji is the Japanese version of a Playboy bunny.


The Japanese Ogre

japanese ogreSource: https://emojipedia.org/japanese-ogre/

No, this is not a symbol of the monster from “Where the Wild Things Are.” It’s the symbol of a Japanese Ogre called “Namahage.”


Man Bowing Deeply

man bowing deeplySource: https://emojipedia.org/person-bowing-deeply/

This one is a tough one, so don’t kick yourself you’ve been using it for doing push-ups or lying down for a massage. It’s actually a “Man Bowing Deeply” or “dogeza” in Japan, and it’s supposed to symbolize sincere apology or request a favor.


Woman Gesturing Ok

woman gesturing okaySource: https://emojipedia.org/face-with-ok-gesture/

Some people might confuse this one with a yoga or ballerina pose, but Unicode insists it’s a woman gesturing “okay.” But it’s hard to imagine anyone actually doing this in real life.


Kissing Face

kissing emojiSource: https://emojipedia.org/kissing-face/

No, this emoji isn’t whistling, it’s just awkwardly kissing with its eyes wide open.


Person Tipping Hand

woman holding out handSource: https://emojipedia.org/information-desk-person/

People usually think this is a waitress holding an invisible tray of food. It’s actually just what it looks like, a “Person Tipping Hand.” The Unicode name is “Information Desk Person.”


Folded Hands

folded handsSource: https://emojipedia.org/person-with-folded-hands/

You can use it for praying. You can use it for saying please or thank you. But, don’t use it as a symbol for the high-five.


Sleepy Face

sleepy faceSource: https://emojipedia.org/sleepy-face/

This one looks like someone has a snot bubble coming out of their nose, but it’s actually supposed to represent being sleepy.


Tired Face

tired emojiSource: https://emojipedia.org/tired-face/

This one is often used to show whining or frustration. It also looks similar to Weary Face. However, Unicode calls it “Tired Face,” and it’s supposed to mean someone is exhausted.


Victory Hand

victorySource: https://emojipedia.org/victory-hand/

Commonly misused as the peace sign, this emoji means “Victory.”


Roasted Sweet Potato

sweet potatoSource: https://emojipedia.org/roasted-sweet-potato/

If this is used at all, it’s sometimes confused for a seed or a nut. But, it’s actually a Roasted Sweet Potato. Use it during the fall season and then forget about it for the rest of the year.


Person Getting Massage

massageSource: https://emojipedia.org/face-massage/

It might look like this is a woman with antlers on her head, but Unicode calls it “Face Massage.”


Open Hands

open handsSource: https://emojipedia.org/open-hands-sign/

Maybe you used this one to represent “Whatever” or a dove flying off in the air (Okay, maybe not that one), but it’s just supposed to show openness, a hug, or jazz hands.


Dizzy Face

dizzy faceSource: https://emojipedia.org/dizzy-face/

If you’ve been using this one to indicate being dead, then you’re definitely using it wrong. Unicode calls it a “Dizzy Face,” and it’s supposed to indicate feeling sick or being confused. It’s also often mixed up with the “Astonished Face.”


Love Hotel

love hotelSource: https://emojipedia.org/love-hotel/

Do not send this to someone hoping they will get well soon. For that, use the hospital emoji. This emoji symbolizes the “Love Hotel” of a romantic nature where one could rent it out by the hour.


Pile of Poo

pooSource: https://emojipedia.org/pile-of-poo/

This is a classic but bears repeating. This emoji is not a scoop of chocolate ice cream. It’s a smiling poo. A happy, steaming pile of poo.

Photo: 1. Googoogootoo, Pile-of-poo 1f4a9, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 2. Phantom Open Emoji maintainers and contributors, Phantom Open Emoji 1f3e9, CC BY 3.0 , 3. Google; Edited by Davidbuddy9, Emoji Dx Face, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 4. Emoji One, Emojione 1F450, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 5. Emoji One, Emojione 1F486, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 6. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f360, CC BY 4.0 , 7. Emoji One, Emojione 270C, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 8. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f62b, CC BY 4.0 , 9. Emoji One, Emojione 1F62A, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 10. Phantom Open Emoji maintainers and contributors, Phantom Open Emoji 1f64f, CC BY 3.0 , 11. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f481-1f3fc, CC BY 4.0 , 12. Emoji One, Emojione 1F617, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 13. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f646-1f3fb, CC BY 4.0 , 14. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f647-1f3fd, CC BY 4.0 , 15. Emoji One, Emojione 1F479, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 16. Emoji One, Emojione 1F46F, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 17. Twitter, Twemoji 1f62f, CC BY 4.0 , 18. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f918-1f3fd, CC BY 4.0 , 19. Emoji One, Emojione1 1F624, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 20. Emoji One, Emojione 1F64C, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 21. Emoji One, Emojione 1F640, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 22. Emoji One, Emojione 1F60B, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 23. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f917, CC BY 4.0 , 24. Mozilla, Fxemoji u1F4DB, CC BY 4.0 , 25. Twitter, Twemoji2 1f625, CC BY 4.0