Love them or hate them, emojis are as much a part of lives as actual smiling, pizza or cats crying with laughter. But if you thought emojis were all pretty self-explanatory, think again (shocked face). Word on the street is that people are giving new meaning to their most loved icons - creating a secret emoji language that lets you take chat between you and your contacts to a whole new personalised level. It’s time to lift the lid on this secret emoji language.
If someone sent you an emoji of a pizza or a wedge of cheese, your initial thoughts might be that they’re treating themselves to a Dominos – wrong! In fact, these emojis mean “I love you”. Bit cheesy, right?
While we’re on matters of heart, the cute octopus emoji means "cuddles", with the more cryptic balloon followed by a comma and teddy bear meaning "I’m thinking of you but don’t have the words to say it". But the ultimate display of affection seems to be the penguin emoji – they mate for life you know.
The science behind it
In a recent study, researchers asked 134 participants about how they use emojis while messaging. 72 of them revealed that they repurpose emojis, with 21% using them to express affection, 19% using them to symbolise a particular person or pet, and 7% using them to refer to, ahem, romance.
Dr. Sarah Wiseman, co-author of the study and lecturer in computer science said “Often this was about more than just typing something more quickly: people found that by using emoji they could convey very complex meanings and thoughts with them that could not be described in words.”
A developing language
And this secret language keeps growing day by day – with the latest editions proving even more obscure. For example, the arms-above-head emoji could now mean "OK" (the arms above the head symbolising the letter ‘O’ and the legs that don’t even appear in the icon indicating ‘K’).
And, the cat version of Munich’s ‘The Scream’ is now being used by some people as a way of saying "I’m so tired".
According to one example cited by a sociologist, bathtub actually translates to "coffin". Which, in our opinion, is absolutely mortal.
So, what do you make of the secret emoji language? What hidden meanings can you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below (in emoji form preferably).