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The Real Meaning Of Emoji

Have you ever wondered if the innocent little Emoji you are using has a double meaning? With more Emoji appearing in business language, here's a handy guide to help you through this potential challenge.

4 May 2022  

I've been doing a lot of work with people on improving their LinkedIn profiles lately. One of the things that comes up a lot in these LinkedIn profile optimisation calls is whether or not to use Emoji. The answer is yes. Yes you can. One or two well-chosen Emoji in an About section shows you are able to communicate in this visual language. Even if you are a lawyer, or an accountant!

Have you ever wondered about the double meaning of Emoji?

Many people, including myself, feel the cold vice of paranoia just before they hit that publish button.
What if the emoji I"m using means something else? Something bad? Or something wholly inappropriate?

This happened to me lately when I discovered that the friendly Thumbs Up emoji which I use a lot to signify "yay great" or "gotcha, nice one!" or other positive vibes, actually means something else.

The Thumbs Up emoji, when used by younger Millennials and Gen Z, actually means "OK I hear you, leave me alone now, I've got it."

The shock! 
I've been sending 'talk to the hand' signals to people without even knowing it. 😧

So it was with this in mind that I decided to do a bit of research on the real meaning of emoji's and to do this I consulted Tara (aged 21), Abbi (aged 19), Ciara (aged 25), and Jessie (aged 26).

I'll be doing a lot more of this 👇🏽 (and that is my most often used Emoji, it's so handy on social media bios)

Hopefully not so much of this 🤏 = I'm this close to losing it 

Or this 😷 most used Emoji during Covid. Hopefully less of that.

😆 is always sarcastic, so if someone sends it to you, be aware that they are laughing at you!

Some basic ones I was really surprised some of my colleagues didn't know:

🙏🏻 Thanks. Or Please.  It's not praying!

👋🏽 Hello.

💪 Go you.

Purposely leaving out the body parts ones! 🤭

But just be careful if you're talking about having an aubergine and peach meal!

My most visited link after gmail is actually Emojipedia, which is a great source of all emojis. You can literally search by what mood you want to convey and find something. Or you can browse their lists of cute and fun Emoji. 

The meanings provided in Emojipedia aren't always up to the minute, so bookmark this page and come back whenever you're unsure and you want to check in.

Let's get started


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