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13th Apr 2016

This is what Snapchat emojis really mean

Jordan Gold

Just like words, emojis can have multiple definitions.

For example, while the ‘women with bunny ears’ emoji is usually shared amongst young women in a display of friendship, it was originally designed to be a dualistic representation of the Bunny Girl, a subservient Japanese sexual symbol associated with cosplay and anime.

via Emojipedia

Some linguistics experts even predict that the language of the future could be a mix of Indo-European, Mandarin and emoji.

Here in Britain, however, emojis are most commonly used in Snapchat messages, where many of them have taken on a completely new meaning of their own…


Perceived meaning: A smug, self satisfied smile; a smirk. 

Actual meaning: “I know something you don’t.”


Perceived meaning: “I love you!”; an expression of affection.

Actual meaning: Ironic expression of narcissism; “I’m awesome.”


Perceived meaning: Admiration, respect. 

Actual meaning: Hypnotised; blindly in love.


Perceived meaning: An expression of luxury – usually used on holiday.

Actual meaning: Being drunk or hungover.


Perceived meaning: Fruit, sweetness.

Actual meaning: Sexually suggestive symbol for ‘party’; taken from the Pacha logo.


Perceived meaning: Healthy eating; a symbol of veganism or vegetarianism.

Actual meaning: The male sex organ; “well hung”.


Perceived meaning: Summer; tropical poolside vibes.

Actual meaning: “Thirsty” or “horny”; sexual frustration.


Perceived meaning: Love, adoration.

Actual meaning: When a “like” simply isn’t enough; ironic love.


Perceived meaning: Heat; hot weather.

Actual meaning: A hot take, comment, opinion or lyric; nudes; leaked information.


Perceived meaning: A teardrop; bad weather; an expression of sadness.

Actual meaning: Describing someone or something as “wet”.


See no evil

Perceived meaning“That so funny/scary, I can’t even look!”

Actual meaningA signifier of embarrassment; an acknowledgement of something as cringeworthy, awkward or stupid. 

Hear no evil

Perceived meaning“I don’t want to hear that”

Actual meaningAn expression of intrigue; usually used to convey being engaged and attentive.

Speak no evil

Perceived meaningShock horror; dismay; a lack of words.

Actual meaning“Your secret is safe with me.”


Perceived meaning: “F*ck you!”

Actual meaningA term of endearment, used ironically among friends to express a bad mood or resistance to authority. 


Perceived meaningAppreciation, contentment; “Perfect!”.

Actual meaningCommonly used among conspiracy theorists and the #AltRight to infer being awake or “woke”; knowing the truth about something.


Perceived meaning: “I’ve had great idea!”

Actual meaning: Electricity; a spark or romantic connection.


Perceived meaning: Chicken; food; a BBQ or cook-out.

Actual meaning: Hungry; used to express a deep desire for something.


Perceived meaning: A signifier of money and wealth.

Actual meaning: An illegal loan shark; “I can get you cash quick.”


Perceived meaning: Enjoys playing football.

Actual meaning: Wealthy; a pictographic translation of the word “baller”.


Perceived meaningA pictographic translation of the word “safe”. 

Actual meaning: Used by pirate radio stations and people on Periscope to signify listeners who are listening or “locked in”.

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Perceived meaning: A gun-owner; a firearms enthusiast.

Actual meaning: “Shots fired!” – used after making a witty comeback. 


Perceived meaning: Drugs; pills.

Actual meaning: Used to signify someone who likes to get high off prescription medication, valium etc.


Perceived meaning: A pile of shit.

Actual meaning: A pile of shit. There’s no getting around this one.

What’s your favourite emoji? Any definitions we missed? Let us know at!