Where does come from?
Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) are orange-haired, long-armed, and endangered primates native to Indonesia and Malaysia. The name orangutan is based on Malay words meaning “forest man.”
The orangutan emoji is, appropriately enough, an emoji depiction of an orangutan. Orangutan emoji was approved under Unicode 12.0 in 2019. On unsupported platforms, the emoji displays as an empty box.
Current implementations feature the orangutan facing forward with shaggy orange hair, often scratching its head. Design ranges from cartoon-like to photorealistic, as shown in the screenshot from Emojipedia below.
Who uses ?
As of 2019, the orangutan emoji is new, still being implemented by major devices. Early references to the emoji are part of announcements about its approval and debut—and from diehard orangutan fans.
Orangutan. 🦧 Sloth. 🦥 Or flamingo. 🦩
— Indianapolis Zoo (@IndianapolisZoo) July 17, 2019
We will be keeping an eye on how the orangutan emoji will be used, but early evidence suggests the emoji will, of course, be often used of orangutans, especially in terms of their conversation.
Please consider this wonderful initiative! 🦧 https://t.co/c4qX2ZOHP7
— Jill Ⓥ (@Jillinchillin) February 21, 2019
Other early evidence suggests the emoji will be used of primates more generally and metaphorical senses of ape or monkey (e.g., my little monkey as a term of endearment).