Dictionary.com’s Top 10 Emoji With Hidden Meanings

Alien emoji

The Alien emoji was created in 2010 to suggest that something is out of this world, whether representing actual extraterrestrial life or, more often, describing weird, strange, or far-out behavior.

But, it's since been used in other, more disparaging ways . . . any ideas?


WATCH: It Matters Which Way Your Gun Emoji Faces

Well, in the current culture, immigrants, especially those who illegally immigrate, are top targets of the current administration. And so, the Alien emoji is now being used in some discriminatory ways online to talk about or call out those who have "alien" status.

But, maybe it can be reclaimed (like other disparaging terms ... slut anyone?). Embrace the Alien emoji with this shirt (or one like it) and don't let them bring you down.

Learn more about this emoji's usage here.

Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes emoji

The Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes emoji was created in 2010 to express joy, happiness, cheerfulness, or excitement.

But, someone wasn't paying attention . . . and it ended up resembling another emoji with a more negative connotation. In September 2016, Apple released an update to iOS that changed the emoji’s look, making it much more clear that it depicted a happy face. Before then, on iOS this emoji looked very similar to the already existing Grimacing Face emoji. Other platforms like Facebook and Twitter had this same design issue. This caused the emoji to previously be perceived as a grimace or as something negative due to the design. Because of this, many users have come to think of this emoji as representing awkwardness, discomfort, or displeasure despite its positive name.

And, amidst its many meanings, the Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes emoji is also fashionable. Check out the jewelry donning the sweet (or awkward) emoji below:

Nail polish emoji

The Nail Polish emoji is often used literally to highlight an impressive manicure or fancy outfit.

But, it also has a more figurative use . . . what could be figurative about nail polish? Hmmm.

Adam Sternbergh observed in New York Magazine in November, 2014 that the Nail Polish emoji had begun to mean “I’m not bothered” or “Haters gonna hate.” The sassy sense of the Nail Polish emoji had indeed become so popular that BuzzFeed declared 2014 “the year of the nail care emoji.”

And, no better way to sleep than when you're not bothered by anything or anyone right? So, sleep well on the Nail Polish emoji below:

Learn more about this emoji's usage here.

Fire emoji

The Fire emoji is commonly used to praise someone or something, signifying that a person, object, album, movie, or so on, is “lit,” a slang term to describe something that is exceptionally cool or great.

But, lit has other meanings too . . . and, of course, that means so does the Fire emoji. As lit is also slang for “intoxicated,” the Fire emoji doubles as a way to say someone is very high or wasted. The term fire has been used as slang for high-quality weed in hip-hop since the early 1990s, and so sometimes the Fire emoji is used to reference marijuana, too.

And, now that you know the hidden meanings of this emoji and the term lit, wear your knowledge with pride with a shirt like the one below:

Goat emoji

The Goat emoji literally alludes to the farmyard animal. Bahh.

But, what does the Goat emoji figuratively mean? Any ideas kids?

When not alluding to the animal, the Goat emoji stands for GOAT, an acronym meaning Greatest of All Time. It is generally used in reference to highly-skilled individuals, such as award-winning musicians or talented athletes, in order to praise them as being the all-time best in their chosen field.

Learn more about this emoji's usage here.

Face Without Mouth emoji

The Face Without Mouth emoji has several different meanings, both positive and negative. It can be a marker for speechlessness, sheepishness, or sad smugness.

But, there's a darker side to this emoji, and sometimes it can be used as a trigger warning for someone who needs help. The Face Without Mouth emoji can communicate a certain sense of despair. It often accompanies social media, blog, or forum posts written to indirectly reach out to others. Someone might make a post about shutting down and isolating themselves from others, and it might include the Face Without Mouth emoji. Likewise, someone might text a friend about feeling lonely or unsure of their status with others, including this emoji.

People with Bunny Ears emoji

The People with Bunny Ears emoji is widely used by women to indicate that they are having a good time or going out with close girlfriends.

However, bunny ears is a clear indicator that there's something a little naughtier going on with this emoji . . . any guesses?

According to Emojipedia, the People with Bunny Ears emoji is based on Japanese bunny girls, a borrowing of the iconic US Playboy Bunnies. In Japan, the costume is popular in anime, manga, and fan art as well as, true to the original concept, adult entertainment.

Learn more about this emoji's usage here.

Sweat Droplets emoji

The Sweat Droplets emoji is used to represent just that, sweat droplets (or water droplets).

But, that's not the only type of fluid the Sweat Droplets emoji can represent. The Sweat Droplets emoji is often used in sexual contexts. It’s usually paired with other emoji that resemble body parts. The combination of these emoji tells a story about sex acts, particularly what the writer wants to do, or have done to them. How risque!

Upside-down Face emoji

The Upside-down Face emoji was created in 2015, and it instantly became a stand-in for phrases like "jk." That is, it was used to express silliness or sarcasm in text messages.

But, it has since come to mean something a little more sad. Some people use this emoji to express something else when they are going through painful situations. This is an emoji that people turn to when nothing is going their way but they’re still “smiling through the pain.” This makes sense, since the emoji itself is literally smiling. In some contexts, there’s almost a palpable undercurrent of ugh or “why me?” associated with it. This emoji is for when someone is frustrated with their circumstances, but has to muscle through it anyway.

Want to show someone your frustration on a Monday morning back at work? Show it on your coffee mug by sporting the one below:

Eggplant emoji

Come on, we had to add this one onto our list because . . . eggplant! The Eggplant emoji literally represents the fruit (yes, eggplant is a fruit!).

But, what does it figuratively represent . . . we know you know!

Give someone the gift of the Eggplant emoji (not physically!!) with this amazing card the next time you want to express your love in a unique way:

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