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The Most Confusing Emojis Defined

It's not pray hands OR high five hands, you guys. All definitions are sourced from Emojipedia, the unofficial emoji bible.

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1. Sleepy Face:

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emojipedia.org

Twitter

What you thought it meant: Crying? Sweating? Crying because you can't stop sweating?

What it actually means: The liquid is actually a snot bubble, which indicates sleeping in Japanese cartoons. Think of it as the Japanese version of "Zzz."

2. Tired Face:

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Twitter

What you thought it meant: Complaining. Anguished. Distraught.

What it actually means: He's just yawning! Biggest plot twist of the century.

3. Face With Look of Triumph:

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emojipedia.org

Twitter

What you thought it meant: FUMING mad. Angry. Pissed off. Or someone who just climbed a large flight of stairs.

What it actually means: According to Emojipedia, this is supposed to be an expression of triumph after great frustration, which is both incredibly specific and not how it's ever been used.

4. Person With Folded Hands:

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What you thought it meant: Either "High five, dude!" or "Praying 4 u."

What it actually means: Folded hands are a symbol of gratitude in Japanese culture and the emoji was intended to be used for "please" and "thank you."

5. Face With OK Gesture:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: "I have no idea what's going on but I like it." "I am acting so silly today." "Please check my pits for sweat stains." "The roof is leaking in here." "I am a beautiful ballerina." This is the most vague emoji to ever exist.

What it actually means: This is the full body version of the "OK hand 👌" emoji. It just means "OK." That's all it means.

6. Information Desk Person:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: Sassy. Hair flip. "You just got served, bitch."

What it actually means: This, sadly, is just a concierge or someone who might help you find your way at a museum or a hotel. Boooring.

7. Person Bowing Deeply:

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What you thought it meant: An oopsie! face. Or a person doing push-ups.

What it actually means: This is the Japanese dogeza, a bow meant to express deep and solemn deference to a person of high status. The dogeza requires the bower to get on their knees and touch their forehead to the floor.

8. Woman Wearing Bunny Ears:

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Woman With Bunny Ears

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What you thought it meant: A dance recital! Best friends! Twins! Something like that!

What it actually means: Hate to break it to you, but this is Japan's off-brand version of the Playboy Bunny.

9. Dash:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: FART! Definitely a fart. 100% sure this is a fart.

What it actually means: This is a Japanese cartoon symbol for someone or something moving very quickly. It's normally paired with the running man or a car emoji.

10. Dizzy Symbol:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: A shooting star or more creatively "The More You Know" meme.

What it actually means: The swirls you see over someone's head in cartoons when they are dizzy, disoriented, or confused.

11. Cyclone

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What you thought it meant: Confused or disoriented.

What it actually means: It's an artistic interpretation of a cyclone/tornado/twister, which explains why it's listed with the nature emojis.

12. Anger:

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What you thought it meant: Surround sound? It's anybody's guess.

What it actually means: This is the Japanese cartoon symbol for anger or aggression. Imagine the words BAM! or POW! appearing in the middle.

13. Trident:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: A cool military badge maybe? Or the Mockingjay pin from Hunger Games.

What it actually means: It's apparently just a trident, like the one Neptune wields, although I think tridents were pretty clear about only having three points when they called themselves TRI-dents.

14. Pine Decoration

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: An alien's middle finger? A trifecta of terrifying land lampreys?

What it actually means: This bamboo and pine decoration, called the kadomatsu, is placed in front of homes in Japanese culture to welcome good spirits for the new year.

15. Carp Streamer

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: Either someone had a good day fishing or that's the new flag for Finland.

What it actually means: These decorative carp-shaped windsocks are flown in honor of Children's Day in Japanese culture.

16. Wind Chime:

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What you thought it meant: The world's most fabulous jellyfish?

What it actually means: These wind-operated glass bells are a popular decoration in Japan.

17. Moon-Viewing Ceremony:

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What you thought it meant: "Let's have the world's weirdest snowball fight."

What it actually means: The tsukimi, or moon-viewing ceremony, celebrates the harvest moon in fall. The "snowballs" are traditional rice dumplings eaten at the ceremony.

18. Tanabata Tree:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: An unassuming bamboo plant. Maybe it's for sale?

What it actually means: During the Star Festival, or Tanabata, children write wishes on strips of paper and attach them to bamboo.

19. Postal Horn:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: To make an announcement, to indicate you are indeed "tooting your own horn," to tell someone to kindly blow it our their ass.

What it actually means: This is not just any old horn, this is an 18th-century postal horn, which was used to announce mail deliveries in villages. That means the "building with the horn 🏤" emoji is a post office, not a concert hall.

20. Flower Playing Cards:

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What you thought it meant: A sad landscape painting.

What it actually means: Think of these as Japanese playing cards. They're called hanafuda, literally flower cards, and they're used for a variety of different games.

21. Bookmark:

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What you thought it meant: A necklace? A sale tag?

What it actually means: It's just a bookmark, y'all. (Yawns).

22. Teacup Without Handle:

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What you thought it meant: Split pea soup, most likely.

What it actually means: In Japan, matcha, or a finely powdered green tea, is customarily served in a handleless teacup.

23. Fish Cake With Swirl Design:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: A flower? A pastry? A pastry shaped like a flower?

What it actually means: Yep, this is fish. Narutomaki is cured fish decorated with a pink or red swirl to evoke the whirlpools in the Naruto Straight.

24. Rice Ball:

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What you thought it meant: A poorly constructed igloo.

What it actually means: It's just a big ol' ball of rice. It's called o-nigiri in Japanese. The black part is seaweed, and it's used to grip the ball so it can be eaten on the go.

25. Rice Cracker:

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What you thought it meant: An igloo that had been tragically burned.

What it actually means: It's a rice cracker, called a senbei, usually served with green tea. Think of it as a tea cookie.

26. Oden:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: The world's most geometric shish kabob.

What it actually means: Similar to a kabob, oden is egg, fishcakes, radish, and other food served on a skewer.

27. Dango:

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What you thought it meant: A colorful kabob?

What it actually means: Yeah, basically! Dango is the sweet version of oden.

28. Custard:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: A second grader's homemade science fair project.

What it actually means: It's a "custard dessert." Think flan.

29. Tokyo Tower:

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emojipedia.org

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What you thought it meant: A bottle rocket. A traffic cone. A "Wet Floor" sign.

What it actually means: The Tokyo Tower is the second tallest building in Japan. It was inspired by the Eiffel Tower, in case that wasn't blatantly obvious.

30. Silhouette of Japan:

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What you thought it meant: A poorly drawn picture of the Loch Ness Monster.

What it actually is: It's just a map of Japan, though it's nearly impossible to make out on mobile.

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