You can imagine my face when I recently sent a group chat a “thumbs up” + “taco” + “tongue” emoji and my friend immediately called me laughing to say that I had just sent 8 women (half I barely know) a dirty message. Not only was I confused and completely embarrassed, but also grateful I had a friend close enough to tell me what modern day mishap I had just made. You see, I had only intended to quickly text back a fun and “cute” message to communicate that I was excited for our group dinner, when really I had apparently sent a sexually explicit message.
Through bursts of laughter, my friend explained to me that the tongue emoji is typically only used in a sexual nature, and that the taco is an emoji commonly used for genitalia. I was mind blown. I am a millennial…I grew up in my 20s with emojis…How could I be so “off” and suddenly unaware of the lingo? Apparently, this new form of non-verbal communication is changing every day, but it also goes to show that sending the wrong emoji can be, well, a disaster.
This incident made me wonder how we actually can keep up with knowing what they all mean, especially if there are hidden meanings and dual meanings. Sigh. Nowadays we all know not to use an eggplant, water droplet or peach emoji, but what otherwise innocent looking emojis have hidden meanings? It then occurred to me that with just a little bit of pop culture research I could unveil some of the less obvious hidden meanings. Here are a selection of the latest I uncovered that may raise an eyebrow…and not for the right reasons. Whatever you do, don’t text these to your colleagues. In formal business etiquette it’s recommended not to use emojis whatsoever to remain professional, but nowadays it’s clearly also to protect yourself from inappropriate hidden meanings. On that note, may I present some of the emojis with double meanings that you’ve probably never heard of…Texter beware:
⏳🚛- Can refer to your body type
🌶️🥤🍯- Interested in someone
🔌- Hook up
🍕- I love you
🍝- Nude aka “noods”
🥶- Savage / gossip