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22 emojis you're probably using wrong

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Mike Nudelman / Business Insider
Sometimes words just aren't enough to convey what you have to say.

Emojis have been around since 1999, but these winky faces and seemingly random characters have caught on fairly recently.

A lot of that is thanks to Apple's iOS 6 in 2012, which allowed iPhone owners to easily integrate emojis into their keyboard for the first time.

Since then, Apple routinely updates its emojis, adding ones like a person shrugging, an avocado, and a fox to the lineup.

But not all emojis are easy to decipher. With the help of Emojipedia โ€” yes, that's a real thing โ€” we can now tell you what some of the most mysterious emojis actually mean.

Megan Rose Dickey contributed to an earlier version of this story.

No, this person isn't crying. Use this when you're disappointed but relieved.

Disappointed emoji

Don't be fooled โ€” this is no nut. In fact, it's a roasted sweet potato.

Sweet potato emoji

What looks like a pile of pingpong balls is actually a moon-viewing ceremony.

moon viewing ceremony emoji

If you see an acorn, you're wrong โ€” it's actually a chestnut.

Chestnut emoji

Don't use this to convey a gift card or gift tag; it's a bookmark.

bookmark emoji

Get your head out of the gutter. This just means that everything is OK.

OK hand emoji

Nope, this isn't about praising the Lord. Use this emoji when you're celebrating something.

praise hands emoji

Use this to convey that you're super annoyed or irritated. That means you should stop using it to imply that someone's ugly.

Confounded emoji

Nope, those aren't antlers on her head. She's just getting a face massage.

face massage emoji

220 awesome, ridiculous, and downright creepy Gboard emoji combos you should try out

It's been more than a year since Google introduced the option to combine two emojis in Gboard to create a totally new mashup sticker that embodies both, and yet, I still find myself in awe when I discover a new combination that I hadn't come across before. This has quickly become my favorite Gboard feature — possibly even the favorite feature on any software keyboard I've every used, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

The collection houses thousands and thousands of combinations and Google keeps adding more and more and even more. The resulting mashups add so much more personality to existing emojis and allow us to create mixed emotions that a single one wouldn't properly convey, but the choices can get quite overwhelming. We've spent enough time trying out many of the combos and discovering the results, from cutesy to disturbing, so we're going to make things easy for you and share with you our favorites.

This post is best viewed on a device that supports all of the newest emojis. If you're checking it on your desktop and see some blank squares, switch to your phone. Anything running Android 11 and above should be able to display most of these properly.

Emoji Kitchen is a feature of Google's first-party keyboard on Android only. To use it, you need to download and install Gboard, then open it and set it as the default keyboard on your phone. In Gboard's settings, you should also make sure that Emoji, Stickers & GIFs > Suggestions while typing > Emojis is enabled. This is what ensures that the feature is turned on.

Now, head over to a compatible app (list below) and type two emojis. A strip should show up on top of the keyboard and below the text field with a few large suggested emoji stickers. The first one on the left is a combination of the last two emojis you typed; in the example below, it's the winking face with a hand covering its mouth in one slightly naughty combo.

Image Gallery (2 Images)



Left: The 'emojis' should be enabled. Right: Sticker bar above the keyboard.

Compatible apps

These emoji combos don't work everywhere on your phone. Some apps support them, but the majority don't. As a general rule, the ones that do are those that already support stickers (because the combo is actually a sticker). We've verified that the feature works in these apps, but odds are it's also compatible with plenty of other text messaging and social network ones:

  • Google Messages
  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Signal
  • TextNow
  • LinkedIn

All the supported emojis (270+)

It probably takes Google's designers a lot of time to come up with each design, especially the ones that aren't a straightforward mash-up of two emojis but a more thoughtful combo (pig + fire = bacon, snowman + fire = melted snowman, etc...), so it's understandable that the combos aren't available for all emojis. We've listed all the ones that can be mashed up with themselves or with another emoji below, but keep in mind that some may be a bit limited. The 100 points or ribbon, for example, are pretty limited in what they can be combined with.

Most notably missing among these are any hand gestures and all the human and activity emojis, so you can't combine a thumbs-up, shrug, doctor, or football with something else. Flags aren't supported either, and the number of compatible emojis in the food, objects, and symbols categories is very limited.

Smileys and emoticons



๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿคฌโ˜น๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ˜ณ



๐Ÿ˜ถ‍๐ŸŒซ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ต‍๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿฅต๐Ÿฅถ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿค ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿค“๐Ÿฅธ๐Ÿคฅ๐Ÿคก๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฝ

๐Ÿค–๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘ฟโ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ซโญ๐ŸŒŸโœจ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ•ณ๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ


๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’Œ๐Ÿ’Ÿโฃ๏ธโค๏ธ‍๐Ÿฉน๐Ÿ’”โค๏ธ‍๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

Animals and nature (and still no dog!)


๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ’ซโœจ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ†๐ŸŒƒ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿต๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿป๐Ÿจ



And yes, I'll repeat this until someone at Google hears me: WHERE IS THE DOG?! How come we get lots of animal combos but no dog?! I'm honestly livid. This is unacceptable. And don't try to tell me it's an unintended oversight, this is an evil plan hatched and executed to perfection by all the kittens at Google. (Update: I've been promised it's coming soon.)

Food and drink


Travel and places

๐ŸŽ ๐ŸŒ‡๐Ÿ™๏ธ๐ŸŒ†๐ŸŒƒ๐ŸŒ

Activities and events






Our favorites 'modifiers'

Given the breadth of options available, I wanted to highlight what I'll call our favorite 'modifiers.' These are the emojis that work really well with most others and often yield good or interesting results. Just try them with another face reaction or animal and see for yourself.

For example, you can make anything into a ghost ๐Ÿ‘ป, robot ๐Ÿค–, alien ๐Ÿ‘ฝ, pumpkin ๐ŸŽƒ, skull ๐Ÿ’€, or cyclops ๐Ÿ‘. You can put any emoji in a hole ๐Ÿ•ณ, a crystal ball / snowglobe ๐Ÿ”ฎ, on a platter ๐Ÿฝ, make it the top event on a newspaper ๐Ÿ“ฐ, or give it a pair of headphones ๐ŸŽง.

The upside-down face ๐Ÿ™ƒ turns any emoji around, the masked face ๐Ÿ˜ท adds a mask to anything, and the shooting star ๐Ÿ’ซ makes any emoji dizzy. Fire ๐Ÿ”ฅ, tree ๐ŸŒฒ, tornado ๐ŸŒช, balloon ๐ŸŽˆ, and cake ๐ŸŽ‚ modify all emojis in a funky way.

The turtle ๐Ÿข is adorable with anything; the hedgehog ๐Ÿฆ”, deer ๐ŸฆŒ, and llama ๐Ÿฆ™ are cute too. And let's not forget the hot dog ๐ŸŒญ and poop ๐Ÿ’ฉ emojis, they're pretty much ridiculous with anything you add to them.

But most important of all, you can bring back the beloved blobs by adding magic (๐Ÿช„ or โœจ) to any emoji.

*rubs hands*

Ah, we get to the fun part now. First, let's start with the mash-ups made by intensifying the same emoji, i.e. inserting it twice. The results are overall awesome (even if predictable at times), but we're going to focus on some of the most special combos.

Ridiculously funny

  • ๐Ÿ˜ถ+๐Ÿ˜ถ = blank face
  • ๐Ÿค”+๐Ÿค” = hmmmmm mmmmm mmmmmm
  • ๐Ÿ“ฐ+๐Ÿ“ฐ = important news!!!!!
  • โ˜•+โ˜• = strong cuppa
Image Gallery (4 Images)





  • ๐ŸŽ‚+๐ŸŽ‚ = too old for a few candles
  • ๐ŸŒญ+๐ŸŒญ = lovin' the sausage life
  • ๐Ÿ™ˆ+๐Ÿ™ˆ = hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing
  • โ˜ ๏ธ+โ˜ ๏ธ = real dead
Image Gallery (4 Images)





  • ๐Ÿคฅ+๐Ÿคฅ = big fat liar
  • ๐Ÿค +๐Ÿค  = howdy partner!
  • ๐Ÿ˜‡+๐Ÿ˜‡ = innocent Dr Strange
  • ๐Ÿ˜ท+๐Ÿ˜ท = The Masked Singer
Image Gallery (4 Images)





  • ๐Ÿฅถ+๐Ÿฅถ = frrrrrrrooooozzzzzzzeeeennnnn
  • ๐Ÿค•+๐Ÿค• = but you should see the other guy
  • ๐Ÿค’+๐Ÿค’ = even the thermometer caught my fever
  • ๐Ÿ˜ฃ+๐Ÿ˜ฃ = about to go kaboom
Image Gallery (4 Images)





  • ๐Ÿ˜ž+๐Ÿ˜ž = the world disappoints me
  • ๐Ÿ˜ง+๐Ÿ˜ง = discombobulated
  • ๐Ÿคซ+๐Ÿคซ = my shush is shushing you as well
  • ๐Ÿค+๐Ÿค = when your friends send you bad memes but you still love them
Image Gallery (4 Images)





  • ๐Ÿ˜ +๐Ÿ˜  = my wrath has no end
  • ๐Ÿ˜ค+๐Ÿ˜ค = fuming
  • ๐Ÿ˜’+๐Ÿ˜’ = major side-eye
  • ๐Ÿง+๐Ÿง = requires further investigation
Image Gallery (4 Images)





Slightly unexpected

  • ๐Ÿ˜„+๐Ÿ˜„ = I come in peace
  • ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ+๐Ÿฝ๏ธ = fine dinin'
  • ๐Ÿ+๐Ÿ = bowl of fruits
  • ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ+๐Ÿ‘๏ธ = ooouhhh, sexay
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Is It Still Okay To Use The OK Hand Emoji?

I've never been much of a ๐Ÿ‘Œ user, both in real life and in emoji. So when ๐Ÿ‘Œ popped up as a suggested emoji when I was texting a friend last week, I was surprised and frankly, a little startled. My discomfort with ๐Ÿ‘Œ had nothing to do with the emoji itself, and more to do with how a once innocuous hand sign is now being spread by white supremacists as a symbol of white power.

While the OK hand sign began to have associations with Trump supporters as early as 2015, its perception as a hate symbol has grown over the past two years to the extent that when Zina Bash, a clerk of Brett Kavanaugh's, appeared to make an OK sign with her hands during the judge's confirmation hearing last month, interpretations that Bash was making a white power gesture went viral on the internet.

According to Brad Kim, head of Know Your Meme, the hand sign now has multiple connotations in addition to its original meaning of "OK." There are those that employ it as a dog-whistle for alt-right affiliations and there are those that use it primarily for its shock value and to troll liberals. Although the OK hand sign hasn't been taken over by alt-right groups to the degree of, say, Pepe, its growing association with white supremacists has prompted Emojipedia, one of the leading online resources on emojis, to recently publish an article declaring that the symbol and its emoji counterpart are not white power symbols.

Underlying Emojipedia's declaration is a sense of urgency and unease regarding the appropriation of a once relatively harmless sign. While emojis have never existed in a political vacuum, as more hand gestures are becoming increasingly politicized, so are the usage of their emojis. Should certain emojis, like ๐Ÿ‘Œ, therefore, now be avoided to ward off any possible association with groups such as the alt-right, or should we still insist on using them to prevent these symbols from being entirely subsumed by hate groups?

Before The OK Hand Sign, There Was The Raised Fist

It's worth first noting that the OK hand sign isn't the only symbol that has conflicting political connotations. Before the OK hand sign, there was the raised fist, a gesture that has come to signify both "everything and nothing," as BuzzFeed's Niela Orr has described, since it's been continuously adopted and repurposed by different camps, from Black Power supporters to white supremacists.

Once widely connected with the civil rights movement and the Black Panther party, the raised fist symbol has seen its more recent iterations been utilized by both Trump supporters and anti-Trump demonstrators. The president himself is fond of pumping his fists โ€” even on occasions when it's wildly inappropriate. His protestors, on the other hand, have frequently marshaled the raised fist, or at least its emoji form, in demonstrations against the president. In a study done by data scientist Hamdan Azhar, the โœŠ emoji is one of the most commonly-used emojis in tweets with protest-related hashtags such as #NoBanNoWall and #WomensMarch, along with emojis such as โค๏ธ๏ธ and ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ.

The fact that one symbol is capable of such elasticity is perhaps unsurprising considering that emojis are a form of language and the meanings of a language shift all the time depending on its contexts and users. Unlike written language, however, the pictorial qualities of emojis have always conferred upon it an additional layer of semantic ambiguity. One of the oldest examples of users trying to parse the specific meaning of an emoji is ๐Ÿ™. While Emojipedia defines it as the "Folded Hands" emoji, different users have argued over whether the icon is meant to be construed as a sign of thanks, prayer or, simply, two hands giving each other a high-five. Currently, the ๐Ÿ™ emoji's polysemy has won out, and on Emojipedia, all three meanings are listed.

The pictorial qualities of emojis have always conferred upon it an additional layer of semantic ambiguity.

Another interesting example of the confusing connotations surrounding a certain emoji would be ๐Ÿ™Œ. After testing how users interpret the emotions and meanings of different emojis, a study from the University of Minnesota's GroupLens lab found that ๐Ÿ™Œwas one of the top three emojis that most easily led to misinterpretation.

While the icon is commonly accepted as a sign of celebration โ€” when it was approved as part of the Unicode 6.0, it was under the name "Person Raising Both Hands in Celebration" โ€” back in 2015, Megan Garber from The Atlantic also crowned it "the most ambiguous" among semantically complex emojis. According to Garber's study on how users were incorporating emojis in their Instagram posts, ๐Ÿ™Œ seemed to embody a whole host of differing meanings, ranging from the religious to the frustrated, that went beyond the namesake definition of celebration.

When Appropriations Become Problematic

The ambiguity of emojis is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the vagueness of emojis allows its users freedom in deploying them in contexts that will, in turn, help expand the connotations of these emojis beyond that which was initially intended. On the other hand, the instability of the meanings attached to emojis, or indeed, symbols in general, might lead to appropriations of emojis that are more politically troubling, such as the OK hand sign.

Problematic usages of emojis, however, extend far beyond their appropriation by political factions. The issue of appropriation also includes digital blackface, a practice of non-black people laying claim to a black identity or borrowing images of black people through online media, such as emojis and GIFs. Although the launching of emojis in different skin tones in 2015 was meant as a push towards inclusivity, it has also invited uncomfortable issues about racial identity and the privileges and baggage that come with using an emoji of a particular skin tone.

The utilization of black emojis by white and non-black people is perhaps the most controversial example of this. While perhaps less prevalent than other forms of digital blackface, such as the meming and reaction-GIFing of black people, white people using emojis with darker skin tones is still a phenomenon that exists and which, at the very least, signals a lack of racial awareness on the part of its practitioners. At its very worst, it can be seen as an insensitive action of racism, with non-white users reinforcing their privileges by playacting with black personas.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the equation, there's the question of whether white people should use emojis with lighter skin tones. According to Andrew McGill from The Atlantic, emojis of the lightest skin tone are uncommon on Twitter, despite the fact that Twitter's user base is largely white. McGill, as well as the several white people he interviewed, expressed discomfort at using light-colored emojis, partially because they're afraid the usage of these emojis might be construed as a display of white pride. In addition, there's the fear that when white people use emojis that have skin-tone modifiers, they're co-opting something that was primarily designed to give voice and visibility to people of color.

Co-option seems to be the crux of the issue when it comes to debates about whether or not an emoji should be used. The form by which this co-option takes differs, however, with each emoji. Context is imperative, and the usage of emojis, just like with any form of language or signs, should come with an understanding of a certain symbol's loaded history.

Is ๐Ÿ‘Œ Still OK, Then?

So what about the ๐Ÿ‘Œ emoji, a symbol that is still currently undergoing fluctuations in its connotations? When the co-option of a certain symbol is still fairly recent and ongoing โ€” the Anti-Defamation League, for instance, still hasn't incorporated the OK gesture into its hate symbol database โ€” should we err on the side of the caution and avoid emojis like ๐Ÿ‘Œthat might attract controversy, or should we assume the stance of websites like Emojipedia and use it consciously and proactively to reclaim the symbol's original meaning?

It is a difficult question, and not everyone I talked to is in agreement with what to do with the sign. Emily Pothast, a politics and media critic who has argued that the OK sign's ambiguity is what makes it such an efficacious trolling tactic, responded in an email that she thinks "the ship has sailed on the OK sign being totally neutral ever again, at least in the West." Pothast believes there is not much of a point to salvage the sign, although she says if people who are the targets of racial hatred wanted to alter or co-opt the sign's meaning, "more power to them."

Mark Pitcavage, an extremist expert at the Anti-Defamation League, says that the tricky issue about the OK hand sign is the more attention we devote to it, the more we're strengthening the trolling usages of the sign. When asked whether he believed that actively using the symbol was a way to defy its white supremacist or pro-Trump associations, Pitcavage replied that he didn't believe deliberate usage of the sign would have much effect on hindering the diffusion of the OK sign's new connotations. However, Pitcavage pointed out that if there were a mass campaign to support an entirely different meaning for "OK," one that perhaps runs counter to alt-right beliefs, such as messages supporting diversity or multiculturalism, and if people were to get on board with that, there might still be hope for the gesture.

John M. Kelly, the writer of Emojipedia's article on whether ๐Ÿ‘Œ is a symbol of white power, believes that we shouldn't shy away entirely from using the OK emoji. In an interview, Kelly advocated for continued usage of the sign as a conscious rejection of the symbol's newly-appropriated meanings. "We as linguistic beings do a very good job at dealing with multiple meanings," he says. "I think, one, we should push against allowing white supremacy to be a meaning for the OK hand sign. And then, two, use it as normal and have some faith in human beings as context-reading- and multiple-meaning-capable beings."

"Have some faith in human beings as context-reading- and multiple-meaning-capable beings."

Regardless of their stance of what should be done about the OK hand sign, all the experts I talked to stressed the significance of context. All agree that the gesture alone is not a reliable indicator of whether or not a person is signaling white supremacist tendencies. As Pothast puts it, "It's pretty easy to tell somebody doing a chin mudra during yoga practice from someone throwing an OK sign in a group photo to be an asshole."

However, there are contexts where the OK sign should probably be avoided. Given that most of the controversies have arisen from people making the gesture when being photographed, Pitcavage points out that people who post pictures online of themselves doing the OK sign might risk being identified as white supremacists, even if they had meant for the usage to be innocuous.

David Neiwert, author of "Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump," says that there are definitely contexts in which the OK sign can be read in its original, affirmative meaning. However, he also says, "I think anyone who does not want to be mistaken for a white nationalist would avoid using it whenever there's any room for ambiguity at all. And people who do use it ambiguously anyway are obviously unbothered by the possibility of being mistaken for a white nationalist." To avoid the possibility of misrepresentation, Neiwert says he's likely to use the symbol less.

Right now, there seems to be no clear consensus on what we should do with the OK hand sign in its stage of semiotic transition. And it's important to recognize that the meaning of languages shifts all the time and is determined by social consensus, rather than the wills of a few individuals or the authority of sources like Emojipedia or the Anti-Defamation League alone. I personally would strive to preserve the original connotations of the OK sign by still using it in my personal communications, but am likely to avoid it in situations where there's the potential for misconstrual. And in the near future, if the symbol's white power connotations eclipse its original meaning and there's little to no room of ambiguity left in the sign's interpretation, then that will be a time to stop using it entirely.

It's difficult, however, to foresee the symbol's future. Perhaps in a few months, the hullabaloo surrounding the sign will dissipate and the alt-right will find a new symbol to troll liberals and promote its ideologies. It's just as equally likely that the sign's negative associations will reach a point of no return and become as politically fraught as Pepe. It's hard to say at this point, as the contention surrounding the OK hand sign is still ongoing and its meaning remains in flux. I would say it's best to exercise your discretion when it comes to the sign, but maybe now is not the time to lose our faith just yet, not when there's still an element of ambiguity attached to the gesture. And that, for me, at least, sounds ๐Ÿ‘Œ.โ€‹

Pang-Chieh Ho

Pang-Chieh Ho is an Editor at Digg.


Hand emoji roast

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    Single moutza.

    Double moutza.

    A mountza or moutza (Greek: ฮผฮฟฯฮฝฯ„ฮถฮฑ or ฮผฮฟฯฯ„ฮถฮฑ[หˆmudอกza]) also called faskeloma (Greek: ฯ†ฮฑฯƒฮบฮญฮปฯ‰ฮผฮฑ[faหˆsceloma]) is the most traditional gesture of insult among Greeks. It consists of extending and spreading all fingers of the hand and presenting the palm towards the face of the person to be insulted with a forward motion.

    It is often coupled with ฮฝฮฑ (na, "here"), ฮฟฯฮฏฯƒฯ„ฮต (orรญste, "there you are"), or ฯ€ฮฑฯ'ฯ„ฮฑ (par'ta, "take these") and swear words. The closer the gesture is to the other person's face the more threatening it is considered.

    An even more offensive version is achieved by using both hands to double the gesture, smacking the palm of one hand against the back of the other in the direction of the intended recipient.[1]

    When Greeks hand-signal the number 5 to someone they take care not to overextend the fingers or face their palm towards the person, lest it be mistaken for a mountza.


    The origin of the gesture can be traced back to the ancient years, when it was used as a curse. It is said that even during the Eleusinian Mysteries it complemented verbal curses against evil forces.[2] It was then called ฯ†ฮฑฯƒฮบฮญฮปฯ‰ฮผฮฑ(faskรฉloma) which survives today, along with its variant ฯ†ฮฌฯƒฮบฮตฮปo(fรกskelo), still survive as synonyms of mountza.[2]

    In later years, the name changed to mountza. In the penal code of the Byzantine Empire one punishment entailed criminals paraded around town sitting backwards on a donkey with their face smeared with cinder (ฮผฮฟฯฮฝฯ„ฮถฮฟฯ‚, moรบtzos) to enhance their ridicule.[3][4]

    Because cinder was wiped on the person's face first by collecting it in the palm and then by extending open the fingers, the gesture itself became insulting, to be known as mountza, after the name of the material applied.[3][4] The modern Greek word mountzoura or moutzoura for a smudge, scribble or dark stain has the same origin.[5]

    Around the world[edit]

    The gesture of mountza does not have the same significance in other cultures around the world. In a few countries there are similar gestures. Their significances are:

    • In Armenia, abruptly thrusting the palm of the hand to someone means "Curse you", but can also mean "Can't stand you anymore" if performed by a close female relative or friend (mostly mother or grandmother).
    • In Iraqi and Assyrian culture, abruptly pushing the palm of the hand towards someone means they are worthy of shame and are dishonorable.
    • In Sindh, the showing of the palm to someone in a thrusting manner is also considered an insult. This gesture is called bunda.
    • In the Persian Gulf, showing the palms of both hands to someone after clapping them is also considered an insult, together with saying Malat Alaik. It is usually done by women as it is considered not manly if men do it.
    • Since the 1990s in North America, a similar gesture is used in "Talk to the hand". By showing the palm of the hand, with fingers spread, and saying "Talk to the hand... because the face ain't listenin'" is the equivalent of "You're wasting your breath" or "Shut up". Even before then, a common expression of displeasure was to "throw" one's hand.
    • In Mexico, it can be used to say hi (together with waving); but when steady or moving it repeatedly towards the receiver means "You'll see!" (Spanish: Vas a ver/Ya verรกs/Ya lo verรกs), warning that the giver will tell an authority figure (parent, teacher, principal, etc...) about any prank or other mischievous action the receiver has done. It is commonly used with children to scare them into behaving.
    • In Nigeria, this can be viewed as offensive in particular tribes and is usually accompanied with the use of the expletive uwar ka, meaning "your mother" in Hausa.
    • In Panama, in addition to meaning the same as in Mexico, it is also used to threaten the receiver (implying that they will be punished or be the target of violence or any other form of retribution) at a later and more appropriate/convenient time (often when there is less risk of getting caught in the case of physical retribution or attack). This is because aside from implying/saying the words Vas a ver! to the receiver, the word Espรฉrate (colloq. Pรฉrate) meaning wait, is also used often since the gesture also has the general meaning of wait/hold on as in many other parts of the world.
    • In Chicago, the moutza was used on a mock "city sticker" in 2012 following a controversy over design ideas for an official city parking sticker honoring first responders. In the spoof sticker, the moutza is displayed with the middle finger cut off to represent Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who lost part of his middle finger while cutting roast beef in high school.[6]



    • Phaedon Koukoules, "Life and culture of the Byzantines", addendum 5, 1986

    External links[edit]


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    The 15 Most Hilariously Passive-Aggressive Emojis Ever

    As the human species relies less and less on our actual faces and mouth-holes to communicate, emojis have taken on a crucial role in helping us convey just how goddamned annoyed we are at our friends, family members, significant others, co-workers, landlords, and anybody else deserving of our fake politeness.

    As easy as they are to fire off, passive-aggressive emojis can be infuriatingly obnoxious to receive. Still, when used skillfully, they're a pretty satisfying way to call someone out without them really catching on. Let's explore the 15 most passive-aggressive emojis and all their delightfully juvenile use cases.

    Upside-Down Smiley

    Upside-Down Smiley is the embodiment of passive-aggression: seemingly friendly until you take a closer look. You receive this emoji when you've inadvertently pissed someone off, or inconvenienced them, but they're too immature to directly explain the situation. It is usually followed by a cheerful "No problem!" or "Thanks!" Oh, so you're upset I texted you "happy birthday" too late in the day? I didn't quite pick up on that from your confusing-ass upside-down, yellow-headed response.

    The Peace Sign

    The Peace Sign comes out when the person you've been texting feels fed up, or ignored, or otherwise exasperated by the way you're communicating with them -- which happens shockingly often through texting. The Peace Sign is basically one big "eff you" designed to make you feel guilty or provoke an argument. Typical responses may include a string OF WORDS IN ALL-CAPS LIKE "I'M SORRY I DON'T LOOK AT MY PHONE EVERY TWO TO THREE MINUTES LIKE SOME PEOPLE" which significantly worsens the whole situation and leaves everyone stewing. Itโ€™s quite ironic, because that's, likeโ€ฆ the opposite of peace, ya know?

    Head-Rub Girl

    When your BFF's got drama to discuss, or wants you to confirm if her Instagram caption is good, or brings you into a group chat to help formulate her text messages, Head-Rub Girl's like: "I'm going to pretend to listen to your idiocy because I'm your friend, but I literally can't with this." In fact, Head-Rub Girl "literally couldn't" so many times that it gave her an aneurysm and now she spends 100% of her time at home having the blood massaged out of her brain.

    Thrillist TV


    This one straddles the line between passive-aggressive and just plain mean, but it certainly gets one's point across. ZZZ -- you know, the sound you make when you're sleeping -- is the ideal emoji for when people text you meaningless life updates that they think you are interested in hearing. You know the kinds of texts -- or even worse, Facebook statuses -- I'm talking about: "My boyfriend's niece just turned 5 today" or "They ran out of butter at Denny's." So bored I could die, ugh.

    Money Flying

    We've all had awkward text exchanges with friends about money. Money Flying is how freeloaders respond to messages that begin with "Hey do you mind if I Venmo you for..." It's a particularly obnoxious emoji to receive -- I mean, c'mon man, you owe me money, don't be a damn baby about it. But on the other side of the sausage, if someone really wants to be reimbursed for a $4 Blime they ordered for me on my literal birthday, I reserve the right to passive-aggressively express my displeasure.


    A highly satisfying emoji to shoot back at someone who says and does things that could only be described as "philistine in nature." Whether they're putting the wrong "there" in a sentence or sharing something on Facebook that is blatantly false/idiotic, Schoolhouse lets you showcase your discontent without directly engaging them. In all likelihood, they won't even pick up on it!


    People sarcastically use the thumbs-up in real life to express their low-key aggression, so it's not surprising that this little nugget of hostility has carried over into the digital realm. Still, is it just me, or do these people lack creativity? Thumbs-Up (or, alternatively, the OK Hand) is pretty lackluster, kinda like saying "NO DUH" or using air quotes in conversation. Next.

    100 Points

    Look, only assholes use this emoji, and it usually makes you feel terrible about yourself. Why? Because nothing in life is "100 points" -- maybe scoring a hole-in-one in mini-golf whilst winning the lottery during the aurora borealis, but how often does that happen? No, 100 Points is a subtle nod at your inadequacy, like Clapping Hands but worse -- some dickhead's passive-aggressive way of saying "Nice try, buddy" or "Way to follow through... not."

    Cool Button

    Cool Button is pretty passive-aggressive, to be sure, but it's not the most offensive tool in the shed. You can almost hear "cool" in your head when you get one of these things. "Oh, you can't go out tonight because you're too tired? Cool." You deserve to be called out, but we're still friends. I guess. For now.

    American Flag

    Anytime you disagree with anybody about anything political ever, might I suggest melting their mind with the subtle majesty of the stars and stripes. It will greatly confuse them as to what your intentions are. Is it an olive branch, a recognition of your shared values, a patriotic reminder that your right to disagree is what makes America so beautiful? Or are you planting this flag so far up their ass, you hope it gets stuck and infected? Is it passive, or is it aggressive? Dunno, man. America is complicated.

    Scratching Chin Guy

    Guess how much time Scratching Chin Guy has set aside for you and your nonsense? If you guessed "none," you win. Scratching Chin Guy is the antithesis of the phrase "there are no dumb questions." There are many dumb questions, and declarative sentences alike. Scratching Chin Guy is gonna do you the courtesy of pretending to consider what you've just said -- but not really, because he's immediately judged it as irrelevant and stupid and can't be deigned to respond. Scratching Chin Guy has already moved on.


    Man, people love avocados, right? And by people I mean white girls in gentrified Brooklyn, when said avocado's on gluten-free toast with a poached egg and a side of mimosa. But there are many who are tired of this glorified rock and see it for what it really is: a sign of being basic and kind of out-of-touch. This newcomer will grace our emoji boards any day now when iOS 10.2 drops. Don't be surprised if you get hit with the Avocado the next time you express desire for a Pumpkin Spice Latte or mention how much you love the new Coldplay single.

    Shruggy Bird

    Ahh, Shruggy Bird. He's one of the most underrated emojis of all time because he can convey so much emotion. Is he confused? Is he irreverent? Does he give a flying heck about anything? Who knows? And it is Shruggy Bird's mystifying stance that makes him so infuriating for others to receive. Shruggy Bird says "Hehe, I don't think I care," and looks damn cute doing it -- upon closer inspection, he's obviously a mentally cracked nihilist. 

    The Squirt Gun

    Seeing as the real gun emoji has been discontinued, the Squirt Gun is now the castrated, passive-aggressive version of what was once a no-nonsense way to express your hostility. You may not realize the connotations behind this thing, because itโ€™s so new, but ending up on the business end of a text housing the Squirt Gun emoji suggests youโ€™re just as weak and ineffective and childish and pathetic as a squirt gun. So, yeah, what I'm trying to say is that people should express their anger with real guns.

    Poop Face

    Oh, this sneaky little bastard. The thing about Poop Face is that people really, really love it. It's like the Meryl Streep of emojis. But you know what Poop Face is, really? A giant, soggy slap in the face. Much like Upside-Down Smiley, he looks nice, but he's actually a pile of shit. When you screw someone over, flake on plans, steal a guy's gal, and then take the time to sincerely apologize, they might hit you with the Poop Face -- as if to say "You hurt me bro, but I forgive you, here's Poop Face!" But you know what they're really saying. Deep down. You know.

    Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

    Jeremy Glass is a writer/editor for Greatist and saves all his passive-aggressive behaviors for real life.

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