If you’ve explored the internet, scrolled through TikTok, or stopped to read the captions on your Instagram feed in the past little while, you’ve probably noticed some things that just don’t seem to quite make sense. And no, I’m not talking about conspiracy theories or trending memes, I’m talking about good ol’ emojis. A staple of any modern communication, they’ve expanded into their own brand of language, often replacing entire sentences with distinct and literal interpretations. But just like language itself evolves and adapts to relevant times, so do the emojis.
So here I am, a self-diagnosed Millennial, doing the hard work and interpreting the new standard for emojis, as famously used by the up-and-coming Gen Z:
👁 👄 👁 : This peculiar string of eye, lips, eye emojis is actually meant to represent shock. It’s usually used when something is shocking, outrageous, or even embarrassing, replacing the otherwise more blunt and original 😲 emoji.
💀 : No, it’s not a threat, nor any kind of statement. It’s a literal take on the “I’m dead” or “died” slang for “this is hilarious,” replacing the otherwise outdated 😂 emoji.
🤡 : Not as hard to extrapolate, the clown emoji is used to describe something that is foolish, replacing some more commonly recognized emojis like 🤦♀️ / 🤦♂️
👉👈 : You may have seen this one all over TikTok, and if you didn’t know what it meant, it’d be fairly to try and decipher on your own. Essentially meaning “shy,” it can also be paired up with the 🥺 emoji to further exemplify one’s nervousness or hesitation.
So there you have it: A quick yet hopefully educational crash course on today’s newest crop of emojis and their meanings. Seen an emoji around you weren’t sure about? Post it in the comments below, and we’ll find the answer for you!