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Emoji confusion: Just 1 in 5 Brits can identify the correct meaning of emojis

As a nation of emoji lovers it’s important that we know the ‘kissing face’ emoji isn’t someone whistling, and the ‘hugging face’ emoji isn’t jazz hands, if we are to avoid awkward situations. But whilst 82% of Brits are avid emoji users, how many of us know their real definitions?

e2save, an online mobile retailer, asked Brits to identify the meaning of twenty of the most confusing emojis to find out if people really know what they were sending in their messages [1].

The research revealed that despite 44% of people using emojis to clarify the meaning of their messages, just 1 in 5 people (19%) were able to correctly name them. Moreover, no more than 44% of people could identify the correct meaning for any one of the emojis.

Whilst many praise younger generations for being tech savvy, nobody in the 18-24 age group could name the ‘yawn’ emoji correctly, and they got the lowest score in correctly identifying nine of the emojis, doing the worst out of all the age categories. This is surprising when 6% of all 18-24 year olds admit to using emojis more than words!

Just 6% of respondents correctly identified the emoji that ‘expressed triumph after great frustration’, with 69% of people believing it to mean being very angry/in a huff. And 21% of people thought the ‘someone moving quickly’ emoji represented a fart.

Interestingly, iOS users answered 70% of the emojis incorrectly compared to Android.

The five emojis that caused the most confusion:

emoji

With Unicode accepting proposals for the creation of new emojis until the 1st October, e2save also asked respondents what emojis they want to be created. 

The most popular responses were for more adult specific emojis, such as ones depicting being drunk or hungover, and more saucy and sexual emojis.

Andy Cartledge, Marketing Assistant at e2save, said: “Emojis are so popular nowadays that they are often a factor for people when it comes to deciding which handset to purchase. With such an interest in the icons it’s surprising to see so many of us misunderstanding their meanings, evidently we need to be more careful in our emoji selection before hitting the send button!”

For more information about e2save please visit: http://www.e2save.com

Notes: Total sample size was over 1,065 UK adults (aged 18+) in partnership with The Leadership Factor

[1] Emojis used in the survey were from iOS and android devices. 

[2] Meaning of each emoji sourced from Unicode: http://unicode.org/emoji/charts/full-emoji-list.html

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