Emoji meanings around the world

Did you know that the same emojis can have different meanings in different countries? Watch the video to find out what these emojis mean around the world!


  • Do the preparation activity to help you with words from the video.
  • Watch the video then play the game to check your understanding.
  • You can also print the worksheets for more practice.
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RICKY: Let's start with the basics … a smiley face. The meaning is quite obvious, isn't it? Whatever we're talking about is making me grin. I'm happy. We're smiling. Ah, not always, you see, because in China some people think the complete opposite. They think this face is sarcastic so using it could be quite mean. [Types] You're great.

MARTIN: All right, Ricky. Tell me what you really think.

RICKY: What about this one? Is it a prayer? Is it a high five? Actually, it's originally from Japan and it means either 'please' or 'thank you'!

MARTIN: [Types] Martin (heart) your jumper today.


RICKY: Ah, thank you, Martin! But actually it's a shirt. I use this cheeky-looking guy when I'm trying to be funny or I'm a bit embarrassed. But this cheeky emoji is actually meant to be wise and it comes from a Japanese legend. The three wise monkeys cover up different parts of their face to show that they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

What about this one? For most of us here in the UK this one is tears of joy. The face is laughing so much it's actually crying. [Types] Tripped up in a puddle this morning. But in some cultures this face means something completely different. It's actually a face of someone who's quite upset.

MARTIN: Oh no, Ricky! Ricky, are you OK? Why are you crying?

RICKY: Martin, I'm totally fine. I was just laughing.

MARTIN: Oh, I thought you were crying.

RICKY: Anyway, I've got to go, because I've got to present the show.

MARTIN: OK. Well, have a good show and before you go, take this. [laughs]



RICKY: Ugh. Why would he give me a poo?

MARTIN: Because … sending a poo actually means good luck in Japan.




What are your favourite emojis? What do they mean in your culture? Tell us about them!

Average: 4.3 (9 votes)

Submitted by LadyFarmTelephone on Wed, 28/02/2024 - 23:26


I like this emoji: XD and -.-

Submitted by CheekyPlastic50 on Wed, 05/10/2022 - 15:35


My favorite emoji is LOL because it means laughing out loud.

Submitted by AgentVolcanoTree on Mon, 20/06/2022 - 08:26

My favorite emoji is (¬_¬)

Submitted by HelloSongSong on Mon, 02/05/2022 - 15:44

My Favorite emojji is: laugh face Face with Dollar sign Face with sunglasses

Submitted by AgentRadio70 on Sun, 22/08/2021 - 10:51

My favorite emoji is :] it means a smiling or happy face.

Submitted by DJDJTree on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 14:46

My favourite emoji is G9. It mean good night :D

Submitted by DJRocket2000 on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 08:38

my favourite emoji is ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Submitted by SilverGarnetNature on Fri, 31/08/2018 - 07:17

I like this emoji :]. It Stalkalek's face!

Submitted by ExcitedUnicorn… on Fri, 27/04/2018 - 17:39

My fovourite emoji is GG. In our gamer culture it means "Good Game".

Submitted by KingMusicTune on Wed, 18/04/2018 - 16:06

My favourite emoji is xD. It means that I saw something very funny and I am laughing! And I like this emoji (¬_¬)

Submitted by AgentTurquoiseHawk on Tue, 06/03/2018 - 16:24

My favourite emoji is :D. It's meaning is that I'm happy.

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