What the smiling emoji actually mean, and when to use them

Can you guess them all?

Since typing out long words and phrases takes up a load of mental energy, most of us prefer to express our thoughts, feelings, and innermost secrets through emoji. While you may use these mini pictures all the time, you may not know what they actually mean. Thankfully, we’ve got everything you need to know right here. But, please don’t be that one guy that spams emoji in the group chat…

😂 ‘Face With Tears Of Joy’

Let’s be real. Most of us call this one the ‘crying-laughing-face,’ but apparently that’s not what it is at all. This one is actually called ‘Face With Tears Of Joy’ and is the most popular emoji of all, according to Apple. We suppose it’s meant to signify the moment when you’re so overwhelmed with glee that you cry… Not when you laugh so hard you cry.

😀 ‘Grinning Face’

One of the least used smileys, the ‘Grinning Face’ is supposed to convey happiness. However, thanks to its wide-open eyes, it tends to look kind of creepy. Perhaps that’s why so many of us pass on using it regularly.

😄 ‘Grinning Face With Squinting Eyes’

Here’s an emoji that looks like a genuine laugh, if ever we saw one. When you’re so very tickled by something, it’s hard to keep your eyes open. Still, it’s worth noting that this is meant to be a grin, not a laugh. Who’d of thought it.

😃 ‘Smiling Face With Open Mouth’

The ‘Smiling Face With Open Mouth’ emoji is a classic. Much like the ‘Grinning Face’ one, though, there’s something slightly off about it. It looks vacant, which, in turn, means it looks creepy. It’s a nice little throwback, though.

😅 ‘Smiling Face With Open Mouth & Cold Sweat’

Phew! I have always wondered what the deal with this one was. How is this person crying from their brow? They’re not! They’re sweating. It’s the emoji that’s ideal when you’re scared for your life but still trying to hold it all together with a big old smile.

😆 ‘Smiling Face With Open Mouth & Closed Eyes’

While you may have thought that this was a laughing face, it’s actually another smiling one. Similar to the uber old school ‘XD’ from the early 2000s, this is the emoji you use when you just can’t hold your laughter in any longer.

😉 ‘Winking Face’

Does anyone use this emoji in a ‘friendly’ way? No. It’s basically the most flirtatious emoji of all time and everyone knows it. You only send this to someone if you’re basically in love with them. Unsurprisingly, it’s called the ‘Winking Face.’ Well, duh.

😊 ‘Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes’

Perhaps the sweetest of all the smiling emoji out there, there’s this little gem. Yes, the eyes are meant to be smiling too. And they kind of are. You only use this one when you’re trying to come across as extra adorable.

☺️ ‘Smiling Face’

This face is quite similar to the one above, yet it looks just a little sweeter (as if that were possible!). This emoji is one that you may well use when someone pays you a compliment and you just don’t know what to say.

😏 ‘Smirking Face’

Am I the only one who gets put on edge by this emoji? Maybe. When someone sends you the ‘Smirking Face,’ you know that they are up to no good. They just cannot be trusted at all. It’s a rather unsettling feeling.

🙂 ‘Slightly Smiling Face’

We all have those moments when we’re a little pleased, but not that pleased. I’m talking about the times when you feel a little glimmer of joy in your tummy, but it hasn’t quite made it to the rest of your body yet. Well, that’s when you use the ‘Slightly Smiling Face’ emoji.

😌 ‘Relieved Face’

This is a ‘Relieved Face?’ Who knew? Most of the time, people tend to use this face to show off about something. Perhaps they want to tell you that they’ve just made their own warming winter soup or that they’ve just finished a mega-sesh at the gym (no one cares!). It’s the smug little sister of faces. Pipe down.

🙃 ‘Upside-down Face’

Who knows why ‘Upside-down Face’ exists? We don’t. Still, it just so happens to be ideal if you fancy showing the world that you’re oh-so-quirky or, if you want to send out a figurative shrug. Here’s one for the people who love being different!

😬 ‘Grimacing Face’

The ‘Grimacing Face’ emoji is perfect for those times when you’ve royally screwed up. For example, if someone’s told you a piece of gossip and you accidentally told everyone they know, you might send them this face along with a huge apology. It basically says, ‘I’m the actual worst and I know it.’

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