It's almost impossible to have a conversation these days without expressing ourselves using emojis. Lucky for us, Apple releases new ones as part of their software updates, most recently adding every single one featured in the Unicode Standard (including the ones approved in Unicode 8.0) with the release of iOS 9.1.
These include the hugging face, a robot face, thinking face, upside-face, the middle finger, the Vulcan salute, a spy, unicorn, champagne, a taco and a block of cheese.
Emoji lovers can also get excited about the new characters expected to be added with the release of Unicode 9 — although we would have to wait for an iOS update to be able to use them. Unicode 9.0 will be released in mid-2016, and features candidates like bacon, avocado, pancakes, a shark, rolling on the floor laughing, a pregnant woman and selfie. Insert the hands clapping emoji here!
The Unicode Standard also announced earlier this month that Unicode 10.0 already has five new emoji candidates that may possibly be added when it's released in 2017, which include a dumpling, takeout box, chopsticks, fortune cookie and face with one eyebrow raised.
While we can't stop using all these new emojis that are currently available, there are some, both new and old, that we still can't figure out. We are decoding all these more obscure characters to find out just when we can use them without feeling clueless.
Here are the real meanings behind these popularly-used emojis.
Face Without Mouth
We love using the face emojis, but what's with the one without a mouth? This emoji is to be used to represent silence. Use this one to say "no comment" when texting.
Is it a dog, a fox or a dingo? While many people may think it's one of those animals, this is actually a wolf. We are not sure how often people use this one, but it could be beneficial for those who love the animal, or to describe that you are on the prowl for finding a date.
Featured in the objects section is a dark circle that may be puzzling. Like many assume, this is in fact a hole, made to be used in an embarrassing situation to describe "crawling into a hole."
Ballot Box With Ballot
Perfect for election season, the small box that has something sticking out of it is actually a ballot box complete with a ballot. Make sure to use this one after texting friends that you voted.
We all know and love the party popper emoji, but why is there a second version? This one is the confetti ball to further describe celebrations like New Year's Eve or a Wedding.
While this one might look like it represents passing gas, it really represents the action of fast movements. It's meant to be used with the runner or car emoji to describe a fast race or fast-moving car.
No, its not a bright, shining star or fireworks. This emoji is the collision symbol to be used for an explosion, crash or bang.
Similarly, that North Star lookalike is really the fireworks symbol. Sure, it just looks like an explosion of light, and would be better if it featured other colors, but use this one during Fourth of July celebrations.
This one may seem obvious, but you might not have noticed that iOS 9.3 features this satellite emoji. This one can be perfect for those who feel like they are always giving friends directions or when friends don't respond to texts. Any communication out there in space?
Ear of Rice
This is not to represent the wind blowing in a field. This is the ear of rice emoji that shows the crop before it's harvested.
Although this looks like a swirl of frosting, this one is a fish cake with a swirl design. This emoji represents the Asian meal Narutomaki, which features slices of fish cake with a spiral design.
While many might use this one for kebab or a skewer, it's actually another Japanese meal. Called Oden, this meal consists of egg, fish cakes, radish and other ingredients that is typically served with a skewer.
This emoji doesn't represent some strange cookie, but rather the Japanese rice cracker called senbei.
Curry And Rice
Hmm, what meal can this one be? while it looks like rice and beans, this emoji depicts curry and rice. Unicode revealed that it's intended to be used for Japanese curry, but can apply to other cultures that commonly eat the dish.
This mysterious box is part of the new religious emojis recently added, representing Kaaba, the cube-shaped building that is located in the center of the Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.
We have a mouse and a joystick, so what's with this strange device with the little blue ball? This is the trackball emoji, a computer peripheral to be used as an alternative to the trackpad.
Part Alternation Mark
Many think this one is the McDonald's arch or even a boomerang. The "M" character is a part alternation mark, which is used in traditional Japanese music to indicate the start of a song. Use it when you are about to sing karaoke, or since it kind of looks like a rollercoaster dip, when you are at your favorite theme park.
What in the world does the "NG" in a little box mean? This serves as the acronym for the phrase "no good." The origin of this symbol refers to bloopers that were shown after live TV shows in Japan, but can be used in just about any situation.