There’s an art to expressing yourself through characters. A carefully chosen emoji can make it clear when you’re not being serious 🙃, it can help you to show your emotions when you can’t find the words💕, and make sure everyone knows when you find something hilarious🤣. Some linguists even suggest that ‘emoji’ is an emerging language in its own right.
To celebrate #WorldEmojiDay, we’re taking a closer look at these fun little designs to answer the important questions: What is the world’s most popular emoji 🤔? How many emojis are there 🧐? And what does the word emoji even mean 🤷?
We ❤️ the world’s first emoji
Some say you can trace emoji-style icons all the way back to the hieroglyphs of the Ancient Greeks, but emoji faces as we know them today didn’t emerge until the late 90s. Inspired by the emoticons used in chatrooms during the early days of the internet (remember these :-) ?), designer Shigetaka Kurita is credited with creating the very first set of emojis for DOCOMO, a Japanese mobile phone operator (although this has been recently disputed). Starting with a red heart, Kurita went on to create a collection of 176 emojis, which were recently showcased at MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) in New York.
What’s in a name?
The word ‘Emoji’ might sound like the English word for emotion, which would make sense given that the characters were designed to help you express yourself. However, the phrase actually originates from the Japanese words for picture (pronounced ‘eh’) and letter (pronounced ‘moji’). Mind blown 🤯
The 🌎’s most popular?
According to Emojipedia, the most popular emoji on Twitter in 2021 was ‘tears of joy’ 😂 -perhaps because a simple ha! doesn’t create the same emotional impact. However, despite this emoji’s popularity amongst millennials, Gen Z are apparently not as keen on it – so adding ‘tears of joy’ to your next message could be letting everyone know you’re no longer in your twenties.
✨New year, new emojis✨
At the time of writing, Unicode has categorised an incredible 3,633 emojis, and new designs are added to the official list each year. The latest update includes seven new faces and a coral emoji to represent climate change. We think it’s about time they updated the sock emoji to something with a little more character 🧦🤣🤟
👑 One was very amused
Twitter has its own hashtag-activated emojis called hashflags and they recently welcomed PJ, the Queen’s jubilee corgi, to the platform. The cute corgi emoji appeared whenever the official jubilee hashtags, such as #platinumjubilee, were used on Twitter. What a royally good idea.
A secret code 🤫
Context is everything and many of the most popular emojis mean something different to those in the know. You’re probably aware that the aubergine emoji has very little to do with moussaka, but did you know that the 🐐emoji could mean you’re incredibly talented – the G.O.A.T or greatest of all time?
💪Facing up to a big challenge
Emojis have even inspired Guinness World Record attempts. To celebrate #WorldEmojiDay and the launch of The Emoji Movie, hundreds of people around the world dressed up as their favourite emojis to create a new record. This global effort followed in the footsteps of the largest ever human smiley, which was created in the Philippines and involved more than 8,000 people.
Express yourself with ChattyFeet socks
If you love to show your emotions through characters, why stop at emojis? Wear your feelings on your feet and invite a little more play into your day. You could be a serious artist, like Frida Callus, or have a scream with Screamy Ed. Explore the range now – it’s the 🐝🐝🦵🦵.