Sometimes words just aren’t enough to convey what you have to say.
Emoji has been around since 1999, but these winky faces and seemingly random characters have only caught on fairly recently.
A lot of that is thanks to Apple’s iOS 6, which allowed iPhone owners to easily integrate emoji into their keyboard for the first time in 2012.
Since then, Apple routinely updates its emoji, most recently adding a person shrugging, an avocado, and a fox to the lineup.
But not all emoji are easy to decipher. With the help of Emojipedia — yes, that’s a real thing — we can now tell you what some of the most mysterious emoji actually mean.
Megan Rose Dickey contributed to an earlier version of this story.
No, this person isn’t crying. Use this when you’re disappointed, but relieved.
Don’t be fooled — this is no nut. In fact, it’s a roasted sweet potato.
What looks like a pile of ping-pong balls is actually a moon-viewing ceremony.
If you see an acorn, you’re wrong — it’s actually a chestnut.
Don’t use this to convey a gift card or a gift tag; it’s a bookmark.
Get your head out of the gutter. This just means that everything is “OK.”
Nope, this isn’t about praising the Lord. Use this emoji when you’re celebrating something.
Use this to convey that you’re super annoyed or irritated. That means you should stop using it to imply that someone’s ugly.
This emoji represents a lot more than a black cube. This is the Kaaba, a structure that sits inside al-Masjid al-Haram, Islam’s most sacred mosque.
Nope, those aren’t antlers on her head. She’s just getting a face massage.
People often use this one to convey sass, but this emoji is actually an information desk person.
These are not jazz hands from “Bring It On.” This just means your hands are open and you’re down to hug it out.
This guy isn’t waiting patiently or thinking deeply. Believe it or not, he’s bowing.
This blank-faced emoji represents silence, but we’ve seen people use it to convey confusion or angst.
This might look like fire, but it’s not: This is a name badge.
This isn’t an avant-garde symbol for a building. Use this emoji to depict anger.
This emoji is brand-new — it just arrived with iOS 10.2 — but it’s not quite what you think. While most of us see a bourbon served neat, this one is meant to be a generic tumbler glass.
This is no regular laughing emoji. This symbol is meant to depict someone rolling on the floor laughing. In other words, ROFL.
This looks like a jellyfish or an umbrella, but surprisingly, Apple calls it a wind chime.
Don’t confuse this with the red siren emoji — this symbol is meant to be a trackball.
Don’t overthink it — this is just a hole.
Don’t confuse this guy — or his female counterpart — with Ziggy Stardust. This is supposed to represent a regular singer.