Understanding my Kids Emojis!

If ever I thought Shakespeare was mindboggling, I take that back. At least I could make sense of the script. My kids emojis and whatsapp communication can be cause for some definite dispute though. Welcome to the world of digital San – where almost any message can be conveyed with a simple picture.

As simple and quick as this may seem, it does come with the risk of being misunderstood. Between my kids emojis and my grandmas, there’s room for laughter – or some cold shoulder treatment.

What kids emojis actually mean

My daughter recently reacted to a joke I had posted with a ☠️. Needless to say I thought I had hurt her feelings so badly, she wanted to kill me! This is what followed

  • Me:Is that the way you talk to your Mum?
  • Daughter: You’re over-reacting Mum, what were you expecting me to say?
  • Me: It was a simple joke, which I thought you’d enjoy
  • Daughter: I did! ☠️
  • Me: There you go again
  • Daughter: 🙃
  • Me: Oh for Pete’s sake! 🍑
  • Daughter: MUM!

It turns out that the ☠️ means “dead with laughter”,  🙃 means “flipped”, and the peaches represents a rosy butt! Of course this stirred some curiosity on my part. Digging further I discovered that:

  • The 🍕 (pizza) emoji can mean I love you! Really? 🍕 & 🧀  emojis have become slang for expressing affection between two people. Avoid: using this on a class chat that discusses what we’re serving at a party!
  • The  🚦 (robot) emoji is neutral & harmless – sending  this means you don’t want to talk to that person, leaving them endlessly confused as to what it means. Avoid: sending it to your boss to let him know you’re almost there!
  • The 🪑 (chair)  emoji is an inside joke on TikTok. The joke is to use the “🪑” emoji in place of normal laughing emojis such as “😂” or “🤣”, and it was made for the sole purpose of confusing users who have not seen the joke’s original video. Avoid: replying to your partner to show him you’ve just sat down – jokes on you!
  • The 🔥 (fire) emoji is used to show homosexuality! Avoid: using this to say something is hot – it could mean you’re gay!
  • The 🐷 (pig) emoji means ditto! Boy: I love you. Girl: 🐷 Mum thinking: what a smart girl, standing up for herself. Meanwhile, girl loves boy too!

The list is endless, almost every emoji has a hidden meaning and most are not even related. I mean how does 👩 🎤 indicate you’re laughing? While Oxford was the go-to dictionary of my time, the most trending (or vibing) dictionary for kids to use is urban dictionary. Not only does it de-murph emojis, but it speaks a whole new language of conundrums only millennials will understand.

Emojis- a new language

It seems that even my old time favourites, the Little Miss and Mr. Men books by Roger Hargreaves have caught on to the trend. The latest Instagram trend is to post a Little Miss or Mr Men character that identifies you! Of course these little adaptations of emojis is a fantastic way of self-expression and does boost self esteem – or affiliations.

kids emojis


Emojis influence our emotions, build better relationships, and even help with learning. In fact, emojis are not only cool, they’re powerful too. But to avoid awkward situations, you may want to look beyond the literal meaning of the emoji. Needless to say, speaking emoji with my kids has definitely landed us on different pages.

Now that I am past learning the meaning of commonly used LOL or NVM abbreviations and progressed to level 2 of learning what Tbh (to be honest), BB (bye-bye), and even JOOC (Just out of curiosity) means, I am gearing myself for the next level – my kids emojis. If anything, I hope it unravels who they are, their social media personalities and helps me find a common ground with them. By the way, did you know vibing means “we like each other, but we not dating yet?” Awwww 🥺 ! Like, what? Am I being a Carol?

Its time to get your Masters in Whatsapp!

Give it a go, folks ! There’s a brand new language to master, trends to catch on and a whole new world in the palm of your kids hand – lietrally! (I’m sure, you’re just as tired of the over-use of that word).  If you cant beat them, join them!

CAUTION: This study advises a PG18 – many emojis suggest flirtatious and even sexual content, and derogatory language. Sites you may want to visit are:

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Analytikal Mama

Analytikal Mama

Analytikal Mama, mother of 4 beautiful children, wife and co-chef to a braaimaster.  She loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, and is endlessly curious about religion, parenting and the culinary world. 

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