It’s World Emoji Day!

Did you know? July 17th is World Emoji Day.

Emoji have become ubiquitous in our every day life. But do you know their original meanings? You might be surprised, because they were developed in Japan. In fact, the word emoji translates to “picture character” in Japanese.

Check out this list of surprising emoji meanings or this one.

You’ll find some of the meanings behind the emoji tie to Japanese culture. Yet, in America, we interpret the emoji slightly differently. And in fact, we use them in different amounts than other places around the world. There are some emoji that carry across cultures but there are many that are either used to represent different things.

In “People around the world use these emojis the most”, one study found the French love using the emoji the most, with nearly 20% of messages that they looked at using at least one symbol. This was followed by the Russians and Americans.

“Emojis are everywhere. They are becoming the ubiquitous language that bridges everyone across different cultures,” says Wei Ai, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Information and one of the lead authors of the study.”

You can also check out emoji use by country and which emoji are most used around the world.

This interesting study compared the usage of emoji and meaning in different countries:

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