WhatsApp is the world’s most popular mobile chat app. It has revolutionized the way the word communicates. WhatsApp has made it very easy to transfer text messages, photos, videos and audio files from one mobile phone to another. Now it is even possible to use WhatsApp on computer. People all over the world are using WhatsApp in a large number of languages. But the language of those smiley faces is all the same world over.
As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Therefore, since long, emoticons have been an essential part of any good chat application. WhatsApp also provides a large set of emoticons to convey feelings and several other thoughts which would otherwise need several words to express. But many of these WhatsApp symbols are confusing. Most people don’t know the meaning of many WhatsApp icons or symbols. While there are some standards ones (like smile, sad, laugh, cry etc.); many other symbols seem to have no apparent meaning.
A reader of my blog asked me through email the meaning of certain WhatsApp symbols. That’s how I thought of researching and writing this article.
Emoticons are actually a combination of text characters. When put together, they convey a certain emotion. For example, :-) is a combination that conveys smile. Emoticons were invented by general users of the chat applications.
SEE ALSO: Learn cool WhatsApp Tricks
Later small picture icons came in trend. Web applications (like Facebook chat) began to use such pictorial expressions. Facebook also launched FB Stickers Store to supply even more such icons. These pictorial symbols are called Emoji (it is a Japanese language word that means Picture Letters). Emoji were first invented in Japan and WhatsApp icon-set has several icons that have a special meaning in the Japanese culture.
The symbols or icons that you send to your friend on WhatsApp are actually called Emojis!
WhatsApp has the regular 12 sun sign symbols (zodiac symbols). The symbols are painted white in color on square buttons with purple background. The sun sign symbols are:
1. Aries, 2. Taurus, 3. Gemini, 4. Cancer, 5. Leo, 6. Virgo, 7. Libra, 8. Scorpio, 9. Sagittarius, 10. Capricorn, 11. Aquarius, 12. Pisces
These symbols are used to show one’s sun sign of birth.
In WhatsApp, the Ophiuchus symbol is available right after the regular zodiac signs. Ophiuchus is considered the 13th Zodiac sign and it represents the Ophiuchus constellation.
This symbol appears right after the Ophiuchus symbol. This six pointed star with a dot in the center is called the Star of David. It is a a sacred symbol in Judaism. In Hebrew, this symbol is called the Magen David (meaning “Shield of David”).
Now, let’s learn the meanings of some of the very intriguing WhatsApp symbols. You’ll find that you may be using these symbols to convey something else than their originally intended use!
1. Meaning of “WC” WhatsApp Emoji
“WC” stands for Water Closet. This is the standard symbol for toilet in several parts of the world including Europe. So, if you want to rush to the toilet in the middle of a WhatsApp chat, you may send this WC symbol!
2. Meaning of Man Bowing Symbol
In Japan, bowing is a way for showing respect. Mostly, this emoji often used by WhatsApp users to convey that someone is “thinking”. But the real meaning of this symbol is to convey respect to the other person.
3. Meaning of SOS Symbol
World over, SOS is the call for help. SOS stands for Save Our Soul. You may use it on WhatsApp chat when you’re desperately seeking help from your friend. Just send this icon and your meaning would be clearly conveyed.
4. Meaning of “Stressed Face with Sweat Droplet”
Many people mistake this droplet with a tear drop. But actually it is meant to be a sweat drop on the forehead of a stressed person. So, if you’re pain, fatigue, fear etc. you can send this WhatsApp symbol over chat. I hope you’re not sweating because you’ve send a WhatsApp message to a wrong person!
5. Meaning of “Star with a circle”
Different people use it differently. Some folks think it is an award, some think it is a shooting star and others use it as an aura of a blessed person. But you will be surprised to know that the reality is far from all these interpretations. In reality, this WhatsApp symbol is meant to show dizziness or a spinning head! (this is the reason why this icon has been placed in Expressions category). So, if you want to comically say something like that you’ve been hit by a huge workload, you can use this symbol.
6. Meaning of “Folded Hands”
Mostly WhatsApp users use this emoji to convey a prayer or pleading. In India, people use it to convey namaste, a gesture to convey respect. But in truth, as per Japanese traditions, this gesture conveys gratitude towards someone who does a favor to you. Japanese people especially use it to show their gratitude after having a meal at their host.
7. Meaning of WhatsApp Symbol: “Brunette in Pink Shirt with Hand Stretched Outward”
As per Mashable, this icon was originally meant for asking how could you be of help to the other person (like a receptionist asking “How may I help you?”). But users of WhatsApp have made their own interpretations. For example, some use it to convey smugness or “I am better than you” attitude. These people think that the brunette has flicked her hair backward with her hand and thus conveying a sort of superiority or carelessness.
8. Who is John Appleseed?
This a credit card icon —there is no confusion about it. But if you look at a bigger version of this icon, you’ll notice that the card has been signed by some John Appleseed. Naturally, many people will ask, who is this John Appleseed? Well, according to TechRadar, John Appleseed was a nickname used by former Apple CEO Mike Markkula. He used this alias to sign software programs which he created for Apple II. As a sign of respect for Markkula, Apple has been using John Appleseed as a demo name.
9. Meaning of WhatsApp Symbol: “Church with a Heart”
This icon most probably conveys a “wedding”. Other possible usages could be “I love going to Church”.
10. Meaning of WhatsApp Symbol: “Three bamboos on a rock”
This is called Kadomatsu in Japan. According to Wikipedia, it is a traditional Japanese decoration made of three bamboo shoots and pine leaves. These are used on the New Year to welcome ancestral spirits of the harvest. Usually Kadomatsus are placed in pairs in front of homes.
These are actually Japanese Kanji symbols (but most people may anyway think that the language inscribed is Chinese!).
- It is a Japanese Katakana, meaing “here”
- Full or complete
- Good bargain (this circular sign is often used in shops)
- Possess (Chinese symbol)
- Have the honor to (meaning given by Avenger through comments section. Thanks!)
- Finger pointing
- Not available
- According to cilisos the inscription inside the white flower says “tai hen yoku dekimashita”. It means “you did very well”; teachers often give this stamp to good performing students.
- Incomplete, half-empty, place is available
- Forbidden (in Chinese)
- Work. Often used to indicate work hours
- Japanese kanji symbol for moon
There are many other Japanese/Chinese emojis available in WhatsApp. Soon, I will add more of these along with their meanings.
Most of WhatsApp smileys have standard meanings. Sometime ago Buzzfeed published a graphic depicting the WhatsApp smiley meanings. I am using that same image instead of rewriting the entire story. Here you’ll find meaning of smiling, crying, laughing, excited, worried, angry smiley faces among others.
Well, I hope this compilation was useful for you. Please take part in this compilation and let me know the meanings of other weird WhatsApp symbols. Thank you for using TechWelkin!