"Thonk" emoji.

You might be surprised to know there are over 3,000 emoji at your disposal. Everything from a simple smile to the mysterious “Person in Suit Levitating” has been emoji-fied. But what do they all mean?

It’s great that we have so many emoji to choose from these days, but it does cause some confusion. It’s not clear what some of the emoji are supposed to represent. The good news is every emoji has some sort of “title” that explains what it is.

The bad news? There’s not really an agreed-upon definition for every emoji. For example, the eggplant emoji clearly depicts the vegetable we all know, but it’s often used for other purposes. So keep in mind that everyone interprets and uses emoji in slightly different ways.

RELATED: How New Emoji Are Born (and How to Propose Your Own)

How to Look Up Emoji

The best place to go to find out what an emoji is supposed to mean is a website called Emojipedia. This is a reference site that houses every single emoji you can use, including gender and skin tone duplicates.

To get started, navigate to Emojipedia in the browser on your phone or computer. You can do a search for the emoji if you have an idea of what it might be named. If you don’t have a clue, you can browse through emoji by category.

Search on Emojipedia.

Let’s take a look at “Beverage Box” 🧃 as an example. The name at the top is the official name given by Unicode (the people who make emoji). Then there’s a blurb about the origin of the emoji and a description of how it’s usually used. Below that, you’ll see it is also known as “Juice Box,” which is the name Apple uses.

Beverage Box Emojipedia page.

Scroll down further and you can see what the emoji looks like on all the different platforms it’s used on. It can be helpful to know what the emoji looks like on the recipient’s end. The differences can be pretty shocking sometimes.

Emoji from different OEMs.

That’s all there is to it. Again, remember that these “official” titles and definitions may not matter. Don’t take for granted that someone else will give an emoji the same meaning as you or Emojipedia. Emoji can be a great way to convey things without typing, but they can also lead to confusion.

RELATED: How to Use Emoji on Your Smartphone or PC

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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