You might think emojis are the universal language, but according to a new study, not every culture uses them the same way. To discover what the most popular emojis around the world are and how they're used, HighSpeedInternet.com surveyed people in nine English-speaking countries about their emoji usage, and it varied quite a bit from place to place.
As it turns out, emojis are as American as apple pie. Americans use emojis in more than half of their texts, along with Trinidadians. The other countries surveyed all said they used emojis less than a quarter of the time. Another thing that distinguishes us: The peach emoji means something quite different in the U.S. than it does in other places. Despite our hard-won battle to get Apple to keep the peach emoji looking like a butt, we're still using it to reference the fruit. Americans also were most likely to say the eggplant was literally an eggplant, while those in Ireland, Jamaica, and Trinidad deemed it a "sexual reference."
In addition, countries had some disagreement over whether the fire emoji meant "literal fire" (the consensus) or "hot as in attractive" (the U.K. and Trinidad's assessment). And while most people thought the face with a straight mouth was "unamused," Australians and Brits thought it just meant "neutral/content," which could lead to some pretty major misunderstandings. At least everyone could agree that the raindrop emoji meant "rain."
All the countries at least had one thing in common: Their favorite emoji is the plan old smiley face. Next, the U.S., the U.K., Jamaica, and Trinidad are fans of the laugh-crying emoji. Canada and New Zealand's second-favorite is the heart, Ireland's is the pile of poop, and Australia's is the winky face with its tongue sticking out.
The moral of the story? If you start chatting with someone on Tinder while vacationing in a foreign country, make sure nothing gets lost in translation. Not even your emoji are exempt from that issue.