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Real Meaning of Emojis in China

The country is known for generating creative, peculiar internet memes. People there have also developed a system for using emoji subversively, so that a smiley face can actually convey contempt.What are exactly the emojis of Chinese people Followed is a reference for  all of you, the non-Chinese. 


1.笑脸 xiào liǎn

Smiley face


On the surface: Happiness.


Below the surface: A despising, mocking, and even obnoxious attitude. 


Background: The upper “muscle movements” here could explain why the face is considered less friendly and more hostile.


 “If you take a closer look at the eyes, the orbicularis oculi (the muscle near that upper eye corner) does not move, and the orbicularis oris (the one near the mouth) tightens, which is a sign of suppressing a smile,” notes An Yong, a user on Zhihu, China’s answer to Quora. The answer has garnered some 16,000 likes since last June.


Guidance: Don’t use it as an expression to say you’re happy about something. Maybe use these instead, since the muscle movements seem to be smiling genuinely, or use any of these on your iOS device.


2.挥手微笑 huī shǒu wēi xiào

Smiley face with a waving hand

On the surface: Goodbye with a smiley face.


Below the surface: “I despise you and really don’t want to talk with you. Please go away.”

深层意思: “我鄙视你,真的不想跟你说话。请麻溜走开。” 

Background: Thanks to the smiley face, this is not a simple goodbye, but rather a mocking expression used to respond negatively to whatever one objects to.


Guidance: If you see this emoji, you might want to change the topic, or just keep your mouth shut. If you wish to retaliate sarcastically, consider sending back two waving hands. Or just deploy for a genius goodbye.


3.抠鼻 kōu bí

Picking your nose

On the surface: Maybe there’s something in your nose?


Below the surface: “I despise you.” (Yes, it’s a recurring theme.)

深层意思: “鄙视你”。 (是的,鄙视是永恒的主题。)

Background: The emoji has a frown and its eyes look to the right side, half-open.


Usage: Send a smiley face in response—making clear the feeling is mutual.


Source:China Daily


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