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The Actual Meanings Behind The Most Mysterious And Pointless Emojis

03/01/2014 12:00 am ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

There's no denying the rush you get when you're able to write an entire sentence in emojis. Better yet, when you can write out a movie plot or an entire song chorus? Amazing. Emojis are awesome.

But let's be real... a good portion of them are also totally useless. Because how often, REALLY, are we going to reference a VHS tape? And why do we need a clock face depicting every single hour? Without a doubt, some of those icons are total mysteries, and they're taking up valuable keyboard real estate that could be used for emoji unicorns, burritos or, you know, the other emojis we definitely NEED.

So, without further ado, here are some burning questions we've all had about emojis, and the answers you never knew you needed:

  • 1
    Wrong. It’s a NAME BADGE. We would never have guessed.
  • 2
    For the record, the “H” buildings are not hospitals, (that's this guy) but a "Hotel" and "Love Hotel." (Think about that for a minute... There's actually an emoji for LOVE HOTEL.) The mystery building with the red thing is apparently a Japanese post office, and those really are just a house and a house with a garden. And, much to our dismay, the “BK” building is not a Burger King or Brooklyn, but a bank. A "Blue Bank Building," to be specific. We should have known.
  • 3
    That little guy is a Japanese rice cracker with seaweed. But for the record, a door on a meatball clearly just leads to more meat.
  • 4
    The official Emoji definitions are “dragon” and “dragon face,” but their relevance to everyday text-life (and the weird horns) remains a mystery. As it turns out, these are actually two different types of camels... the one-humped Dromedary Camel, and the two-humped Bactrian Camel. #MoreYouKnow
  • 5
    So that first one is definitely a normal teary face. But sadly, there are no crying eyebrows here. The second one is apparently just a “disappointed but relieved face.” The next is “face with cold sweat,” and the final smiling situation is “smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat.” Um, okay. If you say so.
  • 6
    We were kind of close: hot springs. And, as it turns out, that grey face is not an Easter Island Statue or Squidward's house. It's called a Moyai and it represents this real statue.
  • 7
    This guy turns out to be a construction worker – but still no explanation for his slumber.
  • 8
    The party line is “meat on bone,” but we still think this looks like the thingie in Pebbles Flintstones’ hair.
  • 9
    *deep breath* Here we have “high-speed train,” “high-speed train with bullet nose,” “light rail,” “metro,” “train” (as in plain ‘ole), “tram,” “station,” and “mountain railway.” Not pictured: the absolutely superfluous 9th train variation, "steam locomotive." With regard to our airborne friends: only the first is an aerial tramway; the other two are “suspension railway” and “mountain cableway,” respectively. So we weren't TOO far off.
  • 10
    Wow. So, it’s a “moon-viewing ceremony,” for the Japanese Otsukimi harvest celebration. It all makes so much sense now! Color us myopic.
  • 11
    This is a “pine decoration,” popularly displayed for the Japanese New Year, (SEE?!) but we still think it kinda looks like Emerald City.

Some other emoji mysteries we solved:

The beloved smiley poop emoji (which, let's be honest, is probably the best) is actually called "Dog Dirt." DOG DIRT.

What you've probably been calling an "acorn" is actually a "chestnut."

Also, you've probably been using this emoji to mean "ice cream" but it's actually "shaved ice."

This random square with a red ribbon is actually a bookmark. Who knew?!

That white thing with a pink swirl on it, that definitely looks like a dessert, is actually a "fish cake," which is a total disappointment.

There's still no cheese emoji or burrito, which are absolutely vital. Thank goodness, though, that we have an emoji for "Roasted Sweet Potato" and custard.

Don't feel bad if your whole world is crumbling. Even the makers can't make sense of some of these things because some of them are actually just called "Double Curly Loop," "Wavy Dash," and "Sparkle."

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