Emojis and what they REALLY mean to teens

Do you know your eggplant from your mailbox?

For most of us, emojis are a fun and harmless addition to our social feeds – a smiley face to cheer someone up; a birthday cake to help someone celebrate.

However, kids today are using emojis to chat in their own code, and the meanings will surprise you!

Here’s the low-down on the more common so you are no longer in the dark.
(Note: as we are kid-friendly, we’ve done it all in the most respectable language we could manage!)


To us mamas, Cherries are where the milk comes from. To the teens it’s more of the perky variety.


A bum. Yep, we can use that word in front of the kids!


Ahem, it’s not a vegetable, it’s a male doodle.

Circus Tent

A tricky one to describe in a kid-appropriate way, but it refers to a doodle coming out to play.

Dancing bunny girls

Though they might look like they are dressed up for ballet class, this is also used to refer to women of the night.

Love hotel

Used to represent a different style of hotel where you can stay by the hour and meet dancing bunny girls.

Shifty eyes

Kids send this as a suggestion to send a selfie that your Gran would NOT approve of.

Dizzy emoji

Referring to something x-rated.


Yep, you’ve got mail. But this emoji also refers to having a roll in the hay.


Though a lot of adults use this for innocently jumping into the pool, to the teens it means a man finishing up a roll in the hay.

Girl with hands on head

This apparently is called the ‘Yes’ emoji. Which suddenly makes the teen-speak version makes understandable – as it means a female finishing up a roll in the hay!


You are on fire… in the ‘roll in the hay’ sort of way.

Silent face

If you see this on your kid’s device, don’t ignore it. It is used to threaten someone to keep quiet.


Yep, it does have drug connotations, but teens are also using it to chat about getting a tattoo.


Nothing to do with the weather, this is used to indicate smoking, or taking a puff.


Powdery like the snow but with totally different results, the snowflake emoji refers to the white powder that Scarface enjoyed.

Mad face

Yep, it is often used for being mad. But kids are also using it to refer to MDMA.

Maple leaf

Quite an easy one one, the maple leaf is used to refer to cannabis.


Another drug reference, it’s used in relation to those of high potency.