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The 10 most confusing emojis and what they actually mean

University of Minnesota study exposes America's emoji problem.

University of Minnesota study exposes America's emoji problem.

Rmmm, rmmm.

Your buzzing phone interrupts your epic Walking Dead binge. Even more alarming than Rick’s sudden disavowal of compassion are the contents of that incoming text. Interspersed between LOLs and passable English are cartoon-y characters, seemingly trying to convey something.

But what?

For better or worse, emojis — those playful mini-pics transplanting actual language — are ingrained in our culture. However, their intended meaning is often lost in translation.

A new University of Minnesota study looks at how this smartphone dialect muddies our conversations. The reasons are twofold: First off, depending on the mobile platforms texting besties use, the emojis might appear significantly different on different phones. So when iPhone Jane texts Sally an emoji of a celebratory hand gesture, Sally’s Windows Phone shows her what looks like an alien getting mugged.

Secondly, even when the image displays identically on both ends, we don’t always interpret them the same way.

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U of M researchers gave participants a survey asking them to describe what various emojis mean and whether it was positive, negative, or neutral. Using fancy equations and such, the researchers ranked which emojis cause the most confusion based on sentiment (the positive to negative spectrum) and semantics (how widely varied the definitions were).

These are the 10 most confusing emojis, according to science, and their definition per the all-knowing Emojipedia.org.

10. Google's smiling face with open mouth and tightly closed eyes.

Emojipedia: A face with a big smiling mouth, and scrunched-closed eyes.

9. Apple's grimacing face.

Emojipedia: A grimace emoji, showing bared teeth, usually for when a mistake or unfavorable situation has arisen – aka “eek!” The appearance of this emoji varies greatly between platforms. Use with caution.

8. Apple's loudly crying face.

Emojipedia: A sad face with tears streaming down both cheeks. This face is distraught and inconsolable. Not to be confused with the tears of joy emoji.

7. Samsung's smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat.

Emojipedia: The same face as smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes, but with a single drop of sweat on one side of the face. A rarely used emoji, as few people look this happy while sweating.

6. Microsoft's smiling face with open mouth tightly closed eyes.

Emojipedia: A face with a big smiling mouth, and scrunched-closed eyes.

5. LG's unamused face.

Emojipedia: This face is not amused. This is not a face of sadness, it is more of a grumpy, displeased look. Used to express dissatisfaction. The eyes are distinct in their sideways glance, and could be interpreted as an eye-roll, or general disinterest.

4. Samsung's face savoring delicious food.

Emojipedia: A friendly, goofy smile with tongue hanging out the side of the mouth. Used to indicate a silly happiness.

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3. Microsoft's person raising both hands in celebration (aka praise hands emoji).

Emojipedia: Two hands raised in the air, celebrating success or another joyous event.

2. Apple's unamused face.

Emojipedia: This face is not amused. This is not a face of sadness, it is more of a grumpy, displeased look. Used to express dissatisfaction. The eyes are distinct in their sideways glance, and could be interpreted as an eye-roll, or general disinterest.

1. Google's relieved face.

Emojipedia: Pleasantly content. Happy, but not over the top. Feeling a sense of relief over a situation, or to convey a calm or content state of mind.