The pinched finger emoji |

You may have seen this pinched finger emoji – but depending on who you ask, it has different meanings. Is it a way of scolding someone, showing disbelief, or a cute gesture popularised by a K-Pop star?

Called “pinched fingers” this is an official new emoji from the Unicode Consortium who approve standard emojis worldwide. According to them, it’s supposed to represent the way an Italian asks “what do you want?” (as outlined in their 14-page proposal). However, since its debut in January 2020, people from around the world have come forward with their own culture’s interpretation of the emoji.

In Asia, we may be more familiar with it as a gesture for eating (when we gesture near our mouth) – we use when we want to eat, or when we ask someone if they’re already eaten or want to eat.

However, there will also be many who instantly think of K-Pop star Yuri, who is known for making this gesture with the phrase “I mandu you” – mandu means dumpling – and fans joke about that pose being her way of saying “I love you” to them.

“I mandu you”

However in Israel, it’s apparently used when you’re annoyed with someone:

In the Arab world, it’s apparently got two meanings:

In Nigeria, it also has two meanings – it either refers to the volume, or represents ‘little’:

Meanwhile in Greece, it’s just like a thumbs up.

However, it’s not always a positive expression because apparently in Argentina it means ‘WTF?’.

So before you use that emoji in your message, be sure to check who’s on the receiving end, lest you end up conveying the wrong message. But don’t despair – there are 117 new options added in 2020 as part of the “Emoji 13.0” update.