Don't even think about using these emoji in these countries

Many of us don't give our emoji usage a second thought. And we bandy around the likes of 👍 ,👋 , and✌️ without batting an eyelid.

SEE ALSO: Smiley emoji in your work emails are making you look incompetent :(

But, some of the emoji we love to use could actually be considered offensive in certain countries. Given that emoji is the world's fastest growing language, it's important to get to grips with what is and isn't OK in emoji speak.

Here are four hand gesture emoji that could land you in hot water if used in some cultures.

Emoji you should avoid in certain countries
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Emoji you should avoid in certain countries

Horn emoji

Where?  Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and Uruguay.

Why? This emoji has two meanings, one of which isn't very pleasant at all. The horn gesture is an apotropaic sign used in Italy and other Mediterranean countries to ward off bad luck and to ward off the evil eye. But, this symbol has a second meaning — and it's not very nice at all. When the symbol is directed towards a specific person in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and Uruguay, it suggests that that individual's partner has cheated on them. Awkward!

Waving hand emoji

Where? China

Why? According to Emojipedia editor Jeremy Burge, the waving hand emoji isn't quite so friendly in some cultures. "The waving hand emoji can be used in China as an offensive sign-off. Like, "'don’t let the door hit you on the way out' in English," says Burge. When used on WeChat in China, the emoji can translate as "we're no longer friends." Not that nice, TBH. 

Thumbs up emoji

Where? Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Nigeria

Why? The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. But, in certain countries the thumbs up gesture has an obscene meaning, which translates as "sit on it." Yikes. 

Peace sign emoji

Where? UK 

Why? This emoji might be synonymous with "peace, man" in a lot of places, but in the UK it's definitely not a friendly gesture. The V-sign, as it's known in Blighty, basically means "f*ck off." Text this to your British mate, and you might not be friends for much longer. 

Don't say we didn't warn you. 


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