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Thumbs-Up Emoji 👍 Meaning

thumbs up emoji

The thumbs-up emoji, also known as the “thumbs-up sign 👍,” is a universally understood gesture of approval, denoting positivity and agreement. It is one of the most popular emojis, and it is used in a variety of contexts, including text messages, social media posts, and email exchanges. In 2015, Emoji added the ability to change the color of skin tones to promote inclusivity and diversity.

Table of Contents

What Does The Thumbs-Up Emoji Mean?

The thumbs-up 👍 emoji primarily represents approval, positivity, and agreement. It has often been used to signify a ‘yes’ or to acknowledge a message positively. The thumbs-up emoji has even been used to support court cases as a legally binding agreement. However, the meaning of this simple hand gesture can fluctuate depending on the context in which it’s used.

A Gesture of Approval

As a common expression of affirmation, the thumbs-up emoji is akin to saying “good job” or “well done.” For instance, after a friend shares their recent art project, you might respond with a thumbs-up emoji to show that you appreciate their work.

In Context of Sarcasm

The thumbs-up emoji isn’t always sincere. It can also be wielded as a tool for passive-aggressive or sarcastic remarks. For instance, if someone cancels plans at the last minute, you might reply with a thumbs-up emoji to denote your irritation, despite its surface-level approval.

Here’s a sample conversation illustrating the dual nature of the thumbs-up emoji:

Jack: “Sorry, I forgot about our study session today!”
Andy: “👍”

In this context, Andy’s use of the thumbs-up emoji conveys subtle sarcasm, masking disappointment with a symbol of approval.

Emojis with Similar Meanings

There are several emojis that convey approval, agreement, or positive acknowledgment, similar to the thumbs-up emoji. If you are unsure whether the thumbs-up emoji is appropriate in a particular context, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it. There are many emojis that can be used instead of the thumbs-up emoji. 

  • OK Hand Emoji: 👌 This emoji carries similar connotations of positivity and agreement as the thumbs-up emoji.
  • Clapping Hands Emoji: 👏 Similar to the ‘OK Hand’ emoji, this one also signifies positivity and agreement.
  • Smiling Face Emoji: 🙂 This simple emoji is another way to express positivity and agreement.
  • Heart Emoji: ❤️ This is a more romantic way to express approval or agreement.
  • Check Mark Emoji: ✔️ This is a more formal way to express approval or agreement.
  • Thumbs-Up with Heart Emoji: 👍❤️ This emoji combines the thumbs-up gesture with a heart, making it a more expressive way to express approval or agreement.
  • Person Raising Hand Emoji: 🙋 This emoji can be used to express agreement or to ask a question.

The best emoji to use instead of the thumbs-up emoji will depend on the context in which you use it. For example, if you respond to a friend’s post on social media, you might want to use a smiley face or a heart 🙂❤️. If you are responding to a work email, you might want to use a checkmark ✔️ or a thumbs-up with heart 👍❤️.

Meaning from a Guy

When a guy sends a thumbs-up emoji to a girl, it usually signals agreement, acknowledgment, or casual, friendly approval. However, the nature of their relationship and the context of the conversation can imbue different implications to the emoji.

Example Texts

  • “Had a great time at the movies 👍”
  • “Your new profile picture looks amazing 👍”
  • “Sure, I’ll pick you up after dinner 👍”
  • “Finished the group project. It’s looking good 👍”
  • “The concert was awesome! 👍”
  • “Thanks for helping me with the homework 👍”
  • “Hey, shall we hang out tomorrow? 👍”

Meaning from a Girl

Just like when a guy uses it when a girl sends a thumbs-up emoji to a guy, it generally implies affirmation or approval. The underlying tone, however, can vary depending on the dynamics of their relationship and the context.

Example Texts

  • “The cake you made was delicious 👍”
  • “Just saw your game. You were amazing! 👍”
  • “The dress you picked out for me is perfect 👍”
  • “Remember to bring the tickets 👍”
  • “Good luck with your presentation tomorrow 👍”
  • “Had a lot of fun at the beach 👍”
  • “Your new haircut suits you 👍”

Popular thumbs-up Emoji Combos

Pairing the thumbs-up emoji with other emojis can create exciting combinations with unique meanings. For example, ‘Thumbs-Up’ + ‘Fire‘ 👍🔥 could represent strong approval or enthusiasm for something that’s considered ‘hot’ or excellent. ‘Thumbs-Up’ + ‘100’ 👍💯 often implies complete agreement or signifies that something is perfect or top-notch. Here are some more combos:

Emoji ComboMeaningEmojis
👍 🔥 💯Strong approval or enthusiasm for something that’s considered ‘hot’ or excellent, and signifies that something is perfect or top-notch.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), Fire Emoji (🔥), 100 Emoji (💯)
👍 👍 👍Three thumbs-up, which can be used to express even stronger approval or enthusiasm.thumbs-up Emoji (👍)
👍 👌 😊A combination of the thumbs-up, OK hand, and smiley face emojis can be used to express agreement, approval, happiness, and understanding.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), OK Hand Emoji (👌), Smiling Face Emoji (😊)
👍 👏 🎉A combination of the thumbs-up emoji with light and dark skin tone modifiers, can be used to express approval in a more inclusive way.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), Clapping Hands Emoji (👏), Party Popper Emoji (🎉)
👍 💯 🏆Double-clapping hands emojis with a thumbs-up, which can be used to express even stronger approval or enthusiasm.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), 100 Emoji (💯), Trophy Emoji (🏆)
👍 👍🏻 👍🏿A combination of the thumbs-up emoji with light and dark skin tone modifiers can be used to express approval in a more inclusive way.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), Light Skin Tone Modifier (👍🏻), Dark Skin Tone Modifier (👍🏿)
👍 🔥 🔥Double fire emojis with a thumbs-up, which can be used to express strong approval or enthusiasm for something that’s considered ‘hot’ or excellent.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), Fire Emoji (🔥)
👍 💯 💯Double 100 emojis with a thumbs-up, which can be used to express complete agreement, perfection, and achievement.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), 100 Emoji (💯)
👍 👏 👏Double clapping hands emojis with a thumbs-up, which can be used to express even stronger approval or enthusiasm.thumbs-up Emoji (👍), Clapping Hands Emoji (👏)

How To Change Color Of The Thumbs-Up Emoji?

You would typically follow these steps to change the color of the thumbs-up emoji, or any emoji that supports different skin tones. The exact method can vary slightly depending on your device or platform.

On iOS (iPhone and iPad):

  1. Open any app that uses the keyboard (Messages, Notes, etc.).
  2. Tap on the text field to bring up the keyboard.
  3. Tap on the emoji icon on the keyboard.
  4. Find and hold down the thumbs-up emoji. This will open a small menu with different skin tones.
  5. Slide your finger to the skin tone you want to use, then release.

On Android:

  1. Open an app that uses the keyboard.
  2. Tap on the text field to bring up the keyboard.
  3. Tap on the emoji button, usually found on or near the space bar.
  4. Find and hold down the thumbs-up emoji. This will open a small menu with different skin tones.
  5. Tap on the skin tone you want to use.

On Windows 10:

  1. Press the Windows key + “.” or Windows key + “;” to bring up the emoji keyboard.
  2. Click on the thumbs-up emoji. A small menu will appear with different skin tones.
  3. Click on the skin tone you want to use.

On macOS:

  • Place your cursor in a text field, then press “Control + Command + Space bar” to bring up the emoji keyboard.
  • Click on the thumbs-up emoji. A small menu will appear with different skin tones.
  • Click on the skin tone you want to use.

Remember, once you select a skin tone for an emoji, your device usually remembers your preference and will use that skin tone as the default for that emoji until you change it again.

Skin ToneEmojiCode
Light Skin Tone👍🏻U+1F44D-1F3FB
Medium-Light Skin Tone👍🏼U+1F44D-1F3FC
Medium Skin Tone👍🏽U+1F44D-1F3FD
Medium-Dark Skin Tone👍🏾U+1F44D-1F3FE
Dark Skin Tone👍🏿U+1F44D-1F3FF
Skin Tones and their Codes

How To Type The Thumbs-Up Emoji In Outlook

There are a few ways to type the thumbs-up emoji in Outlook.

Using the keyboard shortcut: You can type the thumbs-up emoji by pressing `Windows`+`.` (period). This will open the emoji picker, where you can select the thumbs-up emoji.

Using the emoji keyboard: If you have an emoji keyboard installed on your computer, you can use it to type the thumbs-up emoji.

Using the code: You can also type the thumbs-up emoji by using its code. The code for the thumbs-up emoji is `👍`.

Here are the steps on how to type the thumbs-up emoji in Outlook using the keyboard shortcut:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Create a new email or reply to an existing email.
  3. Press `Windows`+`.` (period).
  4. Select the thumbs-up emoji from the emoji picker.
  5. Click on the “Send” button to send the email.

Here are the steps on how to type the thumbs-up emoji in Outlook using the emoji keyboard:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Create a new email or reply to an existing email.
  3. Click on the “Emoji” button.
  4. Select the thumbs-up emoji from the emoji keyboard.
  5. Click on the “Send” button to send the email.

Here are the steps on how to type the thumbs-up emoji in Outlook using the code:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Create a new email or reply to an existing email.
  3. Type `👍` in the email body.
  4. Click on the “Send” button to send the email.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the codepoint for the thumbs-up emoji?

The Unicode codepoint for the thumbs-up emoji is U+1F44D.

When was the thumbs-up emoji created?

The thumbs-Up was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 with the name “Thumbs Up Sign” and included in Emoji 1.0 in 2015.

Are there other names for the thumbs-up emoji?

Yes, the thumbs-up emoji can also be called the “Like” emoji or simply the “Yes” emoji.

When were different skin tones added to the thumbs-up emoji?

Different skin tones were added to the thumbs-up emoji as part of Emoji 2.0 in 2015.

Why is the thumbs-up emoji canceled?

The thumbs-up emoji was not actually canceled. There was a discussion on Reddit in 2022 about whether the thumbs-up emoji was rude or passive-aggressive, and some people said that they felt “attacked” when they saw it used in the workplace. However, no evidence exists that any organization has officially canceled the thumbs-up emoji.

Why is the thumbs-up emoji offensive?

The thumbs-up emoji is not inherently offensive, but it can be used in a way that is offensive or used as an insult. For example, if someone sends a thumbs-up emoji to express disagreement or disapproval, it could be seen as passive-aggressive or rude. Additionally, the thumbs-up emoji can be seen as a sign of disrespect in some cultures.

Here are some reasons why the thumbs-up emoji might be considered offensive:

It can be seen as passive-aggressive or rude: If someone sends a thumbs-up emoji to express disagreement or disapproval, it could be seen as a way of saying, “I don’t agree with you, but I’m not going to say anything.” This can be seen as passive-aggressive and rude.

It can be seen as a sign of disrespect: In some cultures, the thumbs-up gesture is seen as a sign of disrespect. For example, in some cultures, pointing with your index finger is considered rude. The thumbs-up gesture is similar to pointing, so it could be seen as disrespectful in these cultures.

It can be overused: The thumbs-up emoji is one of the most popular emojis, and it is often used in a way that is not meaningful. For example, people might send a thumbs-up emoji to a friend’s post on social media, even if they don’t actually agree with the post. This can make the thumbs-up emoji seem meaningless and insincere.

Conclusion

Remember, the beauty of emojis lies in their flexibility. They can communicate complex ideas and emotions with just a simple tap but are also open to interpretation. The thumbs-up emoji, with its multitude of uses, encapsulates this charm perfectly.