Emoji, from Japan but a worldwide phenonomen


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Merriam-Webster Dictionary has many Japanese loan word in it’s pages like sushi, tsunami, and head honcho. Most people know karaoke and in foodie circles umami is a common term.

Origins of Emoji

One of the most recent Japanese loan word additions is Emoji. I am sure these numerous graphic pictograms that are used freely and often in texts are very familiar to smartphone users.  But did you know they are originated here in Japan and the word Emoji has Japanese roots. “E” + “Moji”. “E” means picture and “moji” means character. Apparently there are over 800 emoji out there and Apple is looking at introducing 38 more in 2016.

Emoji Use based on Nationalities

While this may not be news to many I did read some fun facts in a recent Japan Times article that I’d like to share with you. According to a report done by SwiftKey in April 2015, different nationalities use emoji in different ways.

  • French speakers not only parlay in the language of love and use the heart emoji on average 4x more than other countries.
  • It is well known that Australians like a bevvy or 2 and apparently use alcohol related emoji twice as much as other places.  They also interestingly enough use drug related emoji 65% more.
  • The study showed Canadians seem to use emoji that are considered to be stereotypically  American like guns, money, sports related ones. They are also not adverse to sexual innuendo and make good use of the eggplant!
  • Americans use LGBT, technology, meat and skull related emoji more often that others.
  • Arabic speakers seem to be into flowers, blossoms and plants 4x more than average.

Emoji in the Dating World

Match.com did a survey which showed people who used emoji in texts scored more sex on a monthly basis than those who don’t. Maybe those smiley faces have a little more meaning than I thought!


Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)


2 responses to “Emoji, from Japan but a worldwide phenonomen

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