these are the top 10 most popular emoji — does yours make the list?

A woman holds multiple emoji balloons in front of a brightly colored wall.

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illumy’s end-to-end encryption means we can’t see the content of your messages — like, ever.

That means we don’t know who you’re messaging, what files you’re sharing, or what emoji you’re using. What we can tell you are the most popular emoji that people are searching on Google.

This information is public, and you can find lots more interesting search data at Google Trends.

Here’s what Google’s data shows about the nation’s most popular emoji:

1. Flower emoji — 16,100 monthly searches

The flower emoji… does it symbolize romance? Springtime? Joy? Condolences?

Flowers have lots of different meanings, making this emoji enduringly popular no matter the season. And on illumy, there are several flower emoji to choose from. They’re perfect for expressing just about any sentiment.

2. Sigh emoji — 5,605 monthly searches

Sighs can have many meanings, as well. Frustration is one. Relief is another. Or maybe the person you’re talking to simply warrants a “whew.”

“A sigh is not just a sigh – it’s a fundamental life-sustaining reflex,” emoji designer Neil Cohn explained to the Unicode organization when suggesting this emoji back in 2019.

Officially, the sigh emoji is called the “Face Exhaling Emoji” — at least according to Emojipedia.

3. Duck emoji — 4,322 monthly searches

Truth be told, we’re not sure why the duck emoji is so popular.

Maybe it’s the mallard’s striking colors? Maybe it’s that people think ducks can stand in for anything bird-related?

Ducks are also food in many cultures. Fun fact: More than two-thirds of global duck farming takes place in China.

4. Cute emoji — 4,145 monthly searches

The cute emoji speak for themselves. They’re cute, end of story.

But how cute are you trying to get? The xx suggests that you’re embarrassed yet proud, as if you received a compliment. The yy looks more like cute-and-happy. Or happy-because-cute.

You can always add in both cute emoji to really drive home the cuteness. Too much?

5. Halloween emoji — 4,017 monthly searches

The Halloween/jack o’lantern emoji probably doesn’t appear in the top 10 most popular emoji list year-round. Our search data is from the fall — likely when interest in this emoji spikes.

But what’s stopping you from getting into the Halloween spirit all the time? Kanye put it best when he tweeted “Halloween is the only day of the year you don’t dress up.”

If you’re trying to celebrate Halloween, keep the ghost, vampire, and zombie emoji in mind, too.

6. Donkey emoji — 3,493 monthly searches

The popularity of the donkey emoji is a little out of left field. Other than symbolizing the Democratic Party, the donkey isn’t exactly a mainstay in pop culture.

The last donkey to make a star turn was Donkey from Shrek — and the last time there was a Shrek movie in theaters was 2010.

But since the Shrek series is the second-highest grossing animated franchise of all time, maybe Eddie Murphy’s Donkey still has some fans out there.

7. Plant emoji — 3,382 monthly searches

“Plant emoji” brings up a slew of results. Potted plants, wild plants, bamboo, trees, and flowers are all represented in the emoji database.

That’s fitting, considering there are over 300,000 known plant species in the world.

With so many plants out there, plant emoji can represent a wide range of meanings. Perhaps one of them should be thankfulness: Most of the world’s oxygen comes from green plants.

8. Shh emoji — 2,943 monthly searches

The Shh emoji is kind of a perfect use case for why emoji exist. It sums up in one image what isn’t always easy to put into words — and it does so in a way that anyone, even a small child, can understand.

The brevity of the Shh supports its underlying sentiment. Enough, I’m done with you, it says. Periodt.

9. WTF emoji — 2,235 monthly searches

There are several options for “WTF emoji” that you can take in any number of directions. The 🤨 says “Huh?” The 😒 says “Hmph.” The 😵 says “Ew.”

“WTF” means different things depending on who you’re talking to, and chances are, there’s an emoji that expresses what you’re trying to say.

10. Yoga emoji — 2,190 monthly searches

On illumy, there’s two variations on the yoga emoji: woman doing yoga and man doing yoga.

The pose they’re in is known as padmasana, or lotus position. It’s a classic meditation pose that’s good for your back, hips, knees, and ankles.

Best of all, the experts say, you can enjoy these benefits with just 1 to 5 minutes of padmasana per day.

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash.

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