Prayer or High Five? This Emoji is getting people confused

Somewhere last week, a friend spoke to me about how Ghanaians “interpret emojis in our own way”. I personally am of the view that Emojis could mean different things depending on the parties using it to communicate. There has been news of teens using Emojis to secretly trade drugs online elsewhere in the world.

However, the debate as to the “actual meaning of the emoji ???? is one that is funny and very confusing. A few people are surprised to learn that the emoji which they had always thought was a prayer emoji was actually two people high-fiving each other.

The emoji shows what looks like two hands placed together in supplication.

However, the truth is now out.

WhatsApp Web allows a user to search various emotions one may want to express by way of an emoji. You get suggestions of an emoji by typing what you want to say. These emoji suggestions depend on the words sent.

High Five

I started by searching for “High Five” on WhatsApp Web. Honestly, I didn’t expect to see anything near the results that came up. At that point, I thought: “My whole life has been a lie too”.

The Folded Hands Emoji could actually mean "high five".
The Folded Hands Emoji could actually mean “high five”.


Surprised by what my “high five” search presented, I continued to search for “pray” among the emojis. Afterall, something as basic as a “pray” would definitely have an emoji.

Using WhatsApp Web again, I searched for “pray” within the emojis.

Right! Folded Hands emoji could also be used to represent prayer

Emoji Matters

Well, we haven’t be lied to as suggested by Twitter user @Mahnoorizhere. An emoji could have more than one meaning. To clarify things further about this folded hands emoji, I surfed through “the Wikipedia of emojis” –

I found out that the folded hands emoji, among other things could be used to represent the following:

  • High Five
  • Please
  • Praying Hands
  • Thank You

Have any confusing emojis or been confused yourself? Have you been using an emoji wrongly? Share your experience in the comments below

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