Emoji Guide: Meanings Behind 9 Hand Gesture Emojis

These digital icons are similar to modern hieroglyphics that do not require words to communicate. It is common for people to use emojis on social media to express their feelings or the expression they are making at the moment, whether it is in casual messages between friends or promotional marketing materials. What’s more, are you sure that the emoji you’re using is accurate for the emotion you’re conveying? It doesn’t matter if you speak a different language or not.

The use of emojis can connect anyone with just their gestures and expressions to properly use the emojis. We’ve compiled a list of hand gesture emojis and explained the appropriate expression. If you are interested in learning how to use hand gestures appropriately, proceed to the list.

  1. Open Hands Emoji 

This open hands emoji can be a hug, a display of jazz hands, or a way to raise both hands in celebration, depending on the context. The palms of both hands are facing outward, and all five fingers of the open hands emoji are extended. Others use this emoji to refer to religious activities, such as praying or praising. The “Open Hands Sign” emoji became part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010, and they renamed it “Open Hands Emoji” for Emoji 1.0 in 2015.

  1. Ok Hand Emoji

In most cases, the ok hand emoji denotes your approval of something or your acceptance of what has occurred or will occur. It also expresses that you’re already satisfied or happy and content with life in general. Using this right-handed, ten fingers and a thumb to form a circle. Some cultures may view this as an insult or a derogatory epithet, so you should exercise caution when using this particular symbol. In 2010 the “OK Hand Sign” became part of Unicode 6.0 and Emoji 1.0 as the “OK Hand” sign.

  1. Crossed Fingers Emoji

There are religious connotations to this emoji’s crossed fingers. A Christian’s use of this emoji means that they pray for God’s protection against all forms of evil and harm. To express a wish for good fortune, or perhaps to say a white lie or promise that you will do something that you don’t intend to do, you can use this expression. It’s a right hand, with the palm facing you. The index finger crosses in front of the middle finger while other fingers roll up. The “Hand with Index and Middle Fingers Crossed” emoji was added to Emoji 3.0 in 2016 and is now part of Unicode 9.0.

  1. Oncoming Fist Emoji

The oncoming fist emoji is similar to the high-five greeting, but some prefer to exchange fists instead. You can also use this emoji to show your agreement with the other person. To punch someone in the face, you would make a fist like this. All supported platforms depict it as a right-handed hand. With Unicode 6.0, the “Fisted Hand Sign” first appeared in 2010, and with Emoji 1.0, the “Oncoming Fist” appeared in 2015.

  1. Raised Hands Emoji

The emoji of a raised hand indicates that the sender wishes to “double high-five” with the recipient. Although this emoji has many different meanings, they are all positive. Another way to express happiness is to raise both hands in the air. In Japan, “Banzai!” is a standard greeting that involves both hands raised. In most cases, people only show their hands in the air, representing an accomplishment or a “hooray.” “Person Raising Both Hands in Celebration” was added to Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and Emoji 1.0 in 2015 under the name “Raising Hands.”

  1. Raised Back of Hand Emoji

Imagine a student in the classroom who has a question for their teacher. You’ll notice that their palms are facing the teacher or the other person they’d like to ask a question. The five fingers of the right hand are slightly separated and raised with the palm facing forward. By spreading one’s fingers, one can show the back of the hand. Raise the hand, and see the palm on the opposite side. In conjunction with the forward-pointing raised hand emoji, it can convey your message. In 2016, it became part of Unicode 9.0 and later joined Emoji 3.0.

  1. Thumbs Up Emoji

There is no known negative connotation to the thumbs-up emoji, which agrees with something excellent or favorable. If you’re looking for an emoji to express your agreement or acceptance, this is the one for you. Arabs also use this symbol to express respect. Known as the “Thumbs Up Sign,” the thumbs-up symbol was first included in Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and was later added to the Emoji standard in 2015.

  1. Backhand Index Pointing Left Emoji

This emoji is a right hand with the back of the hand facing the viewer. There’s only the index finger and the thumb sticking out to the left. The other fingers are tucked in and rolled. To indicate the direction you’re trying to point, use hand gestures. Separating the thumb and index finger vertically creates a pistol-like shape.

You might be able to tell when you’re blaming yourself by the order in which you put everything together. The emoji with the backhand index pointing left is the most appropriate when facing west or left. “White Left Pointing Backhand Index” in Emoji 1.0 introduced Index Pointing Left in Unicode 6.0, released in 2010.

  1. Raised Fist Emoji

The raised fist emoji conveys a strong message, whether of belief, strength, or action. It is a familiar hand gesture among politicians and other leaders. This gesture implies a fight or a stand for what they believe is right and beneficial. The “Black Lives Matter” sign has recently become a symbol of protest. As you can see, the palms of my hands are pointing toward the outside of my body. The Raised Fist emoji was first included in Emoji 1.0 in 2015 and part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010.


If you’re looking for the meaning of hand gestures, we’ve compiled this list of hand gestures and their meanings for you to use correctly. Misunderstandings of hand gestures are common. However, this list will help you correct your use of the hand gestures mentioned above!

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