Guide on How to Say Emojis: Formal and Informal Ways, Tips, and Examples

Emojis have become an integral part of our digital communication, adding an extra layer of expressiveness to our messages. Although emojis are visual representations, we often find ourselves trying to convey their meaning through spoken or written words. In this guide, we will explore formal and informal ways to say emojis, providing tips, examples, and addressing any regional variations that may exist.

Formal Ways to Say Emojis

When it comes to formal communication, such as business emails, academic papers, or official documents, it’s essential to maintain professionalism while referring to emojis. Here are some tips for expressing emojis formally:

  1. Descriptive Language: Instead of mentioning the emoji by its visual appearance, try using descriptive language to convey its meaning. For example, instead of saying “the laughing with tears of joy emoji,” you could say “the emoji that depicts uncontrollable laughter.”
  2. Unicode Representation: In formal contexts, it’s acceptable to use the Unicode representation of an emoji. For instance, you can mention a smiling face with the Unicode representation ????.
  3. Literal Name: Another formal approach is to use the literal name of the emoji, which is often descriptive in itself. For example, you could refer to ???? as the “grinning face with smiling eyes emoji.”

Here are some examples illustrating the formal ways of saying emojis:

In our project meeting, John responded to my proposal with a message containing the emoji that depicts encouraging applause. ????

In this example, the formal description of the emoji is used instead of its visual representation, effectively conveying the intended meaning in a professional manner.

Informal Ways to Say Emojis

Informal communication, such as text messages, social media posts, or casual conversations, allows for a more relaxed and colloquial approach when referring to emojis. Here are some tips for expressing emojis informally:

  1. Visual Description: Instead of using elaborate language, you can simply describe the emoji based on its visual appearance. For instance, say “the one with tears of joy” while referring to ????.
  2. Internet Slang: Utilize internet slang or abbreviations that are commonly associated with the emoji. For example, you can refer to the ???? emoji as “ROFL” or “laughing so hard I’m crying.”

Let’s take a look at an example illustrating the informal way of saying emojis:

Just saw the cutest puppy at the park! ????

Here, the informal description of the emoji, “the one with heart eyes,” is used, which is commonly understood in casual conversation and online communication.

Tips for Conveying Emojis Effectively

Regardless of the formality of your communication, there are some general tips to consider when trying to convey emojis through spoken or written words:

  • Tone of Voice: Adapt your tone of voice or choice of words to match the emotion or expression represented by the emoji. For instance, use an enthusiastic tone when describing a cheerful or excited emoji.
  • Context: Provide additional context if necessary to ensure the recipient understands the intended meaning of your reference to the emoji. This can prevent misunderstandings or confusion.
  • Shared Understanding: Emojis have become a universal language, but interpretations may still vary. Take into account the cultural or regional differences to ensure a shared understanding of the intended meaning.


In conclusion, when it comes to saying emojis, the approach can vary depending on the formality of your communication. Formal contexts often call for descriptive language, Unicode representations, or literal names, while informal discussions allow for a more relaxed approach, utilizing visual descriptions or internet slang. It is crucial to consider the tone, context, and shared understanding when conveying emojis effectively.

By following these tips, you can effectively express emojis in both formal and informal settings while maintaining clear and concise communication.

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