Technically, ??? is the chipmunk emoji, but a lot of users think it’s a squirrel. The fact that it’s holding an acorn on many platforms doesn’t help with the case of mistaken identity.
As there isn’t a squirrel emoji (yet), most of us make do with the chipmunk emoji. Most of us. Some, though, have had enough and demand an eastern gray squirrel emoji. A petition was even started in 2017 pushing the Unicode Consortium to “Make America Gray Again.” Unfortunately for squirrel emoji proponents, the petition was closed in 2018.
If you’ve ever seen a chipmunk, you know that they’re very cute. Those big eyes and chubby cheeks make for one of our all-time favorite rodents. They’re often featured in movies as princesses’ sidekicks, helpful talking woodland creatures, and even as a high-pitched, pop-star boy band, Alvin and the Chipmunks. If people are feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sometimes they’ll post selfies along with the hashtag “#???.”
K-pop fans especially take to the chipmunk emoji, for its cuteness, when describing their favorite boy bands like BTS. Plus, there are quite a lot of Chipmunk versions of BTS songs on YouTube …
hamster face emoji
The hamster face emoji, ??, wriggles with cuteness. It expresses soft and cuddly feelings, especially toward small pet rodents-including, of course, hamsters. But, it can also be directed affectionately toward people too.
The hamster face emoji is sometimes used when describing a person’s looks, usually relating to someone’s face being cute and chubby, resembling the likes of a chipmunk. Some users like to include the hamster face emoji as part of their social-media handles, suggesting a shy but sweet personality. D’a
The pig emoji, ??, shows that classic farm animal (and tasty meat), the pig. But, it can mean so much more.
Pigs are highly intelligent animals and have long been associated in various cultures with economic prosperity, good luck, lust, fertility, and laziness. You won’t see them used much in social media in any of those representations, though. On social media, the pig emoji is used to symbolize money and banks (yes, like piggy banks) as well as greed and gluttony.
The pig is also the 12th animal in the Chinese zodiac, and those born under the sign of the pig are said to be trusting, goal-oriented, calm, compassionate, and generous. And so, people will use the pig emoji to represent these parts of their personality if they were born under this sign or if it’s the year of the pig.
An ox is a castrated bull used for farm work, but the ox emoji, ??, is applied to bovines more generally, including as a stand-in for the zodiac sign of the Taurus (bull) in Western astrology.
If the eggplant and peach emoji have taught us anything, it’s that people are pretty clever at adapting emoji for their own purposes. And so, because the ox emoji looks like a bull, people pair it with the pile of poo emoji (??) to create the word bullshit. Nice one.
People of Chinese descent or interested in Chinese culture use the ox emoji to signify they were born in a Year of the Ox, based on the Chinese zodiac. Expect to see a lot of use for the emoji in the next one, 2021, around Chinese New Year.
And finally, as a so-called beast of burden, people sometimes add the ox emoji when describing someone as a beast or just an “excellent person,” especially in sports or music.