List of terms commonly used in emoji character names. Many of the terms listed on this page pre-date color emoji fonts, and were used in the naming of Unicode glyphs when presented in black and white.
Pre-emoji terms can generally be disregarded when it comes to emoji display.
RGI: Recommended for General Interchange. A subset of emojis which is likely to be widely supported across multiple platforms. For example, many flag sequences are valid, but only those with support from major vendors are considered RGI.
Non-RGI: Not Recommended for General Interchange. An Unicode character or sequence that displays as an emoji on some or many platforms, but isn't likely to be well supported.
Examples of Non-RGI emojis include ☭ Hammer and Sickle which has an emoji appearance on Samsung devices, 🏴 Flag for Texas (US-TX) which has an emoji appearance on WhatsApp for Android, and🐱👤 Ninja Cat which previously has an emoji appearance on Windows, but showed as a sequence of characters on other platforms.
Private Use Area (PUA)
Some characters such as Apple Logo are by definition only supported on specific platforms, and are not recommended for cross-platform use.
PUA characters are reserved for platform-specific glyphs or characters, and cannot be standardized by Unicode. Other PUA characters in circulation include Twitter Logo and Shibuya, which are both supported on the Twitter website.
When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, white in a character names refers to the symbol being hollow/outlined.
Example: ☺️ Smiling Face has the Unicode Character Database name of "White Smiling Face", but this does not refer to the ethnicity of the character. This means that when shown with monochrome fonts, this character is intended to be displayed using a hollow or outlined appearance.
When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, black in a character names refers to the symbol being solid/filled in.
Example: ☀️ Sun has the Unicode Character Database name of "Black Sun With Rays", but this does not refer to the ethnicity of the character. This means that when shown with monochrome fonts, this character is intended to be displayed with a solid or filled-in appearance.
When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, heavy in a character names refers to the symbol being thick / bold.
Example: ❤️ Red Heart has the Unicode Character Database name of "Heavy Black Heart". Despite the name, this is displayed in red which given emoji appearance. A separate emoji for 🖤 Black Heart exists, which is intended to be black, as it was approved in a post-emoji world.
Index finger. The first finger next to the thumb.
Example: 🤞 Hand With Index And Middle Fingers Crossed
Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Example: 🈹 Squared CJK Unified Ideograph-5272
A colorful, cartoon-like appearance. By definition, all emoji characters in the Unicode Standard support emoji presentation.
Example: ✌️ Victory Hand with emoji presentation
A black and white glyph or pictograph. Some emojis support both a text and emoji presentation. Newer emojis generally only have an emoji presentation available.
Example: ✌︎ Victory Hand with text presentation
Zero Width Joiner
A Unicode character that joins two or more emojis together to create an Emoji ZWJ Sequence.
Example: 🏳️🌈 Rainbow Flag is created by joining 🏳 White Flag and 🌈 Rainbow using a zero width joiner