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What Do the Different Emoji Hearts Mean?


The other day while chatting on Discord, I paused to pick out an emoji to apply to a friend’s comment. I wanted to use a heart to show that I liked the comment, but I’d already used the red heart and wanted to add a little more flair. Usually I just pick a pink one arbitrarily, but in that moment, I was like, WTF do all these little hearts actually mean? Do they have official meanings? Am I using them wrong?

It’s a common question, and the answer seems to essentially be: “No, there are no official meanings,” although according to Emojipedia the hearts do at least have official names: growing heart, beating heart, and revolving hearts (to choose the three that were least obvious to me).


The revolving hearts were the most confusing, in my opinion. Why are they revolving? According to The Pioneer Woman, they mean “falling in love, or deep affection.” That didn’t seem right, so I asked a few friends.

  • “Sending love?” my husband said. “I don’t know.”
  • “Love,” a friend said. “But specifically between you and the person you’re sending it to. It’s like a step up from ❤️.”
  • Another friend said something similar: “Like ❤️,” she wrote, “but 10% more girlie and romantic.”
  • I asked Jason. “I would say there’s a strong feeling of being intertwined,” he said. “Like, I wouldn’t send that to a friend. I don’t think I have ever received that particular emoji from anyone.”
  • “Ok, I’ve never used that particular one,” another friend echoed, “but I always use the two hearts 💕 instead of a red heart, because I think it’s cuter. I have no idea what 💞 means.”

Emojipedia leaves it open-ended in its 💞 emoji-descriptor: “Hearts revolving around one or more other hearts.” (Around even more hearts?) In a 2020 post, Emojipedia also acknowledged that “intrinsically each heart has no more coded meaning than what meets the eye.”

Discussion  11 comments

Rebecca Siegel

First, I was just wondering this same thing the other day, so thank you for doing the research I was too lazy to do. Second, this (and many other reasons) is why your site has been my favorite for too many years to count. Thank you for all you do!

Josh Fireland

You know in cartoons when someone’s bonked on the head and birdies flit around above them? That’s how I think of 💞, like you’ve been knocked dizzy by love. P.S. I’ve never used it.

Caroline G.

Yeah, dizzy in love. I see the hearts as kind of spinning around holding hands (...if hearts had hands).

Edith ZimmermanMOD

Ok that’s pretty good


ok this is now canon

Reply in this thread


I'm still getting used to your regular posts, Edith, so when I read your first bullet point, I thought, "Huh, I didn't realize that Jason had married another guy." And then read the fourth bullet, and wondered briefly why Jason was referring to himself in the third person. Finally, I figured it all out. It's been a long day, and this will help me remember that you're a regular poster!

More on topic, I had never really noticed the many hearts, and I really like that 💞 could mean deep love, like two hearts orbiting each other. (Or more than two.)

Bison Bison

Our relationships with other people is what gives symbols meaning.

Different communities will give different meaning to different symbols.

Picking a random symbol to use in a conversation is an interesting tactic. Imagine if you were super engaged with a friend’s pet and instead of just saying “I love your cat” you decided to say “I love your cunt”. Similar sounds. Similar mouth shapes. Drastically different meanings. Dramatically different responses depending on if people understand that emojis aren’t your first language.

To more directly answer your question, revolving hearts imply two people falling in love. 💞 That movie trope of a new couple dancing and spinning each other around. Your love for each other is new and dizzying.

Atanas Entchev

I would totally heart this post, if I only knew which emoji to use.

jk, I love Edith's posts.

Alex Korn

I send 💞 to my wife all the time. (And as a straight guy with a mountain man beard, "10% more girlie and romantic" sounds like my emoji communication style.)

To me, it's just showing the little solar system of our relationship: two hearts, gravitationally bound to each other, orbiting each other until the heat death of the universe...


“the little solar system of our relationship” i love that


Best emoji heart → ♥️

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