📖 Glossary

List of terms commonly used in emoji character names. Many of the terms listed on this page pre-date emoji, and were used in the naming of Unicode glyphs when presented in black and white.

Pre-emoji terms can often 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 would be considered RGI.


When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, white in a character names refers to the symbol being hollow/outlined.

Example: ☺️ White Smiling Face does not refer to the ethnicity of the character, but instead means that when shown in black and white it is drawn with outlines.


When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, black in a character names refers to the symbol being solid/filled in.

Example: ☀️ Black Sun With Rays refers to the appearance of this symbol in black and white, where the sun image is solid (filled in).


When describing pre-emoji Unicode symbols, heavy in a character names refers to the symbol being thick / bold.

Example: ✔️ Heavy Check Mark

❤️ Heavy Black Heart can be interpreted as just "heart" when shown as emoji. Given this, it is displayed in red. 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

CJK Unified

Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Example: 🈹 Squared CJK Unified Ideograph-5272

Emoji Presentation

A colorful, cartoon-like appearance. By definition, all emoji characters in the Unicode Standard support emoji presentation.

Example: ✌️ Victory Hand with emoji presentation

Text 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  🏳 Waving White Flag and 🌈 Rainbow using a zero width joiner

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