36 Hand Emojis ✌️ to Signal and Share 🙌
With the constant fame of emojis, developers eventually came up with hand emojis to add more variation to the icons. Most of the emojis we use symbolize some of the text symbols that made messages fun. Before we came to love animated icons, we often copied or got creative with the letters, symbols, and numbers in keypads. However, none of us anticipated the need and fun behind hand symbolism until the debut of hand emojis.
Our emoji keyboards featured more than thirty hand icons. You can find them with other People and Body emojis on your preferred emoji keyboard. We often used them for their actual meanings while some brought confusing representation. This then sparked an ongoing debate about the real meaning behind each hand emoji. Because of this, most people chose to ignore the given names that emoji developers came up with. To help you tell the difference, we listed down all available hand emojis. With this, you can avoid any possible complaints from your followers or loved ones on social media.
Importance of Hand Emojis
As mentioned, the real meaning of hand emojis often sparks debate online. Some argue about the 🙏 Folded Hands emoji’s use. One side claims that it depicts hands in prayer while others insist the gesture shows a reciprocated high-five. Additionally, we can’t help but worry which fist emoji represents a friendly fist bump or an offensive punch.
Following the changes in emoji version 1.0, we can choose from five skin tones aside from the default yellow. Since its release, the different skin tones in Hand Emojis give light to different movements. To prepare you for your social media posts in the future, we encourage you to read our list. Learn what each Hand Emoji means and avoid unwanted conflict.
Clapping Hands Emoji
Viewers can see the 👏 Clapping Hands emoji from the left side. Thanks to the details drawn near the two hands, the emoji displays the motion of clapping. Developers initially named the emoji as „Clapping Hands Sign“ when it joined the Unicode Version 6.0 in 2010. We eventually got the versions we know when the emoji joined the Emoji Version 1.0 in 2015.
Emoji users add one or more copies of this icon to depict a round of applause. They also combine it with other two-hands emojis to emphasize the action of clapping in conversations. Because of this, you can search for it as the Applause Emoji.
Raising Hands Emoji
The 🙌 Raising Hands emoji features two front-facing hands raised with exclaimed detailing in the middle. In 2004, developers initially created this hand emoji with an animation. The moving emoji showed a yellow icon with stick arms moving up in excitement. Its head also moved up along with the fun gesture. Later on, the final design that we use only contains a pair of raised hands.
The act of raising our hands depicts different meanings in various cultures. Emoji developers originally meant to represent the Japanese term „Banzai.“ Upon screaming the phrase, we automatically shoot our hands up out of habit. This also applied to saying „Hallelujah“ or „Give Praise.“
Like most hand emojis in Unicode Version 6.0, the initial name of the 👍 Thumbs-Up emoji was „Thumbs-Up Sign.“ It gained fame for symbolizing the Like Button that we commonly used in the early versions of Facebook. The white-gloved hand with a sleeve changed throughout the platform’s various revisions. However, its presence in emoji keyboards holds more significance due to its other available skin tones.
We often use the thumbs-up emoji on social media to respond to things we agree on. In reality, we usually associate the gesture to saying „Yes“ or „Agree“ in Yes or No situations. You also might be familiar with its use in voting between friends or loved ones.
In contrast with the thumbs-up motion, the 👎 Thumbs-Down emoji symbolizes disapproval. It debuted with the thumbs-up emoji in Unicode Version 6.0 in 2010. The recent designs we see in our emoji keyboards followed the icon’s addition to Emoji Version 1.0 in 2015. Following the Like Button’s fame, the Dislike Button showcased the thumbs-down gesture on different social media platforms. However, unlike its opposite gesture, the thumbs-down icon didn’t gain enough fame to claim an online viral status.
Raised Hand Emoji
Among all hand emojis, the ✋ Raised Hand emoji hails as one of the hand gestures with the most meanings. When we raise our hands, we usually want to say or ask something, especially during classes. However, it can also be an offer of a high-five. On some occasions, you may also raise your hand to make someone stop whatever they’re doing. Some people also use it to pledge something.
The designs of the raised hand emoji look similar on almost all platforms. You can also choose from five skin tones aside from the default color. Major platforms like Samsung, Microsoft, and Twitter, display the emoji with the four long fingers close together. However, the versions from Apple and WhatsApp appear with more space in between the long fingers. Because of this, users of these platforms may confuse it for a different hand emoji.
Folded Hands Emoji or High-Five Emoji
At first look, you might think the 🙏 Folded Hands emoji is meant to depict hands in prayer. We can’t blame you since the two hands commonly signify praying at church or religious get-togethers. However, developers fashioned its design to symbolize a „thank you“ or „please“ according to Japanese culture. This came from the fact that emojis originated from their famous use in Japan.
Due to the design of the folded hands emoji, we can’t be sure if it’s one person’s two hands. At a distance, it may look like a reciprocated high-five between two people. Its design on most platforms displays folded hands with blue sleeves. In Skype, it looks like a high-five between two people due to its animation. Because of this, some people use it on social media to symbolize a successful high-five.
Index Pointing Up Emoji or Pointing Finger Emoji
You might’ve noticed the ☝️ Index Pointing Up emoji used in comments or messages to support a statement above it. We commonly add it in comments as a shortcut to upvote comments like those in online forums. However, developers designed the emoji with the number „one“ hand gesture in mind. Like the ✋ Raised Hand emoji, the ☝️ Index Pointing Up emoji also represents getting someone’s attention. Additionally, it may serve as an alternative to the 🤫 Shushing Face emoji.
In 1993, the index pointing up emoji debuted as part of Unicode Version 1.1. Like most of the emojis we know, it eventually became available to all platforms in Emoji Version 1.0. All platforms feature a right-handed detail of the index finger pointing up. It also comes in five skin tones for you to choose from.
Backhand Index Pointing Up Emoji
The 👆 Backhand Index Pointing Up emoji serves as an alternative to the ☝️ Index Pointing Up Emoji. At first, it seems like it holds the same meaning as its front counterpart. However, we often see people online using it as a subtle alternative to the 🖕 Middle Finger emoji. It first became available in 2010 as part of Unicode Version 6.0. In 2015, the version we commonly know was added to Emoji Version 1.0.
From a distance, the 👆 Backhand Index Pointing Up emoji looks similar to the 🖕 Middle Finger emoji. Because of this, it’s understandable why some people use it as an alternative to the offensive finger gesture. You may find it useful if you want to use the middle finger icon without getting banned on some online forums.
Backhand Index Pointing Down Emoji
Like the ☝️ Index Pointing Up emoji, the 👇 Backhand Index Pointing Down emoji means to point out a comment or message below. We commonly use this to point out an attached link in posts or comments. On some occasions, we add the emoji to stress an image or file attachment seen below the post. In 2010, its design was introduced and approved for Unicode Version 6.0.
In 2015, the 👇 Backhand Index Pointing Down Emoji’s design stands out with its finger gesture. Its default yellow design and backhand details appear almost the same on most platforms. Aside from the default color, you may choose from five available skin tones when using this emoji.
Backhand Index Pointing Right Emoji
Like the 👍 Thumbs-Up emoji, the 👉 Backhand Index Pointing Right emoji might seem familiar to you. Its features look a lot like the Poke Button featured during the early years of Facebook. Because of this, early users of this platform associated this hand emoji with poking someone online. In truth, developers came up with the design to simply represent the gesture of the emoji.
In 2010, the 👉 Backhand Index Pointing Right Emoji was released with the name “White Right Pointing Backhand Index.” Designers dubbed it „white“ like most fingers due to its simple overall design. Fortunately, you can now choose from five other skin tones aside from its default color.
Backhand Index Pointing Left Emoji
The 👈 Backhand Index Pointing Left emoji serves as the left counterpart of the 👉 Backhand Index Pointing Right. You might notice how most people online put the two Hand Emojis together with the 🥺 Pleading Face emoji. Well, the answer lies in the fame of cursed emojis. The combination set of the three emojis depicts the „Is For Me?“ meme. Like its right counterpart, the 👈 Backhand Index Pointing Left Emoji first became available in 2010. It also featured simple black-and-white detailing.
Middle Finger Emoji
The 🖕 Middle Finger emoji debuted as one of the earliest hand emojis. It first became available with the name “Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended” in 2014. Almost all platforms display an extended middle finger with a view of a right backhand. Some stayed true to how actual hands looked like when flipping the bird while others didn’t. However, Skype’s animated version of the emoji includes a smirking face.
When we encounter the middle finger emoji online, we instantly know the post talks about something crude. In ancient times, extending your middle finger represented sexualizing the receiver. It eventually gained notoriety in western cultures for being an offensive hand gesture. Because of this, the emoji also goes by the names „Flipping the Bird“ and „Rude Finger.“
Waving Hand Emoji or Hand Wave Emoji
The 👋 Waving Hand emoji, or the Hand Wave emoji, appears the same on almost all platforms. At a glance, you may think it looks like the ✋ Raised Hand emoji tilted to the right. However, the versions on some platforms use 🖐️ Hand with Fingers Splayed emoji instead. Designers also added at least two curved lines on one or both sides of the hand. With this, the icon seems to move despite being completely still. In 2010, it debuted under the name “Waving Hand Sign” in Unicode Version 6.0.
We use the 👋 Waving Hand emoji on social media platforms for obvious reasons. Its meaning represents the simple wave where we greet someone „hello“ or „goodbye.“ However, users of some social media platforms get offended over receiving a seemingly friendly hand wave. For example, WeChat users sometimes send the 👋 Waving Hand emoji to declare an end to a friendship.
Hand with Fingers Splayed Emoji
The 🖐️ Hand with Fingers Splayed emoji usually appears in emoji combinations instead of by itself. We usually add it with the 👋 Waving Hand emoji to emphasize the gesture online. Some people pair it with the 🎤 Microphone emoji to create the Mic Drop emoji combination. Developers came up with the hand emoji to symbolize a Five Hand. Because of this, you can find it on your keyboards under the name Five Hand emoji aside from its given name.
In 2014, the “Raised Hand with Fingers Splayed” debuted in Unicode Version 7.0. To shorten its name, the emoji went by Hand with Fingers Splayed when it became part of Emoji Version 1.0 in 2015. Like most hand emojis, you can choose from five different skin tones after a long tap over its original color.
Palms Up Together Emoji
You might recognize the 🤲 Palms Up Together emoji in your preferred emoji keyboards. It looks a lot like the 🙌 Raising Hands emoji without the extra detailing. Another difference between the two emojis is the hand’s fixed motion. Unlike the two raised hands, the Palms Up’s design commonly appears with cupped hands held up together. It might remind you of offering something with your two hands.
The 🤲 Palms Up Together emoji became available on most platforms after its debut in 2017. Popular platforms like Apple, Google, and JoyPixels fashioned their versions with cupped hands. However, the renditions of other platforms feature straightened fingers. Regardless of the differences, this Hand Emoji usually represents an open book in American Sign Language (ASL). Additionally, some people online use the gesture to represent praying in Islam.
Raised Fist Emoji
The ✊ Raised Fist emoji first debuted in the release of Unicode Version 6.0 in 2010. Almost all platforms fashioned their Raised Fist emojis with the right hand. Most of them also feature the front of the fingers tucked in the thumb. However, Samsung’s rendition of the emoji features a slight side-view of the right hand.
Developers initially came up with raised fist emoji as a variation of a fist pump in emoji form. It may also mean zero items due to its folded fingers. However, the dignified fist pump icon eventually symbolized defiance on social media. We also make use of the five skin tones to stress the importance of some movements. In truth, the ✊🏿 Dark Skin Tone Raised Fist gained fame for representing the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Oncoming Fist Emoji
Another fist pump option you can use on chats is the 👊 Oncoming Fist emoji. Like the ✊ Raised Fist emoji, all platforms designed the 👊 Oncoming Fist emoji following the right hand. You may find some of the most defined versions in Apple, Facebook, and JoyPixels. These platforms added more defined features in the fingers like lines and nails.
The oncoming fist emoji symbolizes a punch or a fist bump to the receiver. We usually use this to represent fist bumps in chats because it looks like we can respond on the screen. When it was released in 2010, people knew it under the name “Fisted Hand Sign.” You may also find it in emoji keyboards by searching „punch,“ „brofist,“ or „closed fist.“
Right-Facing Fist Emoji
The 🤜 Right-Facing Fist emoji belongs to the various fist bump options on emoji keyboards. The right-facing fist appears as the right-side view of the left hand. We usually send this emoji in hopes of receiving its left counterpart from the recipient. On social media platforms, people use the two types in pairs. With it, the two hand emojis look like a reciprocated fist bump.
Left-Facing Fist Emoji
As mentioned, we usually encounter the 🤛 Left-Facing Fist emoji online with the 🤜 Right-Facing Fist emoji. Both emojis were part of Unicode Version 9.0 in 2016. In the same year, these two hand emojis became available in Emoji Version 3.0. With this release, both emojis offered five skin tone options along with other people-themed icons.
OK Hand Emoji
The 👌 OK Hand emoji sparked various online debates for symbolizing good and controversial meanings. Initially, creators developed the emoji with its given name in mind. It was supposed to represent the famous hand gesture of signaling „okay“ or „yes.“ However, some people from Europe, the Middle East, and South America find the gesture vulgar or extremely offensive. In some contexts, the OK hand represents some groups practicing White Supremacy. Because of all this, we advise you to post the famous hand emoji with caution.
When demonstrating the OK hand, you hold up three fingers while forming an „o“ with the remaining fingers. The OK hand emoji on most platforms uses the right hand. Most of the angles also center on the „o“ formed by the forefinger and the thumb. However, some platforms display angles that show the three outstretched fingers.
Crossed Fingers Emoji or Fingers Crossed Emoji
The 🤞 Crossed Fingers emoji debuted in Unicode Version 9.0 in 2016. Its release coincided with the Emoji Version 3.0. It then featured the five different skin tones we see and use today. Like most hand emojis, we often use alternative tones instead of the default yellow color.
Also called the fingers crossed emoji, this hand emoji symbolizes wishing for luck. The emoji’s design comes from the famous hand gesture associated with the phrase, „cross your fingers.“ We automatically associate wishes or hopes whenever we encounter the famous saying. Early English Christians popularized the hand gesture in the 16th century. Back then, people crossed their fingers to ward off bad spirits. They also use the gesture after hearing someone cough or sneeze. Doing so meant you hope to keep yourself from any nearby ailments.
Victory Hand Emoji or Peace Sign Emoji
The ✌️ Victory Hand emoji also goes by the name Peace Sign emoji on almost all platforms. We also call it the „V sign“ or the „number 2 hand sign“ due to the appearance of the fingers held up. All platforms fashioned their designs with the right hand in mind. It first appeared as the „Victory Hand“ in Unicode Version 1.1 in 1993.
We commonly associate the victory hand emoji with peace or winning. Some Asian cultures also like to pose with this hand gesture when taking pictures or selfies. However, you’ll get frowned upon if you use the hand sign in Australia, South Africa, and some European countries. There, the victory hand sign with the palm facing inward is equivalent to flipping someone off.
Vulcan Salute Emoji
Star Trek fans rejoiced when the 🖖 Vulcan Salute emoji became available on all emoji keyboards. True to its name, the 🖖 Vulcan Salute serves as the main greeting between Vulcans throughout the show. Because of this, fans of the famous franchise popularized the hand gesture in real life. It eventually became immortalized as an emoji in Unicode Version 7.0 in 2014. Back then, the hand emoji went under the name “Raised Hand With Part Between Middle and Ring Fingers.”
The Vulcan Salute emoji appears the same on all platforms. Developers used the front-facing palm of a right hand. You can demonstrate the gesture by leaving a gap between your ring and middle fingers. Do this while stretching out all your fingers. For reference, you may try copying the animated Vulcan Salute from Skype’s emoji selection.
Among all hand emojis, the 🤳 Selfie emoji hails as the only icon that appears differently on all platforms. Most of its kinds feature similar positions, hand types, and details. However, the different selfie emojis stand out on each platform. Most renditions feature a disembodied arm aimed to take a selfie.
The proposed idea of the selfie emoji got approved for the release of Unicode Version 9.0 in 2016. Its fame instantly landed it a spot in the release of Emoji Version 3.0 in 2016. You may also choose between the default and the five skin tones for online posts and messages. Despite the small hand size, designers stayed true in offering a more diverse selection of emojis to users.
Nail Polish Emoji
The 💅 Nail Polish emoji offers different shades of polish, depending on the platform you use. Some include the nail polish brush while others simply display colored fingernails. It debuted in 2010 as part of Unicode Version 6.0. We encounter the nail polish emoji when someone wants to be indifferent about a post or message.
If you use various platforms, you might notice the variations of the nail polish emoji. Most include pink, purple, or red nail polish next to three or four fingers. Like most emojis, you may also choose from five different skin tones apart from the fixed yellow color. In earlier releases, Android Version 5.0 featured a bottle of nail polish without fingers.
Open Hands Emoji
Due to its simple details, the 👐 Open Hands emoji depicts different meanings when used. Its original meaning revolves around its given name. However, you might see people using it to symbolize „hugs“ or „jazz hands.“ Because of this, you may also use search for this hand icon under those names. The hand gesture looks simple and may not hold much meaning. However, you might find it useful in some emoji combinations. It may emphasize the 👏 Clapping Hands emoji or the 🙏 Folded Hands emoji.
Call Me Hand Emoji
True to its name, the 🤙 Call Me Hand emoji serves as a shortcut to saying the phrase „call me.“ The gesture involves folding your three middle fingers while extending your thumb and pinky finger. In real life, the hand gesture often appears as a shaka sign. However, you might encounter some people online confusing it with the 🤘 Sign of the Horns emoji. Because of this, the Call Me Hand’s design needs to appear on its side to resemble a phone.
The Call Me Hand emoji joined the list of available emojis in 2016. It first appeared in Unicode Version 9.0 under the same name. In the same year, developers eventually added it to Emoji Version 3.0. Famous platforms usually feature the hand emoji with the fingers. However, you may find it in its backhand position on other social media platforms.
We normally use the 🤝 Handshake emoji to emphasize agreements on social media posts or online chats. In 2016, it first became available in Unicode Version 9.0 and eventually appeared in Emoji 3.0. For more diverse options, developers came up with mixed skin tones for the handshake emoji. The new options became available to platforms supporting Emoji Version 14.0 in 2021. With this, we can choose to use specific skin tones for each of the icon’s two hands.
The handshake emoji represents the common hand greeting that we use between friends or work associates. We often shake hands in formal settings like job interviews or promotions. When it comes to social media use, the 🤝 Handshake doesn’t need to represent anything formal. It can simply symbolize an agreement between online friends or acquaintances.
Sign of the Horns Emoji or Rock On Emoji
Like most unique hand emojis, the 🤘 Sign of the Horns emoji became available on almost all platforms in 2015. Before its addition to Emoji Version 1.0, the Sign of the Horns first debuted in Unicode Version 8.0. All versions follow the right hand facing the palm to show its distinct finger positioning. You can do it with your hands starting with a fist. Afterward, place your thumb on top of the middle and ring fingers. Lastly, stretch out your index and pinky fingers while keeping your thumb down on the other two fingers.
We usually encounter the Sign of the Horns emoji online as reactions to rock or heavy metal music. You may also know the sign called as „devil horns“ due to its history in the mentioned music genres. Because of its distinct use, you may find also find the emoji under the names „devil fingers,“ „heavy metal“ or „rock on.“
Love-You Gesture Emoji
If you’re familiar with American Sign Language (ASL), you probably noticed the 🤟 Love-You Gesture emoji on your emoji keyboard. Due to its real meaning, the emoji first debuted under the name “I Love You Hand Sign” in Unicode Version 10.0. Developers eventually added it to Emoji 5.0 in 2017. Like most emojis, they modeled its features with the right hand in mind.
From afar, you might confuse the 🤟 Love-You Gesture emoji with the 🤘 Sign of the Horns emoji. We can’t blame you since their only difference lies in the thumb’s position. You must look closely to check if the thumb is extended or folded over the ring and middle fingers. If you don’t check it before sending it, your recipient might misinterpret your message. It would seem you switched the topic of love to heavy metal music.
Raised Back of Hand Emoji
The 🤚 Raised Back of Hand emoji serves as the backhand counterpart of the ✋ Raised Hand emoji. It was released as part of Unicode Version 9.0 under the same name. Emoji developers eventually included it in the icon list of Emoji Version 3.0 in 2016. You may pair it with its palm-facing alternative to further express your message. Plus, you may also add it to comments to substitute the phrase „talk to the hand.“
Flexed Biceps Emoji or Flex Emoji
We usually encounter the 💪 Flexed Biceps emoji whenever someone wants to „flex“ expensive stuff online. Initially, we know the emoji represents strength or the fruits of working out. True to its name, the flexed biceps emoji symbolizes showing off the results of your workout. It first became available in 2010 as a part of Unicode Version 6.0. Emoji Version 1.0 eventually included the famous gesture in its 2015 release.
Unlike its mechanical counterpart, the flexed biceps emoji only appears flexed at a right angle. All platforms also stayed true to the act of flexing which can only be done by clenching your hands. You may also use it for emoji combinations for exercising.
Mechanical Arm Emoji
The 🦾 Mechanical Arm emoji represents a mechanical or prosthetic arm in emoji form. Creators fashioned it after the 💪 Flexed Biceps emoji. Depending on your go-to platform, the mechanical arm emoji features an arm bent at the right angle. You may also notice that some versions appear with a closed fist while others offer a thumbs-up. However, we noticed that the renditions from Facebook and WhatsApp showcase open hands.
Writing Hand Emoji
The ✍️ Writing Hand emoji hails as one of the earliest known hand emojis. It debuted with some of the most commonly used icons in Unicode Version 1.1. It eventually became available to most platforms after being included in Emoji Version 1.0 in 2015. We commonly use it to symbolize the act of writing or taking note of something.
Despite the similar hand features, the writing material of the writing hand emoji appears differently on most platforms. Depending on the platform you use, the right hand holds either a pen or a pencil. Additionally, every platform’s version stands out with the color and details they used for each writing material.
Pinching Hand Emoji
As the name suggests, the 🤏 Pinching Hand emoji features a hand in a pinching motion. Depending on the platform, the pinching hand appears with either a partially or fully pinched hand. You may notice the difference in other platforms where the hand is angled to either the left or right side. Regardless of the various versions, the pinching motion is done between the thumb and the index finger.
The pinching hand emoji first appeared in the release of Unicode Version 12.0 in 2019. In the same year, it became available on most platforms after being part of Emoji Version 12.0. Its release is meant to symbolize the hand gesture describing a small amount. You may also use it to represent the phrase „a pinch of salt.“
Pinched Fingers Emoji
The 🤌 Pinched Fingers emoji instantly gained fame after debuting in Unicode 13.0 and Emoji 13.0 in 2020. Unlike most hand emojis, the pinched fingers emoji can appear in the left or right hand, depending on the platform. You can try out the hand gesture by bending your hand inward and closing all your fingers on top of the thumb. It’s similar to the 🤏 Pinching Hand emoji except it involves pinching all your fingers together.
When the pinched fingers emoji became available, developers meant to create an icon to symbolize the famous Italian gesture. The hand motion means „Ma Che Vuoi“ or „What do you want?“ People end up doing it after being frustrated about something. In some cultures, the hand gesture gets associated with a hand version of a dumpling.
Watch Out for Upcoming Hand Emojis
In 2021, Emoji Version 14.0 received its seal of approval with Unicode Version 14.0. With this update, we can use 7 new kinds of hand emojis. The update also accommodates the mixed skin tones proposed for the 🤝 Handshake emoji. The new additions focus on depicting more hand motions that we also use in real life. You may check out a sneak peek of the new hand emojis by searching the terms listed below:
– Rightwards Hand
– Leftwards Hand
– Palm Down Hand
– Palm Up Hand
– Hand with Index Finger and Thumb Crossed
– Index Pointing at the Viewer
– Heart Hands