What the new pinch emoji means around the world

Published: February 7, 2020
PHOTO: Twitter

PHOTO: Twitter

One way of adding extra meaning to your text messages is through emojis which can convey a thousand words.

Emoji 13.0 is the set of 117 new emojis that have been approved for release in 2020, the “pinch emoji” gesture is designed to represent the Italian hand gesture ma che vuoi (or “finger purse”).

The “What do you want?” Pinched Fingers Emoji Proposal submitted by y Adriano Farano, Jennifer 8. Lee and Theo Schear of Emojination to Unicode.org explain the significance of this emoji.

It is part of the Italian gestural expression which is now widespread in Mediterranean countries and according to research published by the New York Times; Italians use this gesture roughly 250 times a day.

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The gesture is used by pinching your fingers against the thumb and moving your hand back and forth against your chest which translates to “what do you want?”

The proposal also highlights the significance of the pinched finger gesture in history and even movies, for example, the veteran Italian actor Antonio De Curtis, better known as “Totò” would make use of this gesture on the screen.
In fact, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in 2015 was seen flaunting this gesture to give an impactful speech in the Italian Parliament hence it is not just an emoji but represents the Italian culture and celebrates their tradition.

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Not just Italians but many other cultures use the same pinched finger gesture to make a point, for example, one blogger mentions that this is an expression used for “just about everything”, and in Israel, it means “Wait a minute.” “Hurry up!” “Relax!”

More people took to their Twitter account to share what the ‘pinched finger emoji’ means in their culture;


Popular food chain Subway was instantly on board by using the pinched finger emoji;


The proposal was accepted and therefore we will soon be seeing this emoji in 2020.

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