The Brief: The Unicode Consortium's emoji 13.0 update includes a much talked about symbol known as the pinched fingers emoji.


This emoji, which is one of the 117 new ones included in the 2020 update, is officially known as the “pinched fingers emoji” and includes options for six different skin tones. Like many hand symbols and emoji, this one has several common interpretations including an Italian chef’s kiss, an Arabic sign meaning “be patient,” and the sex act known as fisting.

Cross-Cultural Significance

The nuances of this new emoji vary depending on context and culture. It’s commonly being labeled as the Italian or chef’s kiss because of an already existing internet meme about the gesture. In Italy, pinched fingers may most commonly be used as a sign of disagreement, but it’s also well-known by non-Italians as a quintessential hand gesture. The concept “chefs kiss emoji” has been circulating online for years as a way to represent someone being so pleased or excited about something (food or otherwise) that they’d make this gesture and kiss their fingers out of delight. This meme has been so widespread that people have been typing out the phrase *chefs kiss emoji* and have created unofficial emoji-like images.

In Arab countries and cultures, this gesture means “wait” or “be patient.” When used by parents to answer a child’s request, it can be another way of saying “no.”

For others, the pinched fingers emoji has a more sexual connotation, becoming known as the “fisting emoji.

According to this Twitter user, the symbol could be flipped to create a “picking up dumplings” emoji: