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Emoji are quite popular now on macOS/iOS along with other software platforms. For many people, they are an integral part of day to day conversation over apps like Messages and WhatsApp.

However, many folks end up using them based solely on instinct rather than knowing their exact meaning/name. There comes the question.

Emoji keyboard

Is there any mechanism to determine the name of an Emoji when entering one, while using Emoji keyboard? Long press comes to mind, but that gesture appears to be reserved for selecting skin tone variation. While Emoji can be searched for using the search bar (In WhatsApp for macOS, which uses the same set as Apple), I am looking for a way to determine the name for a particular Emoji, while choosing to enter it.

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    Half the problem is the names are... dull, dull, dull; the other is sometimes they don't mean what you think they mean. I was really looking forward to aubergine for dinner, so I sent 'eggplant' + 'OK hand sign' to my girlfriend.. for some reason she got an entirely different idea... :p – Tetsujin Jun 1 '18 at 19:37
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    I have had a similar experience when someone used Face with tears of joy where he wanted to express sorrows. – Nimesh Neema Jun 1 '18 at 19:44
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In macOS Messages.app, hovering the mouse pointer over an emoji shows its name:

enter image description here

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    Thanks. Mouse pointer hovering is very natural for this, but somehow I didn’t think of that. I am more interested in discovering if there’s an analogous approach for iOS. – Nimesh Neema Jun 1 '18 at 19:20
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    I couldn't find a physical mechanism in iOS to do this! This site has all the Apple emoji. Click on the Categories sidebar for the names. – IconDaemon Jun 1 '18 at 19:24
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As answered by @IconDaemon, in macOS, the name of an Emoji can be determined by hovering the mouse pointer over it.

In iOS, there isn’t any way to read the Emoji name/description. However, there’s a way to listen to the name of the desired Emoji.

To listen to the Emoji name, go to Settings app → General → Accessibility → Speech and enable Speak Selection.

enter image description here

Now, pull up the Emoji keyboard, enter the desired Emoji, and long tap to select just the Emoji. In the menu shown, along with Cut, Copy etc., Speak option is now shown. Tap on Speak item to hear the Emoji description.

enter image description here

  • How does this help if you are hearing-impaired? – IconDaemon Nov 7 '18 at 22:37
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    @IconDaemon It doesn't but this is the only way I can find to determine the Emoji name. – Nimesh Neema Nov 26 '18 at 14:19

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