This is the “deaf” emoji.

It also means “hearing” (as in the opposite of “deaf”)

The emoji uses the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “deaf.” This sign came from French Sign Language (LSF). The Deaf community in the United States used LSF because of politics back in the early 1800s. It’s a long story, but French people taught LSF to Deaf Americans, and it eventually became ASL.

British Sign Language (BSL) is completely different from ASL and unintelligible to people who know ASL. Despite the US and UK sharing a spoken language, the two sign languages are vastly different.

Case in point, the sign for “deaf” in ASL means “hearing” in BSL, the complete opposite meaning. That means that if you use the “deaf” emoji in the UK, it has the opposite meaning for people who know BSL.

In any case, it’s a weird quirk of history that Deaf people from the US can read/write in England but sign in France.

I hope you found this tiny history lesson interesting. 😊