The secret world of middle-aged emojis: What your parents are really saying in their texts

AFTER identifying emojis used by teens to mean drugs or sex, police have published a shocking guide to what the middle-aged really mean when they use the symbols.

The guide, which alerts teenagers to the coded messages their parents are sending to each other, exposes a hidden world of depravity and lower back pain.

Aubergine, cherries, peach = haemorrhoids

Used to covertly communicate that a middle-aged person is suffering piles and is in desperate need of a tube of Anusol from the chemist, who may be referred to as ‘the dealer’ to conceal the true nature of this nefarious transaction.

Turd, devil face, clown = their children

Children are rarely referred to by name as the parent doesn’t like them enough. Instead disparaging emojis are used, as in ‘[turd emoji] failed GCSE mocks, looks like I’m not on the hook for tuition fees! [party popper emoji]‘.

Slot machine jackpot, pink admission ticket, fish on hook = had sex last night

Glimpsed only occasionally, these emojis indicate that a pair of disgusting, overweight and inappropriately hairy and/or balding people got it on last night, an activity which should rightly be reserved only for the young and hot.

Thought balloon, fog, face in clouds = I’ve got some weed in

Using different, and less cool, emojis allows the old to signal they have scored a quarter of white widow, as in ‘[fog emoji] so come round and we’ll watch a shitload of Friends on Netflix’, an activity kept strictly secret because it’s exactly what the kids do.

Pregnant man = kids on about f**king gender again

No Gen X texter may ever admit out loud that they doubt the young’s belief in the gender revolution, lest they be cancelled. The pregnant man emoji neatly conveys their exact feelings to other fortysomethings without a word needing to be said.

Happy family = I hate all these bastards

Exclusively used ironically.

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10 great gift ideas for people you don't like

WITH only four shopping days left until Christmas, you need to hurry if you’re going to get a cursory present for people you don’t care about or actively dislike. Here are some suggestions.


Coasters are… a thing. They protect certain surfaces and… er… maybe you can have fun tidying them away in their little rack? Basically if you get excited by coasters there’s something wrong with you.

A keyring

Has the recipient been struggling with key storage and retention issues? Probably not. Ideally it should have some forgettable item attached, eg. a small enamel Union Jack, to make it fractionally less uninteresting.

An unflattering age-related mug

Know someone in their 40s who’s not where they they want to be in life? Get them a ‘This is what middle age looks like’ mug or similar. It’ll remind them of their abandoned dreams and inexorable physical decline. And they’ll be forced to laugh or they’ll look bitter and twisted.

Shit TV spin-off book 

Nothing says ‘Literally no thought has gone into this gift’ like a thrown-together cash-in book based on a very obvious TV series, eg. The Grand Tour A-Z of the Car. Want to know what an arrester bed is? No. No one does.

Shit comedy book 

Every Christmas there are more of these than f**king snowflakes. Definitely get someone you despise Things To Do While You Poo On The Loo. The only danger is they’re such a twat they’ll find it hilarious.

Celebrations (carton pack)

Edible but low-end chocolates costing an unflattering £3. No one hates them, but no one loves them. You may as well tell the recipient: ‘You are a personality-free void.’

Rank fortified wine

Decent sherry to sip at or ginger wine is a seasonal pleasure. Don’t buy that. Get the fruit-flavoured shit that chav teens like to barf up, eg. MD 20/20, a sickly brew that tastes like undiluted cordial. As the gift victim stares in disbelief, say you ‘thought it looked nice’.

Jacob Rees-Mogg calendar

A novelty item, naturally, but it just serves to remind you of Rees-Mogg’s existence and loathsome actual personality (not the 19th century gent twattery) which is a lying, verbose, arrogant, dissembling, right-wing, patronising, smug bastard. Just what you don’t want on your wall.

Pizza wheel 

These seem like a good idea, but are rarely needed or work effectively. You can jazz it up and get one in the shape of a motorbike or whatever, but the message is the same: ‘I couldn’t care less if you live or die.’

A film you like

Not only are ‘classic’ films cheap on DVD, a total lack of empathy or consideration makes choosing one easy. Perhaps a female acquaintance loves frothy rom-coms? You like the brutal 70s crime thriller Get Carter, so she’s getting that. You’re broadening her horizons, not that you care.