๐Ÿ’€ Skull Emoji: Go And Get Your Creepy On

Written by: Ortega
Modified: Nov 29, 2022

For centuries, humans have used skull images as a symbol of danger or something poisonous. In general, it is a warning sign. Its online version, the ☠️ Skull emoji, is all that and a little more. The ☠️ Skull emoji is one of the most versatile emojis there is, with a variety of meanings, depending on the context. At its most basic, it represents death, idiomatically and literally. We will talk more about that below.

human skull

Photo from Adobe Stock


The Evolving Meaning And Use Of The Skull Emoji

When exactly can we use the ☠️ Skull emoji? Since it represents death, for example, when someone is feeling extremely ill as a result of a hangover, they may say, “I feel like death,” and put a skull beside that. It can also be used to mean “kill me” after someone has done something particularly humiliating to them.

Another way it can be used, opposite to the one we just shared, is to demonstrate to the world you are dangerous and that anyone who messes with you could suffer serious consequences.

Come Halloween time, the skull emoji is also frequently found with other scary emojis! Expect to find numerous skull emojis on October 31 all the way to November 1 or 2! Even though it may be quite foreboding in nature, the skull emoji should definitely be a part of anyone’s online arsenal because it is just so versatile! To have a tiny icon capable of conveying quite a lot of information completely at your disposal should definitely not be ignored, right?


Appearance Of The Skull Emoji

skull emoji, Apple version of the Skull emoji

So, how will you know if the symbol you are dealing with is a skull emoji? Basically, the emoji is an online version of the human skull, a bony structure that supports the face and forms a protective cavity for the brain. The skull emoji has two black eye sockets and a triangle nose. Some platforms display a more rounded skull and a bunch of teeth, while other platforms do not have teeth at all!


Gen Z’s Skull

actor holding human skull

Photo from Adobe Stock

As discussed earlier, this emoji has different tones, depending on the context of the conversation. The skull emoji is sometimes used to talk about dying or pain in a slightly humorous way, like when one is dying from laughter, for instance.

For the millennials and those part of Gen Z, the skull emoji is their way of reacting to something they find very funny. Instead of saying it in words, when they share the emoji it’s a person’s way of saying, “What you said is so funny, I’m dead.”

In addition, the skull emoji may also be used to indicate or to represent various scary or spooky things, like horror movies or Halloween.


Other Skull Emoji Names

colorful human skull

Photo from Adobe Stock

Versatile through and through, the skull emoji has many names ranging from Human Skull Skeleton, and Grey skull. Instead of calling it the skull emoji, some prefer to use the names Dying From Extreme Laughter, Death, or Poisonous, the last one due to the symbol’s use as a warning label for various poisonous substances.

Wondering how one simple symbol can acquire so many names? Here’s how – when the Unicode Consortium, the group responsible for approving and releasing new emojis, released the skull emoji in 2010, phone manufacturers and apps put their own twist on the icon, changing the name and even the design of the emoji.


Skull Emoji Design Across Platforms

skull emoji on different platforms

All the skull emoji designs come as a human skull, but the shape of the skull is often different. Apple and Facebook’s versions display a more dome or half-circle type shape. On the other hand, Twitter’s skull is flatter, bluer in color, and looks more like a ghost than an actual skull. Meanwhile, the JoyPixels version doesn’t even have a mouth.

Another major design difference would be the presence of teeth, the skull emoji displayed on Apple, Facebook, and Samsung has teeth, while Google, Twitter, and JoyPixels’s skulls don’t have any teeth.

If you’ve been dealing with emojis for quite some time now, you know that all Windows emojis come with a black border. This was a design standard that started during the Windows 10 Anniversary update in 2016 and hasn’t stopped. For the skull emoji, though, Microsoft took things up a notch by putting the symbol inside a black border.

When it comes to color, the skulls throw off a grayish-white emoji pattern. Facebook’s and JoyPixel’s coloring is whiter than the others, while Twitter’s is more blue than gray, or even white. All in all, the details on Apple’s version are the most complete and the closest design-wise to a real-life skull.


Skull Emoji In Online Content

Spooky black Halloween decor against a wood background, skull and other Halloween decor, Halloween decorations against a wooden background

Photo from Adobe Stock

Now that we know more about the skull emoji, let’s move on to the application side of things. To help you use this symbol, we came up with samples you can send to friends or loved ones. If you want to include them in your social media posts, and not send them to anyone, in particular, feel free to do that, too!

– 💀of laughter after seeing all those crazy dog memes!
– Will never get tired of telling you riding a motorcycle without a helmet is extremely dangerous 💀
– Pulling out all my💀decorations so I can redecorate my living room in time for Halloween!

– Want to look 💧​💀​👸​✨​at the party tonight? Wear a red dress with a nice slit! That will make them stare. [What it means: drop dead gorgeous]
– 💉​💊​💀 is one of the top causes of death in the United States. If you are dealing with depression, there’s nothing wrong about asking for help. [What it means: suicide]
– Legend says, in the ​💀​🌊​📜​, one 📜 reveals 63 places where gold and silver can be found. None of those treasures have been found, though! [What it means: dead seas scrolls]


Skull And Crossbones Emoji

Skull And Crossbones emoji, Skull And Crossbones symbol

It would be impossible to talk about skulls without mentioning a symbol most of us are familiar with, thanks to the legends of swashbuckling pirates and their seafaring exploits. It is, of course, the ☠️ Skull And Crossbones emoji.

Pirates’ Legendary Symbol

female pirate sleeping holding bottle

Photo from Adobe Stock

The skull and crossbones symbol captures the essence of the pirate mystique. Today, young and old pirate fans keep that spirit alive by wearing the emblem as a piece of jewelry, on belt buckles, or pendants. Some even use it as a design for tattoos. Online, the pirate mythos and fandom live on through the ☠️ symbol.

This ☠️ Skull And Crossbones emoji shows a human skull over a pair of bones forming an X, as seen on a pirate flag or the symbol for poison. The skull and crossbones emoji represents death, misfortune, negativity, fear, angst, and other painful emotions.

Skull And Crossbones Design

Skull and crossbones symbol on a gravestone

Photo from Adobe Stock

For a long time, this symbol has been associated with death, gravestone carvings, and danger. The emoji version of this is very much the same. Design-wise, the skull and crossbones emoji is similar to the skull emoji except it has crossbones, two arm bones or leg bones placed or shown crosswise. That is the only difference!

Here are some examples of effective ways to use the skull and crossbones emoji, to either boost content and generate engagement.

– As a child, did you dream about being a pirate? ☠️ Many stories and movies show the “glamorous,” side of being a pirate. In reality, living life on the open seas was far from easy.
– Sugary sodas should come with a warning label ☠️️ Drinking them will make your teeth rot.
– After forgetting to inform our boss about the meeting, I might as well go to work with a ☠️️ on my head!

– Came from a ​😭​☠️​⚰️​ of my cousin who died so young, life is short so let’s make the most of it. [What it means: funeral]
– ​Saw the 🧀​🐁​☠️​in the kitchen which means the trap I bought worked! [What it means: mouse caught in a mouse trap]



Last but not the least, if you prefer more educational content, you can always use the skull emoji in a literal sense. Yep, talk about the human skull itself!

teacher and students in lab talking about a human skull

Photo from Adobe Stock

Share five things people don’t usually know about the human skull. To start, ask them to guess the only moving bone in the human skull, the mandible or jaw bone. Or that 22 bones make up the skull, but teeth don’t count because teeth are not actual bones.

If your content is more on the artsy side, sharing skull artwork or skull hairstyles might entice your followers. When it comes down to it, the most common reason why users struggle with social media is a failure to keep their target audience in mind. You should be able to determine what is worth sharing or posting by considering your audience.

Woman with skull makeup

Photo from Adobe Stock

As you go about with that, make an effort to include the skull emoji or skull and crossbones emoji in your content. Based on an article on Falcon.io, a unified SaaS (Software as a Service site), for emojis, in addition to humanizing your brand, emojis can significantly increase engagement for social media marketers. Facebook posts with emojis receive 57% more likes and 33% more comments and shares than those without, and tweets with emojis have a 25% higher engagement rate.

If you’re unsure whether an emoji has an alternate meaning, there are two ways to go about that. You can do a Google search by entering the emoji in the search bar. Or look it up, here on Emojiguide!

skull with flowers

Photo from Adobe Stock

All right, that’s all we’ve got for today. ‘Till the next emoji adventure, stay positive, keep on learning and keep on discovering, no matter what! As the old pirate saying goes, “The rougher the seas, the smoother we sail. Ahoy!”