πŸ‘Ž Thumbs Down Emoji: Show Your Disapproval Quickly With Zero Fuss

Written by: Ortega
Modified: Dec 20, 2022

Something happens, and you don’t like it. Maybe you read a disturbing news article, or you’re trying to talk your friend out of making a bad decision, but they’re just not listening to you anymore. When words fail to reach that stubborn friend, start using emoticons. To express your strong disgust with the situation, there’s no better symbol to go to than the 👎 Thumbs Down emoji.

Group of Caucasian students doing the thumbs down gesture, friends doing a thumbs down gesture, sad friends with their thumbs down

Photo from Adobe Stock


Thumbs Down Emoji

Thumbs Down emoji

By using the 👎Thumbs Down emoji, you are saying you completely disagree with your friend and want them to know it. You’ve tried everything, so you keep sending them emoticons. Perhaps they’ll get the hint soon. If not, keep clicking your screen to add emojis to your message! When you’re not in the mood to argue, and you just want to say no, there’s no better symbol of disapproval you can use.

Less Talk, More Emoji

In essence, you are softening the blow, and lightening the mood of a particular situation. A 👎 is definitely less threatening than a NO or NEVER – as long as you use it sparingly. This is why no website is complete without emojis. They make communicating easier.

For instance, there are some things we say face to face, in person, or over the phone, that we are not as comfortable writing down. You may be quite warm and loving, but it doesn’t come across in your emails or text messages.

Emojis Bring The Feels

smiley doing thumbs down sign, Thumbs Down emoji, sad smiley with the thumbs down

Photo from Adobe Stock

Family and friends you talk to think you’re too harsh or too cold. But when you put a ❤️ Red Heart emoji or 😘 Face Blowing a Kiss emoji in your texts or emails, you say, “I love you,” without having to put it into words. The emojis help express feelings without making them appear too serious or passionate. Admit it- a picture is definitely worth a thousand words!

On the other hand, pictures are subject to interpretation, as well, and if something is open to interpretation, its intended meaning is not clear. Thus, people may have different opinions about it

Therefore, emojis need to be carefully understood and used intentionally to avoid embarrassing situations. How you use emojis vary greatly depending on the content, agenda, platform, and recipient. Was all that too much to take in at the moment? That’s where we come in.


Everything You Need To Know About The Thumbs Down Emoji

In the succeeding sections, we do a deep dive into the world of the thumbs down emoji. By the end of this article, you’ll have learned how to use it. You’ll also know more about where it came from, other names it has, etc.

Appearance And Definition

The 👎Thumbs Down emoji shows a disembodied hand made into a fist, with the thumb completely extended and pointed downwards. The thumbs down gesture is displayed as either right or left facing, palm or back of the hand, depending on the platform.

Earlier, we talked about the thumbs down emoji’s general meaning, how it’s used to show disapproval or discontentment. This emoji can also refer to a bad rating. Hated the movie you just saw? Or the book you read? Give it a thumbs down!

Skin Tone Options

Thumb down emoji gesture, thumbs down gesture in different skin tones, thumbs down icons against a beige background

Photo from Adobe Stock

Some emoji platforms allow you to change the skin tone of the emoji; otherwise, it appears with a yellow complexion. If the site, or app, or operating system you are using is skin tone versatile, you’ve then got five color variations to choose from.

They are the:

Choose an emoji with the skin tone closest to yours to make your post feel more realistic. Seeing how emoji designers go to great lengths to make their symbols as close to real life as possible is nothing short of amazing!


Thumbs Down Emoji Origin Story

Smiley with red sunglasses doing the thumbs down gesture, Thumbs Down emoji, smiley against a red and yellow background

Photo from Adobe Stock

Emoji lovers first caught a glimpse of the 👎Thumbs Down icon when it was released to the public as part of Unicode 6.0. This was in 2010. When it was first made, Unicode labeled it the “Thumbs Down Sign.”

But when Apple picked up the symbol, they took out the word “sign” and went with “Thumbs Down.” Other vendors came up with their own names, ranging from “Bad” and “Dislike” to as simple as “No.”

18 other body emojis were introduced along with the thumbs down emoji – 👋 Waving Hand emoji, 👌 OK Hand emoji, 👍 Thumbs Up emoji, 🙏 Folded Hands emoji, and 💅 Nail Polish emoji, being some of the most popular. Five years later, the 👍Thumbs Up emoji was added to Emoji 1.0, Unicode’s first release of emoji documentation, which covers all emojis approved between 2010 to 2015.

In the early days of emoji, the Unicode Consortium, the governing body in charge of releasing new symbols, obviously saw how important it was to create and introduce icons of body parts. So much so, when Unicode first introduced support for emoji in version 6.0, out of all of the types of symbols in the list, body parts took up the biggest amount of space.


Thumbs Down Emoji Across Different Platforms

Before the Unicode Consortium releases a new batch of emojis, it makes sure all characters it approves adhere to a set of design guidelines. However, once it is sent out into the world, programs, platforms, and designs may exercise some creative license in their respective presentations of each character. This is accepted as long as the final product remains within the original guidelines.

As a result, much as letters of the alphabet might seem different depending on the font used, emojis won’t look the same, especially in terms of element orientation and color. Be that as it may, with the thumbs-down emoji, the differences are fairly subtle.

thumbs down emoji on different platforms

Facebook Stands Out

Almost all designs for the emoji feature a thumb extended, facing downward. The thumbs are facing the screen, except for the ones displayed on Facebook. Facebook’s version stands out like a sore thumb because it is facing the opposite direction. Instead of seeing fingers, users get a view of the hand’s knuckles.

Windows, Twitter, And Google Shades

The Windows version of the thumbs down emoji stands out too, but in quite a different way – not only is it the only one encased in a black outline, while all the other fingers in the group are facing left, but Windows is also the only one with fingers facing right.

When it comes to color, the icon’s default flesh tone shade transitions from light to dark, depending on the platform or mobile device one’s viewing it on. Google’s version is a mix of yellow and orange. On the other hand, the thumbs down emoji on Twitter is light yellow.

Apple And JoyPixel: Closest To Reality

Meanwhile, JoyPixel’s thumb looks closest to a real hand, it’s the only one that’s beige, and it’s got sharp lines on its palm. In contrast, Twitter’s version is the most unrealistic looking of them all. Zero lines are on the hand, giving it a flatter appearance.


Thumbs Down Emoji In Digital Content And Social Media Posts

People of different nationalities doing the thumbs down gesture, bad feedback at a video conference, thumbs down at a video call

Photo from Adobe Stock

After learning the ins and outs of the thumbs down emoji and what it means, how it looks on different platforms, it’s now time to turn our knowledge into action!

Here are some creative ways to use the thumbs down emoji in emails, social media posts, and texts:

– The boss gave a 👎 on your idea to repaint the office in blue.
– The “Wrinkle In Time“ movie was so far from the book 👎 What a waste of time in the movie house.
– Girls asking guys out? It’s still a 👎for me.

– Wearing a hat to work coz of my ​👎​💇​📅​ ​[What it means: bad hair day]
– My grandmother has been crying all morning because she broke a mirror at home and believes she will get 7 years of ​👎​🍀​[What it means: bad luck]
– ​👍​🤳​👎​? It took me an hour to get the right angle! [What it means: do you like or don’t like my selfie?]


Thumbs Up Emoji

Thumbs Up emoji, Apple version of the Thumbs Up emoji

Everything that goes up, eventually comes down, and that which goes down, eventually comes right back up. It’s a basic law of nature, one that can also be applied to emojis. Namely, with every thumbs down is a corresponding thumbs up!

When you want to show disapproval you use the thumbs down gesture, but if you want to express approval or support, you put your finger in the opposite direction and do a thumbs up!

In a face-to-face conversation, the thumbs up gesture indicates liking something, or someone. The 👍Thumbs Up emoji, a symbol made based on the gesture, is used online with exactly the same meaning.

Men and women of different nationalities doing the thumbs up sign

Photo from Adobe Stock

For example, it might be used instead of “yes” to answer a question. It may also indicate that the sender likes or approves what was sent to him. Like the 👎 Thumbs Down emoji, the 👍Thumbs Up emoji comes in five distinct skin tones users may copy and paste into their messages.

The five color variations are as follows:



Young female working doing the thumbs up and thumbs down action

Photo from Adobe Stock

Like it or not, emojis are a big part of how people communicate these days. As the weeks, months, years go by, more and more people are hopping onto the emoji bandwagon, and it shows! So much so, based on a report published by Social Media Today, 92% of online users use emoji. To add to that, more than 30% of users share emojis several times a day!

So, if you want to boost your online presence, communicate more effectively online, or simply get closer to your followers, it’s a must to learn the ins and outs of the emoji world, along with the rules that come with it. Like what we are doing with the thumbs down emoji.

Handle With Care

Two hands in blue gloves doing a thumbs up

Photo from Adobe Stock

As an example, using negative emojis can give people a negative perception of you. It’s okay to share your opinion, we’re all entitled to our own opinion, but don’t overdo it. One 👎 is fine, 👎👎👎 one after the other translates to HATE, or I HATE THIS. Some people might find that a bit intense, and decide to unfollow you, or avoid you altogether. You don’t want that!

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Origin

Thumbs up emoji thumbs down emoji in yellow, thumbs up and thumbs down

Photo from Adobe Stock

You might be thinking to yourself, it’s just a harmless little symbol, the thumbs down emoji, what can it do? A lot, actually. To end the article, we leave you with a story about the origin of the thumbs up, and thumbs down signs.

Did you know those gestures originated during the days of gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome? When a choice had to be made about the destiny of a battered warrior, if the defeated warrior fought well, he could be spared by a thumbs up gesture. If he had fought badly, he could be slain by a thumbs down. Symbols are very powerful. Back then, whether a person lived or died, all came down to one gesture.

Nowadays, decisions are made with more tact and diplomacy. Sure, you can still kill a person, but in a different way. When not executed properly, social media usage can actually damage your or someone else’s reputation, inadvertently killing them. So before you share the 👎Thumbs Down emoji along with a scathing comment, think before you click. Better yet, think before you speak. Being careful could save you and the people around you all kinds of headaches.