Photo: Getty Images

13 Hawaii Emojis that Locals Love to Use

There are a lot of ways to describe island life, and emojis can handle them all.

There’s no doubt about it, emojis have infiltrated Hawaii’s local dialect. Much like with pidgin English, Hawaii residents love using emojis to describe just about everything around them, and now that there’s a shaka emoji, the age of actually typing out texts has finally passed. Here are just a few of our favorite emoticons that we see most used by Hawaii residents.

1. Shaka 

The great part of a shaka is that it can mean so many things and is acceptable in almost any social situation. So obviously, the emoji version of this classic Island finger formation has dominated our text inboxes, and is a great tool for those of us who don’t know how to end a conversation and instead just throw out a shaka.

2. Smiling Face with Sunglasses 

It’s not hard to imagine that this emoji face actually lives on one of the Hawaiian Islands. Why else would they be smiling so much and wearing sunglasses? Locals often use this emoticon to express their current emotional state (happy) and physical state (in the sun).

3. Person Surfing 

Why go out of your way to text “hey, want to go surf?” when you could just shoot out one of these little surfing dudes with a question mark. The only not-Hawaii thing about this emoji is that the surfer in question is wearing a full neck-to-ankle wetsuit, always unnecessary in our already warm waters.

4. Sunflower 

There are a lot of reasons why a Hawaii resident might text out one of these bright yellow flowers—maybe the day is exceptionally sunny, or maybe they’re headed to an actual sunflower field. The flowers bloom seasonally on Oahu’s North Shore, after all, as well as on our Instagram feeds.

READ MORE: North Shore Sunflower Season is Back

5. Rainbow 

This one’s an obvious addition, and in Hawaii, rainbow emojis are often paired with photos of actual rainbows.

6. Tropical Drink 

“Mai tais, anybody?” is the rough translation of what this emoji means. It’s often used in group texts to plan pau hana (after work) activities that will almost definitely include some sort of alcoholic beverages—probably mai tais—and pupu (appetizers).

7. Sun 

Another no-brainer, the sun’s almost always beaming down on the Islands, whether we like it or not. So when locals are asked what the weather is like, they will almost always send this emoji in response.

8. Sun with Face 

Pretty much the same meaning and definition as the sun emoji, but this time our solar system’s star features a creepy little face. Why did they decide to put a face on the sun? Who knows, but it’s a good, albeit odd, alternative to the normal “sun” emoji.

9. Hot Face 

Thanks to all that sun, Hawaii can get pretty hot. And it’s not just the high temperatures that will make locals send out this emoji to their friends and family—the high humidity in the Islands, especially after a heavy rain, can make your face look exactly like this emoticon, sweat and all.

10. Raising Hands 

If you live in Hawaii, or even spend a few weeks here, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see some awe-inspiring sights, whether it’s a waterfall or the view from the Lanikai Pillbox. And the tried and true symbol for these moments is the “raising hands” emoji, which probably isn’t what you’re doing in real life, because that would look kind of weird and also you’re texting.

READ MORE: Breathtaking Views Await Atop Kailua’s Lanikai Pillbox Trail 

11. Fire 

Sure, the “fire” emoji is popular everywhere, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t numerous occasions where you can plug it into your texts or photo captions in Hawaii. That view of Waimea Valley? Fire. That manapua you got from 7-11? Fire. The temperature of the sand at Lanikai Beach? Fire. What’s the sunburn you got at Lanikai Beach feel like? Fire.

12. Multiple Cars in a Row 

The reasoning behind this emoji chain is simple: Traffic on Oahu, especially during rush hour, can be brutal. A “pouting face” emoji and even possibly a “face with symbols on mouth” emoji are never far behind. 

13. Winking Face with Tongue 

The perfect emoji to send to your mainland friends who are jealous of your beach-going, sunset-watching, nature-trekking and surf-filled Instagram feed.