Understanding the Dotted Line Face Emoji Meaning 🫥

Have you ever come across the dotted line face emoji 🫥 and wondered what it means? In this article with Impeccable Nest, we will delve into the dotted line face emoji meaning, its history, usage, and interesting facts. So sit tight and let’s explore together!

What Does the Dotted Line Face Emoji Mean?

The dotted line face emoji features a neutral facial expression with a dotted line where the mouth would be. This signifies that the mouth has been zipped shut, implying that the person is keeping a secret or withholding some information.

Some example meanings and uses of the dotted line face emoji include:

Indicating you can’t or won’t speak about something

This emoji has become popular for use in situations where someone wants to indicate that they cannot or will not speak about a particular topic. For example, if someone were to say “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you!” followed by the 🫥 emoji, it would be clear that they are jokingly implying that the topic at hand is so secret that they cannot reveal it without serious consequences.

For example:  “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you!” 🫥

Signaling confidentiality or discretion

Similarly, the 🫥 emoji can be used to signal confidentiality or discretion, such as in the phrase “What happens at book club stays at book club.” In this context, the emoji indicates that the speaker is committed to keeping the events of their book club meeting a secret, even if they are pressed for details.

For example: “What happens at book club stays at book club.” 🫥

Conveying that your lips are sealed

In other cases, the 🫥 emoji can convey that your lips are sealed, indicating that you have promised not to tell something. For instance, if someone asks you if you know who is going to be promoted at work and you respond with the 🫥 emoji, it suggests that you are aware of the information but are not at liberty to share it.

For example: “I promised not to tell.” 🫥

Teasing that you know a secret

Sometimes, this emoji is used to tease others that you know a secret that they don’t. For instance, if someone says “Hey, what’s the big secret?” and you respond with the 🫥 emoji, you are playfully suggesting that there is something you know that they do not, which can create an air of mystery and intrigue.

For example: “I know something you don’t know!” 🫥

Showing you have insider information but can’t divulge it

Lastly, the 🫥 emoji can be used to show that you have insider information but cannot divulge it. For instance, if someone asks you how you knew about a certain event before it was publicly announced and you respond with the 🫥 emoji, it implies that you have a source of information that cannot be revealed.

For example: “Let’s just say I have an inside source.” 🫥

Origins of the Dotted Line Face Emoji

The dotted line face emoji was approved under Unicode 14.0 in September 2021, and rolled out to major operating systems in 2022.

The emoji originated from a proposal by Google, which they explained as follows:

“A face with diagonal dotted eyes and dotted line for a closed zipper mouth. Intended to represent someone who cannot speak about a secret.”

So the inspiration was clearly around conveying secrecy and confidentiality in a lighthearted way.

Prior to the dotted line face emoji, many people resorted to using 🤐 Zipper-Mouth Face to indicate not speaking about something. However, 🤐 has a more serious connotation of being hushed, quiet, and not wanting to voice an opinion.

The dotted line face offers a more playful and ambiguous take on keeping something to yourself. The neutral expression leaves the exact emotion up for interpretation, while still getting the core meaning across.

How People Use the Dotted Line Face Emoji

Since its introduction, the dotted line face emoji has quickly been put to use to convey secrecy, privacy, and discretion across social media, messaging, and online forums.

Some example contexts it’s commonly used in include:

  • Reactively, when someone asks you not to tell a secret: “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone 🫥”
  • Proactively, to signal you can’t or won’t speak about something: “All I can say about the ending is… 🫥”
  • Humorously, to suggest you know an inside joke or secret info: “What really happens at bachelorette parties… 🫥”
  • Teasingly, to pique curiosity and intrigue: “I heard a rumor about Jen and Alex! 🫥”
  • To politely avoid sharing controversial opinions: “I’d better not say what I think of the new policy. 🫥”
  • To affirm discretion about sensitive topics: “Don’t worry, I understand this is confidential. 🫥”

The dotted line face emoji has a flexibility that allows it to work in both serious and silly situations where keeping quiet is the mode du jour. It’s handier than laboriously typing “I can’t say” or “My lips are sealed”.

Comparison to Other Silent / Secret Emojis

Prior to the dotted line face emoji, there were a few other options for indicating silence, secrecy or confidentiality:

  • 🤫 Shushing Face – Conveys a more forceful “be quiet!”, not just keeping a secret.
  • 🤐 Zipper-Mouth Face – More serious and to-the-point about not speaking.
  • 🤭 Face with Hand Over Mouth – Embarrassed or coy about an accidental revelation.
  • 🤥 Lying Face – Deception rather than discretion.

The dotted line face emoji carves out a niche related to – but distinct from – these other emojis. It comes across as more voluntary, neutral and ambiguous. This adaptability makes it useful for a wider range of situations where you’re intentionally not speaking about something.

Issues and Controversy

While the dotted line face emoji has so far been mostly positively received, there has been some debate about whether it promotes secret-keeping and exclusion:

  • Its critics argue the emoji romanticizes concealing information, when transparency should be the ideal.
  • However, most accept that harmless secrets are a reality of human relationships – the emoji simply reflects that truth with humor.
  • Some feel the emoji could aid marginalized groups in discretely signaling acceptance and solidarity.
  • There are also concerns the emoji could enable harassment or bullying by indicating “I know your secret”.
  • But the emoji’s intent is not inherently negative; as with all communication, context matters.

Overall, the dotted line face emoji meaning of “I can’t say” seems useful enough to outweigh potential downsides – especially given we already widely accept emojis like 🤐 and 🤭. Time will tell if any harmful usage patterns emerge.

5 Key Takeaways About 🫥 Dotted Line Face

  1. It signifies zipping your mouth shut and not speaking about something.
  1. The dotted line represents keeping something secret or confidential.
  1. Its neutral expression makes it flexible for serious and playful situations.
  1. It was added in Unicode 14.0 based on a proposal by Google.
  1. It fills a niche related to but distinct from 🤐 Zipper-Mouth Face.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Dotted Line Face Emoji

What’s the difference between the dotted line face emoji and the zipper mouth emoji?

The zipper mouth emoji (🤐) conveys not speaking more literally and seriously, while the dotted line face (🫥) has a more ambiguous, playful tone about keeping something secret or private.

Can the dotted line face emoji be used passive-aggressively?

Yes, it could potentially be used sarcastically to imply “I know something you don’t want me to” or as a smug taunt. As with all communication, context matters.

Is the dotted line face emoji appropriate for workplace communication?

It may be ok among colleagues who have an informal rapport, but avoid overusing it in formal business contexts where discretion is better conveyed in words.

What happens if someone sends me the dotted line face emoji?

They likely can’t or don’t want to speak openly about something. You can follow up lightheartedly if you’re comfortable, but don’t pressure them to reveal anything.

Does the dotted line face emoji promote harmful secret-keeping?

While it can suggest withholding information, its intent is playfulness. Most accept keeping harmless secrets as part of human relationships. How it’s used matters more.


The dotted line face emoji 🫥 succinctly conveys discretion, secrecy and confined knowledge. Its versatility allows it to be used for silly jokes about bachelorette parties, keeping your best friend’s secret crush under wraps, or politely signaling confidentiality about sensitive work issues.

Of course, as with any communication, considering context is key. But overall the dotted line face emoji meaning of “I can’t say” fills a useful niche in our emoji vocabulary. Just don’t expect anyone who uses it to reveal what exactly they aren’t saying!

Understanding the meaning of emojis like the dotted line face emoji 🫥 can help you communicate more effectively and avoid misinterpretation. So next time you come across this little emoticon, remember its meaning and use it wisely.

I am Lois Mullins, an enthusiast in emoji deciphering. Over the recent years, I have continuously updated and delved deep into the knowledge of emoji decryption.

I take pride in my extensive knowledge of decoding emojis, particularly in the Emoji Meanings of Impeccable Nest . I believe that a profound understanding of decoding these symbols can be beneficial for individuals in comprehending the nuances of language when someone sends them an emoji.

By grasping the nuances and potential misinterpretations of these emotional symbols, I am confident that people can use them more effectively to express their emotions and build stronger connections with others. I am committed to sharing my knowledge with the community so that everyone can harness the power of emojis in their everyday communication.

If you are seeking an experienced individual ready to share their passion for emoji deciphering, I hope for the opportunity to collaborate and learn from others. Together, we can create innovative and unique communication experiences!

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