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About

The Clap Emoji is an ideogram depicting two hands clapping which is often used online to depict the "ratchet clap," the practice of clapping one's hands between words to add emphasis in a condescending manner.



Origin

In 2010, the clapping hands emoji was added to the official Unicode emoji set.[5] On May 3rd, 2014, Urban Dictionary[1] user Alexandria Princess submitted an entry for "ratchet clap," defining the expression as an applauding gesture used by "ratchet" people to "emphasize a point or statement."

Spread

On July 28th, 2015, the clap emoji was listed in a Complex[2] article titled "Emojis That Have a Second Meaning on #RapTwitter," which noted that the ideogram is used for "extra emphasis when making a point, declaration and/or statement." On September 20th, Tumblr user cat-pun[7] published a post in which the clapping emoji is used for emphasis when questioning why people reblog their own personal posts (shown below). Within 10 months, the post gained over 51,000 notes.

On February 26th, 2016, the Disney entertainment blog Oh My Disney[6] published a listicle titled "10 Disney Quotes That Work Perfectly With the Handclap Emoji." On March 17th, The Night Show aired a segment on "Black Lady Sign Language," in which comedian Robin Thede describes how black women "double clap on syllables" for emphasis (shown below).

On April 6th, Slate[3] published an article about the clap emoji's use for adding emphasis to statements made online. On July 31st, Redditor MPixels submitted a post asking about the clap emoji to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[4] where many cited it's usage for emphasis.



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