The hottest, most anticipated drop of the summer was announced last week: 72 brand new emojis coming to set your text game on fire. But as our diligent Weekend Editor, Emanuel Maiberg, highlighted in his comprehensive ranking of the new icons, the latest roll out threatens to shake up everything we know about suggestive cartoon simulacrums: There are multiple new, vaguely-phallic contenders threatening to usurp the eggplant as the de facto penis emoji.
First, let me reiterate that yes, the eggplant emoji is used as a stand-in for tallywackers. SwiftKey, a third-party mobile keyboard app, collects data on which emojis its users are sending and in what combinations. The eggplant emoji is used way more than other food emojis, according to SwiftKey's analysis, despite the actual vegetable's relative unpopularity. Further proof: Instagram blocked searching for the eggplant emoji as a hashtag, saying it was "consistently associated" with nude pics. And when Kim Kardashian is tweeting nothing but an eggplant and a peach emoji, you know the subtext has broken into mainstream.
But could the eggplant be edged out by new contenders, like the baguette, cucumber, or hotdog? I reached out to SwiftKey to see if its data could help us predict what our future peen messaging might look like.
"This is purely speculative, but we don't think it's likely that eggplant will be usurped by any of the newest emoji that are more phallic in shape," Nicky Budd-Thanos, a spokesperson for SwiftKey said in an email.
Budd-Thanos pointed to the wide cultural recognition of the emoji, but also had some stats to back it up. The corn emoji, which was released at the same time as the eggplant, is arguably just as phallic, yet it's not nearly as popular:
"The eggplant is more popular than the corn emoji, used over four times as often as the corn," Budd-Thanos said. "As far as we can tell, other similarly-shaped emoji like the corn or the banana are not being used by themselves in the same way that the eggplant is. However, the corn is commonly used in emoji combinations with the banana and eggplant, and the banana is commonly used with the eggplant."
The graph above also compares usage rates of the unicorn, nerd, and exaggerated frowning face emojis, showing that adoption rates for the newest emojis is very slow. Budd-Thanos said this could possibly be because of users not upgrading, or not knowing about the new emojis.
She also noted that it will take awhile for the new emojis to roll out, because it requires an operating system upgrade, and even then the emojis look different from phone to phone. One of the suggested designs for the baguette, for example, is two crossed loaves, which doesn't exactly call to mind anything overtly sexual (except for bread itself, which is sexy as hell and delicious).
So don't despair if you still have an affection for the eggplant as your go-to weiner stand-in. Though it's yet to be seen how popular the new buffet of dick emojis will be, it's unlikely any will be able to top the ruling member.