Parental Tips

Eggplant Emoji Meaning and Use Cases: What Parents Need to Know

Emojis are used daily by many young people in their texts and social media messages with friends or even strangers on the internet. Some emojis are easy to understand, but others have secret or hidden meanings, like the eggplant.

This guide will explore the most common eggplant emoji meaning and cover everything parents need to know about the eggplant emoji and similar symbols.


What Does Eggplant 🍆 Emoji Mean

eggplant emoji

Let’s kick off with the basics. What does the eggplant emoji mean? At first glance, you might assume that this is simply a small, cartoonish representation of the real-life vegetable of the same name. However, when it comes to text communication among young people, the emoji actually has a very different meaning.

Indeed, this emoji is sometimes known as the “penis emoji” and has quite strong sexual connotations. It’s often used for sexual innuendo, sexual jokes, or for flirting or sexting. This has been going on as far back as 2011 on social media sites like Twitter, though the exact origins of using the eggplant emoji in a sexual way aren’t known.

Popularity on Social Media and Cultural Impact

As stated, the use of the 🍆 emoji mainly seemed to surge in popularity from 2011 onward. It didn’t take long for this trend to catch on and appear on other platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, as well as in private messages and texts between teens on dating apps for kids and other platforms.

The emoji became so widely used that Instagram actually had to block it and all references to it back in 2015, as it was being used as a tag for explicit content and sexual images. A year later, the American Dialect Society called the eggplant the “Most Notable Emoji” of the time, due to its widespread usage.

How and When Is the Eggplant Emoji Used

eggplant emoji meaning

Tada Images/

Next, let’s look at the who, the how, and the when of eggplant emoji usage, starting with the “Who?” In general, anyone can use this emoji, as it’s available on the vast majority of modern messaging apps and services. However, it tends to be most frequently used among younger generations who are familiar with its sexual meaning.

In terms of how the emoji is used, there are various possibilities. Some people like to use it in quite a lighthearted way to make cheeky jokes or sexual innuendo. For others, it’s more of a serious emoji, used during a sexting or sexually explicit conversations. There are also cases when the emoji is used simply as an actual eggplant, such as discussing a recipe or grocery list.

Finally, the “When?” In general, 🍆 emojis are most often seen on dating apps and similar sites or services. They can be used by couples or people who are interested in chatting with others in a sexual manner, and may also be used by young people who wish to discuss sexual subjects without necessarily using explicit words.

More Than Just Fruits – Other Flirting Emoji

The eggplant is far from the only emoji that has been given a secret meaning related to sex or flirting. There are various other seemingly simple symbols that also have their own secondary sexual meanings and appear commonly in dating or flirting chats between young people. Here’s a quick list:

  • Peach 🍑 — The peach emoji is essentially the opposite of the eggplant emoji, most commonly used to represent female sexual organs or the buttocks.
  • Banana 🍌 — The banana emoji may be used as an alternative to the aubergine.
  • Cucumber 🥒 — The cucumber, like the banana, is another alternative to the eggplant.
  • Fire 🔥 — The fire or flame emoji may be used to suggest something “hot” or sexual.
  • Cherries 🍒 — The emoji showing a pair of cherries may be used to refer to breasts.

Read also: From Apples to Pineapples: A Parent’s Guide to Emoji Fruit Meanings.

How To Talk With Kids About Using Such Emojis and Keep Them Safe Online

what does eggplant emoji mean

Kids360 app

Parents may be alarmed to imagine that their children are using or being exposed to sexual content through emojis, or even catch them using these symbols themselves. However, there are ways to talk with your kids about sexual emojis and steps you can take to keep them safe online, such as:

  • Open a Dialog: Try beginning a dialog with your kids about the topic by saying something like “I saw someone send a message with this emoji the other day. Do you know what it means?” or “Which emojis do you and your friends like to use lately?”
  • Listen Attentively: Kids, especially those in their teenage years, prefer to feel heard and listened to, rather than ordered or talked over. Listen to what they have to say and try to understand their point of view about emoji usage.
  • Discuss the Risks: Bring up some of the risks and dangers that kids may face when using emojis with sexual secondary meanings and how it could get them into trouble or make other people feel pressured, scared, or confused.
  • Use Safety Apps: To limit or control the kinds of apps and services your kids use to chat with others, install a safety app, like Kids360. Kids360 lets you block certain apps from your child’s device and set time limits for how long they can use apps that may be risky. This lets you limit their potential exposure to harmful emojis and messages.

Ensure your child’s online safety with Kids360. Take control of their digital experiences and foster a secure online environment. Download now for peace of mind!

Summing Up: Understanding the Eggplant Emoji

Clearly, despite seeming to be quite a simple and innocent symbol, the eggplant emoji has a surprising story behind it. It’s important for parents to be aware of what these kinds of symbols mean so that they can keep their kids safe and help to protect them against harassment or abuse.

Be sure to share this guide around to educate other moms and dads on the secret meanings of commonly used emojis!

Cover image: Carlos Calvo Torregrosa/

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