Do We Need More Emojis?
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Unicode Consortium has accepted another 38 emoji characters as candidates for Unicode 9.0, with new characters including bacon and a duck on the list. Why could we possibly need a duck?


The people at Emojipedia (who definitely need to get out more) have created mockups of the candidates to show the way the characters will look if they are approved.

Many of the new characters are the ‘other half’ of gender-matched pairs, so the Dancer emoji (which is usually rendered as Apple’s salsa dancing woman) gets a Man Dancing emoji, who frankly looks like a cross between John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and your dad at the wedding disco.


Would Salsa Dancing Woman really dance with Dad Dancer?

I doubt it.

Other ‘pairs’ include Mother Christmas for Father Christmas, a Prince (or at least, a Person with Blond Hair and a Crown) for the Princess; and a Man in Tuxedo (aka Groom) for the Bride character. Well, if that sums up what women apparently want – princes, bridegrooms, dance partners and the chance to be Mother Christmas – then I may have to resign from the Internet.



There are a number of new face characters, several of which I could have used while looking through the partners, including the new Nauseated face, Face Palm face, and Rolling On The Floor Laughing face. The other faces include clown, cowboy, lying, drooling, and selfie.

Hand gestures are another area where requests to Emojipedia and the Unicode Consortium have apparently been very high, particularly for a fingers crossed emoji. Other hand gestures in the new pack include two fist-bump, handshake, and ‘call me’.

The food and drink section continues to amuse; a post about the new suggestions on the emojipedia blog says that the new Clinking Glasses emoji 

“is expected to have high frequency of use, due to its association with celebration or success”.

Other additions include carrot, cucumber, and avocado, and bacon.


How did the emoji world survive without a bacon emoji until now?

The list of additions is rounded off with new animal emojis. Some are the ‘missing’ zodiac symbols (lion and crab). Others are as baffling as ever – is there *really* a demand for a mallard duck? Sorry it's in fact a drake!


But if you are tempted to dismiss the very idea of emojis as something too frivolous to merit being included in Unicode, or even as something that is reducing our ability to communicate using language, then it is worth noting that they were recently endorsed by well known experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker.

His point, made in an interview with The Atlantic, is that, rather than destroying the English language they are can be a safe way to include irony and can also provide a clarity of signal.

 "As anybody who has had a flareup with their partner can attest, texts don’t always land in the way intended. That is what emoji do: they are our oh-so-cute allies in ensuring that we make ourselves understood."

The team at Emojipedia has included mock-ups of the way the new emojis might look on its blog post and the draft black and white versions can be seen on the Unicode blog.  

More Information 

Unicode 9 Emoji Updates

Unicode 9.0 Candidate Emoji

Related Articles

Unicode 8 Released

Unicode 7.0 Released

New and Old in Unicode 7

Unicode Issues in Perl


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 August 2015 )