Where does come from?
Oyster is the name we give to a number of salt-water, bivalve mollusks that live in calcified shells in the ocean. Via French and Latin, the word oyster ultimately goes back to the same Greek root (concerning “bone”) that yields the prefix osteo- and verb ostracize … if you’re into words and stuff.
For thousands of years, oysters have been prized by humans both as a food substance and for their pearls. In some instances, oyster shells are also prized for their lovely color (although that doesn’t apply to all oysters).
Approved under Unicode 12.0 in 2019, the oyster emoji, in its releases so far, generally shows an open white or gray oyster shell with yellowish flesh and a small pearl in it. On unsupported platforms, the emoji displays as an empty box.
Just as the eggplant emoji 🍆 became repurposed for male genitalia, some people (such as Jael Goldfine put it in Paper magazine in February 2019) have supposed the oyster emoji 🦪 may be taken up for the female counterpart.
Who uses ?
As of 2019, the oyster emoji is still fresh so evidence for its specific applications are only emerging.
Early uses find oyster emoji used in contexts of oysters as fine food …
This is how to Monday: NEW MENU ITEMS.
🦐 Greens & Grains with grilled shrimp + avocado
🍕 Althea, a Greek salad-style pizza with charred tomatoes, spinach, marinated artichokes, olive pepper relish, pepperoncini, feta + mozzarella
🍞 Burrata with toast
🦪 Baked oysters pic.twitter.com/l51OmSc8Gt
— City Tap Boston (@CityTapBoston) April 22, 2019
… and an important organism.
"You can think of oysters just like trees in the forest" 🦪 @billionoyster 🤯
— Ocean Heroes Bootcamp (@OceanHeroesHQ) March 13, 2019
Certain types oysters are prized for the pearls they produce, so expect to find the oyster emoji in contexts referring to those precious objects (e.g., jewelry, pearl of wisdom).
FIVE MAJOR AWARDS + EIGHT MINOR AWARDS! 💕🤘
Gr. 11 (SHS Set-A) FILM FEST 2019 ✨ pic.twitter.com/RMBUbLIRRX
— 𝖕𝖊𝖆𝖗𝖑𝖞 𝖘𝖍𝖊𝖑𝖑 (@perlasngsempol) January 24, 2019
The rare pearl one may discover inside an oyster gave rise to the expression the world is one’s oyster, or “life’s opportunities are available to you.” The oyster emoji is a perfect punctuation to the sentiment.
The world is his oyster! 🦪🌍 ^TJ
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) March 29, 2019