Slang dictionary

pop the cherry

or popping the cherry or pop your cherry [pop th uh cher-ee]

What does pop the cherry mean?

We suppose you could technically pop a cherry by squashing the stone fruit, but the slang expression pop the cherry means to “lose one’s virginity” or “do something one has never done before.”

Related words

National Sex Day, prima nocta, incel, KHHV, Side to Side, afternoon delight, reverse cowgirl, friends with benefits, mile high club, doggy style

Where does pop the cherry come from?


Cherries as a sexual metaphor are suggested as early as the 1600s—though fruit in general has long been sexual, if you look to, say, the forbidden fruit in the biblical Garden of Eden.

Why cherries became associated with virginity isn’t exactly clear. Slang lexicographer Jonathon Green points to comparisons of the female pubis to black cherries and cherry stones, slang for “testicles.”

Whatever the reason, lose one’s cherry is found in the 1920s, used for both men and women. Popping one’s cherry is found in the 1970s and is principally used of women losing their virginity. Pop, which has sexual undertones as early as the 1600s, alludes to the breaking of a women’s hymen during sex, which may slightly bleed, evoking the red color of the cherry.

As popping cherries is about firsts, pop the cherry can be used figuratively for doing something one has never done before. First time you dived off a cliff? Popped your cherry. First time you slow-danced to Toto’s “Africa?” Popped your cherry.


Examples of pop the cherry

That's what I look like giving shade and stand up. #firsttimer #popthecherry @ The Open Space...
@OKEdKO, August, 2018
I was embarrassed I was a virgin, so I needed someone to pop the cherry and make me a veteran.
Nicole Eggert quoted by Maria Pasquini, People, January, 2018

Who uses pop the cherry?

As pop the cherry deals with sex, it isn’t exactly for polite conversation. Still, the phrase has a playfulness and youthfulness. Young adults may whisper about popped cherries as they lose their innocence—or boys may boast to their bros about popping a girl’s cherry.


The figurative pop the cherry sees fairly common use, especially conveying a sense of initiation into a new enterprise or the first time experiencing something exciting. The cherries emoji, 🍒, often accompanies these uses on social media. A modifier may be inserted before cherry to qualify the cherry-popping (e.g., I popped my Escape Room cherry).

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of pop the cherry like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of pop the cherry that will help our users expand their word mastery.