Here's What the Next Round of Emojis Will Look Like

Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

In case you've been living under a rock, emojis are well on their way to replacing written language as we know it. Hell, even the buttoned-up nerds at Oxford Dictionary are on board. But if we're going to rely on pictograms to communicate, we need a vocabulary that stretches well beyond tacos and "information desk lady." The 150 new emojis that debuted last month are a good start, but there are plenty more emotions, scenarios, and penis-shaped foods that demand their own illustrated interpretations.

So what do we have to look forward to in the next batch? Final decisions won't be made until May 2016, but the shadowy committee of developers who approve emojis keep an ongoing list of potential candidates. And the future looks bright, my friends.

Unicode Technical Committee

If you've been waiting for years for that "face with cowboy hat" icon, you may be in luck, because it's in the running. Other standouts include stuffed flatbread (a gyro! Just what we needed!), facepalm, selfie, bacon, shrug, drooling face, shark, tumbler glass of whiskey, and my personal favorite: person doing a cartwheel.

The competition also gets fierce as carrot, cucumber, baguette bread, and squid are vying to replace eggplant as the go-to penis-shaped emoji.

Unicode Technical Committee

Got an idea for an emoji? It's true that anyone is free to submit, but don't expect your crude sketch of a dodo-wearing-an-eyepatch concept to get you on the list. That's partly why there are only 74 candidates right now. The powers that be (a group known as the Unicode Technical Committee) vet submissions with a very serious list of strict guidelines.

Unicode Technical Committee / Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

To get a closer look at all the contenders that might be punctuating your passive-aggressive texts next year, check out the full list here. And keep an eye out for any more that might crop up before they all go to a vote at the annual committee meeting in May. May the best emojis win.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist and an enthusiastic user of the new unicorn emoji.