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The Upside-Down Pineapple’s Not-So-Secret Meaning

The Upside-Down Pineapple’s Not-So-Secret Meaning

Sometimes people use random objects to communicate a secret message with others who are in on the secret. The cat eventually gets out of the bag for the symbolism, and the true meaning gets revealed. An upside-down pineapple has had a somewhat secret meaning for years, but it’s not so secretive anymore. 

So what does an upside-down pineapple mean? Let’s look and see!

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What Does a Pineapple Symbolize?

A pineapple may not mean what you think it means in every situation. Different cultures have used the fruit to symbolize many things. Here are a few things people might be trying to communicate when using a pineapple.

Friendship

Many people consider the pineapple to be the “friendship fruit.” Multiple countries use it to represent the friendship shared between two parties. This has been the case in the U.S. since the 13 original colonies.

Many business owners that set up shops in the colonies would display a pineapple or the symbol to communicate a friendly environment. Potential shoppers saw the pineapple and knew the business had a warm and welcoming vibe to it. For some, the pineapple can even mean something more than friends…but more on that later.

Woman gifting a friend a pineapple
Pineapples can be a sign of friendship and hospitality.

Hospitality

While you may be able to hop in your car, drive to your local grocery store, and grab a cartload of pineapples, it wasn’t always that easy. The only way to get the tropical fruit in the U.S. was to import them from the Caribbean islands. This was a time-consuming process and wasn’t possible for just everyone.

Giving someone a pineapple was a sign of exceptional hospitality during this time. Today, a host might offer you a bottle of wine or champagne upon your arrival. It’s simply their way of showing you’re welcome to make yourself at home.

Good Fortune

Pineapples have become a sign of good luck in many Asian cultures. New homeowners in Singapore will often christen their new homes by opening the door and rolling a pineapple across the floor. They’ll even enjoy a short cheer that translates “to prosper” in English.

While you may see a four-leaf clover and consider it lucky, it’s replaced with a pineapple in these cultures. You’ll often see the funky fruit on clothing, jewelry, and in artwork.

Who knew this prickly fruit could have so many meanings?

Pro Tip: Will pineapple make it into Our Top 10 Favorite Road Trip Snacks? Find out!

Two women holding pineapples in front of their faces by pool
In many Asian cultures, pineapples can be a sign of good fortune.

What Does an Upside-Down Pineapple Mean?

While pineapples can have a variety of meanings, an upside-down one typically means one thing – the individuals displaying the upside-down pineapple are swingers. This has become a common symbol that swingers use to identify each other easily.

You might spot an upside pineapple as a lawn ornament, house decoration, or even a welcome mat. In areas with large numbers of people, some couples wear pins or other upside-down pineapples to alert others of their lifestyle.

Two fruits  with sunglasses on drinking cocktails
While pineapples have many wholesome meanings, they are also a symbol for swingers.

What Are Swingers?

Swingers are typically couples who engage in a swinging lifestyle when it comes to sexual encounters. This could include swapping partners for sexual activities at group events. This is often referred to as “partner-swapping” or “wife-swapping” in these circles.

Is the Swinging Lifestyle Common?

The swinging lifestyle isn’t very common. Business Insider reports that only 5%  of the population identifies as swingers. So it’s not necessarily a commonly held belief amongst couples. If you’re looking for the upside-down pineapple, you can find it, especially on cruises and other large public gatherings. However, it’s not as easy to spot as you’d think.

Three people standing arms linked holding pineapples
If you see an upside down pineapple, it can be a sign that the couple are swingers.

Other Symbols for Swingers

While the upside-down pineapple is the most popular symbol for swingers, it’s not the only one. There are a couple of other commonly used symbols to alert others of this alternative lifestyle. However, these aren’t nearly as obvious or tried and true as the upside-down pineapple.

Garden Gnomes

These welcoming and somewhat creepy creatures are for more than providing a garden with some character. Some swinging couples use garden gnomes to alert others of their lifestyle. However, it’s important to remember that just because you see garden gnomes doesn’t mean the couple is a swinging couple.

Is it possible they’re swingers? Absolutely. However, you’ll want to consider whether they simply find the character cute or charming. 

Pink Flamingos

A popular thread on Reddit dug into the rumor that pink flamingos are also a symbol of individuals and couples looking to swing. Again, this could be a homeowner who hadn’t updated their lawn decorations since the 70s and 80s when pink flamingos were trendy. Pink flamingos are particularly popular as RV park lawn ornaments and are still widely seen in campgrounds today.

On the other hand, some rumors are circulating that it’s true. Is it a foolproof method? No. However, if you see a strangely placed pink flamingo, it may be intentionally placed and sending a secret message. But, don’t assume the flamingo means swingers, as it may be an awkward encounter if you do.

Pro Tip: Fruit flies gathering around your pineapple? Use these tips to Get Rid of Fruit Flies In Your Home or Camper.

What Does The Pineapple Mean?

Pineapples Are Useful Upside Down or Right Side Up

Whether you prefer your pineapples upside down or right side up is entirely up to you. If you’re looking for an upside-down pineapple, you’ll likely spot one eventually. We’re not going to argue one way or the other, but we will say without a shadow of a doubt that pineapples are delicious when actually used as a fruit.

Did you know all the secret meanings of pineapples? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Lenora Graziani

Saturday 24th of December 2022

The pink flamingo is an Airstream thing. If you see one in front of an Airstream, it doesn’t mean anything!

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