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English citations of alicorn

horn of a unicorn[edit]

ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1930, Shepard, Odell, The Lore of the Unicorn, London: Unwin and Allen, →ISBN:
    "Concerning the length of the alicorn, then, one could think almost whatever one liked."
    "By far the strangest thing in the history of opinion about the alicorn's appearance is the age and persistence of the belief in the natural spiral twistings or striae."
    "Arabian notions of the inside of the alicorn are highly interesting"
    Chapter V

    "The Arabs have introduced strange drugs, and among them the bezoar-stone and the alicorn"
    "Things have come to such a pass that no royal treasury is thought complete without its alicorn, and princes are everywhere determined to have one at any price."
    "he suspects that all the alicorns of England have come from the sea
    "He admits that powdered alicorn will delay the death of a poisoned pigeon, but says that any other horn will do the same thing by retarding assimilation."
    Chapter VI

    "He was much impressed by the alicorn in the royal museum, especially because it was so different from the horn of the unicorn that was familiar to him in his own land"
    Chapter VII

    "Lobo could say that this horn, as compared with true alicorn, was "not so sovereign, though used against poison". Pierre Pomet, writing in 1699, asserts that the rhinoceros horn is still used in the belief that it is as effective as alicorn."
    "The horn of the rhinoceros was not the only one with which this superstition was connected, so that de Laborde may be wrong after all in asserting that it was the source of the whole belief concerning the alicorn."
    "We do not know for how long such objects as my alicorn have been familiar in Mediterranean countries"
    Chapter VIII

    "Dutch and Danish scholars had told the world everything of importance about narwhal tusks and their relation to the traffic in alicorns two hundred years before the time of Roscoe."
    "Several early writers attribute to Pierre Belon, the sixteenth-century traveller and zoologist, the first identification of the alicorn with the narwhal's tusk"
    "Andrea Marini, writing in 1566, suggests that the sea, "which often breeds animals very like those of the land, and much more numerous", is the source of most of the alicorns of Europe, and he suspects that all of those in England are of marine origin because "there is not even a record of a one-horned beast in that country"."
    " In his third section Ole Wurm declares that the alicorns of Europe are the teeth of narwhals"
    "This alicorn throne of Denmark .. the legs and arms and all the supporting pieces being made of alicorn."
    "the curious monograph by Paul Ludwig Sachs, M.D., the main purposes of which are to show that the unicorn really exists, that its true name is "narwhal", and that the narwhal's "horn"--for Sachs rejects all theories about "teeth"--has at least the alexipharmic if not the magic properties formerly attributed to the alicorn."
    "The remark of Lemery that by the year 1733 the alicorn was much more common than in former times leads one to ask what had been the narwhal tusk's commercial history."
    "The mass of men, quite unaffected by Ole Wurm of whom they had never heard, went on buying powdered alicorn for more than a hundred years after his dissertation was delivered, went on drinking alicorn-water"
    "Thomas Bartholinus certainly exaggerates the influence of the Danish discovery when he implies that it stopped the traffic in narwhal tusks. "Our merchants would have filled whole ships with this pretended horn", says he, "and would have sold it all through Europe as true alicorn, if the deceit had not been detected by experts.""
    Chapter IX
  • 1933, Alexander Laing, The Sea Witch, Farrar & Rinheart:
    "This happens to be my last voyage. But even so, I intend no coercion. If he does not value the alicorn to the extent of ten thousand Spanish dollars, I'll keep it myself. I'm rather fond of the thing. You see, it's a genuine unicorn's horn, and they're exceedingly few."
  • 1945, Patrick Henry Yancey, Origins from mythology of biological names and terms, pages 4:
    Two kinds were on the market: Unicornum Verum (Alicorn), thought to be Mammoth Tusk, and Unicornum Falsum, Narwhal tusks.
  • 1982 May-June, Smith, F. G. Walton, “The Unicorn that Goes to Sea”, in Sea Frontiers: Bulletin of the International Oceanographic Foundation[1], volume 28, number 3, page 130:
    What a fabulous beast was the mythical unicorn — with its horse's head and hoofs, and a single horn, the alicorn, growing out of its forehead.
  • 1994 April 11, Belding, Tony Lee, “Holy Unicorns, Batman!”, in, Usenet[2], message-ID <>:
    Also, both alicorn and rhino horn are credited with magical healing powers (much to the detriment of the poor rhino).
  • 1997 March 17, Starfall, “Re: Black Unicorns...”, in alt.mythology.mythic-animals, Usenet[3], message-ID <>:
    Their Horn is always the same color as their head. But I'm white and my alicorn is red!
  • 2008 April 21, McLeod, Judyth A., In a Unicorn's Garden: Recreating the magic and mystery of medieval gardens, Murdoch Books, →ISBN, OCLC 319207643, OL 25192450M, page 15:
    The horn of the male narwhal, which sailors called the unicorn of the sea, is thought to have been the unicorn's horn, or alicorn, of medieval commerce. It was very widely believed that alicorn could be used to detect poisons, and when ground and added to a potion would prevent poisoning.
  • 2010 October 19, Kronzek, Allan Zola; Kronzek, Elizabeth, The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, 3rd edition, New York: Broadway Books, page 297:
    Tests to verify the authenticity of alicorn—most of which involved placing spiders near the horn and observing their reactions—were numerous, but apparently few detected bogus horn, for narwhal tusks, masquerading as unicorn horn, made their way into shops across Europe.

(nonstandard) winged unicorn[edit]

ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1984 August, Anthony, Piers, Bearing an Hourglass, Del Rey Books, published 1992, →ISBN, OL 9381602M, page 171:
    Her face became rapturous. “The Alicorn.”
    “The what?”
    “He be a winged unicorn, the finest equine flesh extant, the adoration of every fair and innocent maiden. For that steed I would give anything.”
  • 1993 February 1, Anthony, Piers, Demons Don't Dream, Tor Books, →ISBN, OL 9356602M, page 61:
    An alicorn. A winged unicorn. There aren't many, but sometimes a griffin and a unicorn will meet at a love spring—well, I don't know what happens, but then we have alicorns.
  • 1993 June 15, Shapero, Kay, “Re: Zoomorphic Mythics”, in, Usenet[4], message-ID <>:
    Nope - "alacorns" meaning "wing-horns" was derived from "alate unicorns" by a friend of mine by the name of Charlie Luce who didn't particularly care for "pegacorn", the most common alternate at the time. This back in the days of original D&D before either AD&D or, I believe, Xanth. As it filled a lack, the term was adopted by a lot of people, despite the medieval term of the same sound but different derivation and slightly different spelling.
note: In regard to the dates mentioned by Kay Shapero, D&D was first published in 1974, AD&D came out 1977-79. Xanth began in 1977 with its first novel. Evidence of either 'alacorn' or 'alicorn' being used to mean winged unicorn prior to the 1984 usage by Piers Anthony has not yet been added to Wiktionary, if it exists.
  • 1997 July 23, Mayer, John E., “Re: a question”, in alt.mythology.mythic-animals, Usenet, message-ID <>:
    Alicorn has been used in antiquity to designate the horn itself, but the use of the term for a flying unicorn is modern.
  • 1997 August 4, <>, “[Story] Unicorn Rings: Chapter 1: The Escapes”, in alt.mythology.mythic-animals, Usenet[5], message-ID <>:
    A burly orc with a helmet and breastplate wandered over to the cage and poked the trapped alicorn.
  • a. 1998, Bellacera, Richard D., “Rich's Pegopedia”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[6]:
    Some modern authors claim that the Alicorn is a term for the species of flying unicorns from the Latin words ala meaning "wing" and cornu meaning "horn," however, the ancient writers used the word to denote the actual horn of the Unicorn which purports to have magical healing powers when the tip is dipped into a body of water. In this respect the term alicorn may find it's[sic] roots in the Latin words alima meaning "of the sea" or alere meaning "to nourish" or even alius meaning "other source or knowledge" and, of course, cornu. (See: Cerapter, Unicorn).
  • 1999 May 15, Twyligtsky <twyligtsky@aol.comSKYMAGE>, “Re: RP: First appearence!”, in alt.mythology.mythic-animals, Usenet[7], message-ID <>:
    A silver portal opens in the sky and a ebony alicorn stallion gallops from it the silver tips on his black wings shine in the sun's light.
  • 2005, Anthony, Piers, Pet Peeve, Tor Books, →ISBN, OL 3421362M, page 13:
    There had evidently been something of an event at a love spring. He saw strong evidence of wolf, unicorn, bird, and human. But he wasn't sure how four creatures could have done it; two was more likely. Maybe an alicorn, which was a winged unicorn, and a werewolf. That would account for the wings and hoofs, though they did not appear in the same form, and the wolf and human aspects. "You must be a wericorn," he said.
  • 2011 September 19, Diomedes, “Princess Celestia”, in Canterlot[8], retrieved 2012-03-15:
    Species: Alicorn or Unisus, depending on the nomenclature system used.
  • 2013 February 16, Tabitha St. Germain and Andrea Libman as Rarity and Pinkie Pie, “Magical Mystery Cure”, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, season 3, episode 13, 16:32:
    Rarity: Why, you've become an alicorn! I didn't even know that was possible.
    Pinkie Pie: [wearing a costume horn and wings] Alicorn party!