unicorn bait

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the tradition that only a virgin could tame a unicorn, leading hunters to use virgins to lure the legendary beast into being captured.

Noun[edit]

unicorn bait (uncountable)

  1. (slang, humorous) A virgin.
    • 1966, David R. Slavitt, Rochelle: or, Virtue Rewarded, Chapman and Hall (1966), page 118:
      She had turned herself back into a virgin again, with that flair for backwardness of hers. An unusual talent, I thought, but of no particular use - except perhaps in a cat-house, where, by exercising it she might continue to fetch premium prices from customers with a special taste for unicorn bait.
    • 2007, Mercedes Lackey, Fortune's Fool, Luna (2007), ISBN 9781426814822, page 120:
      Who'd marry the Fool? Who'd betroth his daughter to the Fool? The very scorn that made his magic possible also made any kind of a normal life impossible. The only chance to find a woman lay among the magical creatures of the realm…and he wasn't at all sure that he wanted to make that kind of alliance with one of them.
      []
      He stared glumly down at his reflection in the mead, thinking with resignation that he was, in all probability, doomed to live and die as unicorn bait.
    • 2010, L. J. Smith, The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls, HarperTeen (2010), ISBN 9780061720819, page 140:
      He looked at her, startled and a little disappointed. Then he shrugged. "Still unicorn bait," he said.