[Ads-l] on the WOTY watch--"unicorn" and "unicorn poaching"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 21 16:47:01 UTC 2015

You are right that Ben has discussed "unicorns" in the past.

The phrase "unicorn poaching" might lead one to think that a unicorn
is being poached; instead, the unicorn is the poacher.

Back on March 16, 2015 I posted to the list about "unicorn" and "dead
unicorn" referring to companies in Silicon Valley with billion dollar

Paul McFedries already had an entry at Word Spy with citations starting in 2014.

Ben published an article in the Wall Street Journal on March 20, 2015:
[Begin excerpt]
How "unicorn" became a less-than-magical label for billion-dollar
startups. My latest for the +Wall Street Journal:
[End excerpt]


On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      on the WOTY watch--"unicorn" and "unicorn poaching"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> h=
> ttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/technology/unicorns-hunt-for-talent-among=
> -silicon-valleys-giants.html
> Ben will probably tell us that they've been around for a while, but I do =
> like trying to guess at what someone (like me) who encountered "unicorn =
> poaching" out of the blue would come up with for a meaning (perhaps =3D =
> the preferred way to prepare unicorns if you're a health-savvy consumer, =
> perhaps with a garlic sriracha dipping sauce).
> LH=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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