[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
valuations.
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2015-March/136272.html

Paul McFedries already had an entry at Word Spy with citations starting in 2014.
http://www.wordspy.com/index.php?word=unicorn

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]
http://bit.ly/unicornbz

Garson

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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