Unicorns Around the World: The Many Names of a Magical Creature

Unicorns Around the World: The Many Names of a Magical Creature

Unicorns have captured our imaginations for centuries. Whether they’re galloping through enchanted forests in storybooks or gracing the pages of ancient mythologies, unicorns are universally recognized and adored. But have you ever wondered how people around the world refer to these magical beings? The word “unicorn” might be familiar to us, but in other languages, it takes on different forms, each with its unique pronunciation and charm.

It’s fascinating to see how a single concept can be interpreted in so many ways around the globe. Below is a list of the word “unicorn” in various languages, showcasing the diversity and richness of global linguistic traditions. It’s a small reminder of how connected we are through our shared love for these mythical creatures, transcending language barriers and cultural differences. Discover the beauty of the word “unicorn” in the tongues of the world.

The List

  1. Eenhoorn (Dutch)
  2. Einhorn (German)
  3. Caballo de unicornio, Unicornio (Spanish)
  4. Cornul unicului (Romanian)
  5. Enhjørning (Danish)
  6. Einhorn (Yiddish)
  7. Enorog (Slovenian)
  8. Enhörning (Swedish)
  9. Jednorożec (Polish)
  10. Kỳ lân (Vietnamese)
  11. Licorne (French)
  12. Qilin (Chinese, traditional mythological creature similar to a unicorn, see here)
  13. Unicorn (English)
  14. Unicornio (Portuguese)
  15. Unicorno (Italian)
  16. Yksisarvinen (Finnish)
  17. Μονόκερως (Monokeros, Greek)
  18. Единорог (Yedinorog, Russian)
  19. ユニコーン (Yunikōn, Japanese)
  20. 유니콘 (Yunikorn, Korean)
  21. Anicorn (Welsh)
  22. একশৃঙ্গ (Ekśṛṅga, Bengali)
  23. Еднорог (Ednorog, Bulgarian)
  24. Ükssarvik (Estonian)
  25. Jednorožac (Croatian)
  26. Einhorn (Luxembourgish)
  27. Jednorog (Serbian)
  28. Licorna (Galician)
  29. Eenhyrnig (Icelandic)
  30. Ükör (Hungarian)
  31. एकशृंगी (Ekśṛṅgī, Hindi)
  32. Unicornis (Latin)
  33. Unikorno (Esperanto)
  34. נאָרשטערן (Norstern, Yiddish, poetic)
  35. Einhorn (Low German)
  36. Unicornu (Sicilian)
  37. Eenhorning (Afrikaans)
  38. Tekboynuz (Turkish)
  39. Unicorn (Irish)
  40. Einhorn (Pennsylvania Dutch)
  41. Jednorožec (Slovak)
  42. Licorn (Haitian Creole)
  43. Licornă (Moldovan)
  44. Narval (Catalan, a real animal often associated with unicorns)
  45. Róg jednorożca (Polish, literally “horn of a unicorn”)
  46. Seah-k’ing (Cantonese, a regional term for Qilin, similar to a unicorn)
  47. Unicorni (Corsican)
  48. Unicorniu (Sardinian)
  49. Unikornis (Latvian)
  50. Ünükorn (Azerbaijani)
  51. Аднорог (Adnorog, Belarusian)
  52. Еднорог (Yednorog, Macedonian)
  53. Енорог (Enorog, Ukrainian)
  54. Եզմակերպիկ (Yezmakerpik, Armenian)
  55. יַחִיד קֶרֶן (Yachid Keren, Hebrew)
  56. ერთყრუელა (Ertqruela, Georgian)
  57. አንድ ቀንድ (And Qend, Amharic)
  58. ยูนิคอร์น (Yūnikhxrn, Thai)
  59. එකසිංහලයා (Ekasiṁhalayā, Sinhala)

Unicorn Language Fun Facts

  1. Cool Roots: The word “unicorn” is like a combo of two Latin words. “Uni-” means “one” and “cornu” is like “horn”. So, unicorn literally means “one-horned”. You’ll find similar words in languages like French (“Licorne”) and Italian (“Unicorno”).
  2. Different Vibes in Asia: In places like China and Korea, they call unicorns “Qilin” or “Kilin”. They’re not like your typical unicorn; they’re more like fantasy creatures with flames and sometimes dragon-like features. Pretty epic, right?
  3. Old-School Unicorns: Way back in ancient texts, unicorns weren’t always the horse-like creatures we think of today. They were more like wild, tough animals, and this old-school view shows up in the different names they have in various cultures.
  4. It’s All About the Horn: In Greek, the word for unicorn is “Monokeros”, which straight-up means “single-horned”. It’s like saying, “Hey, it’s all about that one special horn!”
  5. Unicorn Language Mashup: Nowadays, languages that didn’t originally have a word for unicorn just make up their own, often mixing their own words for “one” and “horn” (for example Japanese, Finnish). It shows how the unicorn craze has spread all over the world.

The picture shows a possible Yksisarvinen, a finnish unicorn under northern lights. All images were created by the AI DALL-E.

A possible Yksisarvinen, a finnish unicorn under northern lights.

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