🏷  Greek Semitic mythical creature pun · symbol   —   by Gerry · Oct 2020 · 575 words

The unicorn was a medieval symbol that still enjoys great popularity. But as with all other legendary animals, it’s very doubtful that the elites ever believed in it. In Hebrew, the unicorn is called חד קרן ḥd-qrn chad-qeren. But if you change the Ḥet to He, then that word becomes הדקרן h-dqr-n ha-deqer-en for “piercing” & “stabbing”, or even more bluntly: הדכרן h-dkr-n ha-deker-en for “penis”. This explains the strange tales claiming that a unicorn is strong & fierce, but becomes soft & tame in a virgin’s lap, and has to be fenced in. Those smutty spooks!

It’s uncertain what language the unicorn was invented in. Since the specific horned-horse unicorns are medieval symbols, I’d suggest it’s some European language. Mythical creatures with horns are plenty though, so there may well be unrelated earlier puns in different languages. The Bible also mentions a critter called ראם rˀm, translated as “aurochs” / “rhinoceros” / “unicorn”. But that word has nothing to do wth uni or horn, so it seems the unicorn translation was slapped on later.

As for the puns:

The number 1 also puns with “Jew” & “leader”. In Hebrew, the horn also puns with “finance” & “power”, and with “like someone else”. It’s thus possible that the unicorn is also a Semitic “hidden ruler” pun at the same time.

Hebrew, Aramaic ḥd = one; qrn = horn; ḥd-qrn = unicorn;

חד ḥd : one — Aramaic (CAL)

אחד ˀḥd : one; singular, unique; closed up, mysterious — Hebrew (Jastrow)

קרן qrn : horn; strength; beam, ray — Hebrew (Jastrow)

חד קרן ḥd qrn : a legendary creature, from the mythology of ancient medieval Europe, with hooves and a single horn on its forehead — Hebrew (Wikt)

יחידאי קרן yḥydˀy qrn : unicorn — Aramaic (CAL)

דחדה קרן dḥdh qrn : one horned animal — Aramaic (CAL)

Aramaic, Arabic dkr, ḏkr = male, penis

דכר dkr : male; ram; Aries; penis — Aramaic (CAL)

ذَكَر ḏkr ḏakar : penis — Arabic (Wikt)

דכר dkr : marked; male, man; the male of the flock, ram — Hebrew (Jastrow)

Hebrew dqr = pierce, stab, bore, prick

דקר dqr : to pierce; he pierced, stabbed; pungent; pierced, stabbed — Hebrew (Klein)

דקר dqr : to dig, bore, pierce; to spread, branch off; to be pierced, stabbed — Hebrew (Jastrow)

דקרר dqrr : to prick; pricked — Hebrew (Klein)

דקרור dqrwr : pricking — Hebrew (Klein)

Greek hippo = horse; keratos = horn; hypo-krites = actor, pretender, hypocrite

ἵππω híppō : horse, mare, horsemen (nominative/accusative/vocative dual) — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

κέρατος kératos : horn (genitive) — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

ῠ̔ποκρῐτής hupokritḗs : interpreter, expounder; stage actor; pretender, dissembler, hypocrite — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

🏷  Greek Semitic mythical creature pun · symbol