MLP, Etymology, & Alicorns
Hello friends! Can you spot the alicorn in this picture?
You spotted it, didn’t you? Yep, there it is:
Yes, friends, originally / historically, an alicorn was the horn of a unicorn.
Not a winged unicorn. Which people traditionally called . . . a winged unicorn.
So how did these terms become conflated in My Little Pony lore?
Our journey begins with Piers Anthony’s books.
Piers Anthony was wildly successful fantasy author of the 80s, most known for pun-ladened Xanth books which ran from the late 70s to THE PRESENT (yes, he’s still going). I don’t know how widespread “alicorn” is across his bibliography, but at the very least he referred to a winged unicorn as such in "Bearing an Hourglass” (1985).
From there an unknown collector reads his books and the term enters the MLP community; you might be surprised to learn how early this happened.
When I got online (late 90s) many people were already referring to winged unicorns as alicorns--although some people called them pegacorns or unipegs.
I have a specific memory of a collector whose online persona was “Ivy the alicorn”, a white G1 alicorn with green hair and a green ivy symbol.
(If anyone knows the URL to her old website or can find art of Ivy, let me know!)
I know Ivy-the-alicorn predates G2 because I remember Ivy-the-person being annoyed when she learned Hasbro had used the name for a G2 pony. So we can definitively say that the term alicorn was used in the MLP community prior to 1997.
So how did this fanon term then make the leap into canon in G4?
Probably through Lauren Faust, G1 pony enthusiast and architect of the basic G4 world.
Lauren Faust played with G1 ponies as a kid. But she also collected them on the internet at some point; it’s the only way an American would know the term NBBE.
For the uninitiated, in the US there was a set of baby ponies with horrid blinking “beddy bye eyes”. But in certain other countries they were sold with normal eyes. So collectors called them “non-beddy-bye-eye ponies.”
Anyway . . . signs point to Lauren Faust being part of the early MLP internet. And anyone clicking through the MLP webrings would see other collectors’ drawings, customs, and fanfics featuring alicorns. They were everywhere!
And so . . .
Just a fun little bit of pony history. :)
826 notes · View notes
The first G3 My Little Pony toys, released in 2003! 💖
Most of these ponies would later be re-released in other sets, poses and editions. These are, to the best of my memory, the versions that were released as the first wave of G3 ponies. 🦄
All pictures from Google, although I think I still have several of these, so I’ll photograph my own at some point 😄
157 notes · View notes