What word could we use to describe someone who doesn't believe in unicorns? Ideally, looking for a (newly made or existing) Latin-based word.


1 Answer 1



a- is the alpha privative, which denotes absence.

μονόκερως (monokeros) is the Greek word for unicorn.

For the ending, the Greeks use -ιστης (like in οἰκιστής), which in Latin is ista.

In English, the word could be simply "amonocerist."

  • 3
    Do you know of any examples of alpha privative being used to mean "doesn't believe in X"?
    – brianpck
    Dec 11, 2017 at 15:24
  • 3
    @brianpck You mean besides atheos?
    – cmw
    Dec 11, 2017 at 16:53
  • 1
    Can you add that explanation to the answer itself? Explicit comparison with "atheist" and other attested derivations would make the case stronger. As it stands, it's all too easy to parse it as @brianpck and I did.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 11, 2017 at 18:04
  • 1
    @brianpck The OP never asked for Classical Latin. I assumed, since they mentioned modern coinages, that Neo-Latin, which used and still uses the suffix in abundance [proof], suffices.
    – cmw
    Dec 12, 2017 at 1:00
  • 1
    I also don't think we can take from atheos and make amonoceros, since in Classical Greek atheos is less "atheist" and more "godless." It made better sense in a pre-Christian religious context where "belief" isn't a talking point.
    – cmw
    Dec 12, 2017 at 1:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.