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    Therian & Otherkin Terminlology

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    Kai
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    Therian & Otherkin Terminlology

    Post  Kai on Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:06 pm

    ~Basic Terminology~

    Animal-Hearted/Other-Hearted – Animal/Other-hearted is when an individual strongly identifies with a species of creature. It's more than a fascination or like of the creature, like in the furry fandom, but not quite to the point of being something you identify as, like with a therian or otherkin. The creature you feel a connection with will replace the animal part of the phrase. For example, you identify strongly with dragons, you would be dragon-hearted.

    Awakening - The process of realizing and accepting that you are a therian or otherkin, and then discovering your therio/kin type.  Not everyone experiences an awakening.

    Transspecies & Non-human - Terms used to describe all of the various communities as a whole collective (Otherkin, Therian, and everything else) who believe that they are not totally human on some intrinsic level either spiritually or psychologically.

    Otherkin/Otherkinity (see also Transspecies and Non-human) - A community of people who (non-physically) identify as, in part or in whole, one or more non-human beings. Typically they identify as creatures from mythology or folklore, with the occasional person identifying as an extra-terrestrial, or inorganic being.  This term is typically used to encompass all non-human identified groups (Otherkin and Therian) but some groups still reject this notion.  

    Shifting - A general term for experiencing any kind of shift, be it phantom, mental, astral, or otherwise.  This event, whether forced or involuntary, is how non-humans tend to feel somewhat closer to their types. (See types of shifting below)

    Therianthrope/Therian/Therianthropy - A person who believes that they are, in part or in whole (non-physically) one more non-human animals, on a deep personal/integral level. This may also include plant-types as well. (See types of Therians below)

    Therio-type/Kin-type - The type of non-human species a therian or otherkin identifies as. (IE. My therio-type is a Wolf or my kin-type is a dragon or I am dragonkin. - Please note:  It is unacceptable to say that you are “kin with” something or that “your kins are”)

    Phytanthrope/Plantkin – A person who believes that they are, in part or whole (non-physically) one or more non-human plants, on a deep personal/integral level.  This includes any plant life (trees, shrubs, etc..).

    Theriomythic – A person who believe that they are, in part of whole (non-physically) one or more mythical type creatures (IE. Dragon, griffon, etc.).  Uncommon terminology and rarely used.  

    Fictionkin - The term given to individuals who identify as a character, or a species, from a work of modern fiction (IE. A pikachu, Legolas from LoTR, etc..).  Fictionkin are typically only seen as being Otherkin when they identify as something that isn’t human.  Otherwise, they are simply Fictionkin. (Proper use for typing:  Ficto-type)

    Fictive – Same as fictionkin, but belonging to a multiple system.

    Factkin - The term given to individuals who identify as someone from the past who has actually lived such as a historical figure. Factkin are typically not seen as a type of Otherkin given that they are not non-human and reincarnation really doesn’t need another name within the human realm. (Proper use for typing: Facto-type)

    Polymorph – An Otherkin/Therian who appears to have a very wide range of species they identify as, possibly having no limit and no set “default” species form.  Individuals identifying as such should seriously consider if they just haven’t discovered what specific species they actually identify as yet before claiming to be a polymorph.

    Shapeshifter Otherkin– An Otherkin who has a “default” species form but by some method are able to shift into another species at will.

    Greymuzzle – An older term in the otherkin, therian, and furry communities that denotes someone who is typically over the age of 30 and has been in one of the communities for a considerable amount of time (10 years or more).  

    Multiplicity (Multiple System) – When one or more individuals share the same body.  The spectrum for multiplicity varies widely and as such, we won’t cover it here.  Please visit The Layman's Guide to Multiplicity for more information.

    Furry – Someone who participates in the furry fandom or lifestyle.  Typically a furry will participate in that community by creating a non-human persona (or multiple personas).  Often involved in viewing furry artwork or participating in fursuiting where the individual wears a partial or full costume (like sports mascots) of their persona.  Furry’s and otherkin are not the same thing.  An Otherkin can choose to be a furry, but a furry cannot choose to be an otherkin.  

    Copinglinkers (Formerly called Copingkin) – People who use non-human personas as a way to cope with mental illness, anxiety, etc...  These individuals are not Otherkin or Therians due to the fact that a non-human identity is not something that you can choose to have just because you want it regardless of the reason why you want it.  The name was changed from copingkin to copinglinkers to denote that they are not associated with the otherkin community.

    Conceptkin/Objectkin – A tumblr concept.  Typically these individuals will claim to identify as an emotion, music, rocks, outer space, etc…  Highly debated on whether the community accepts these as actual identities, and in most cases, the notion is rejected.

    Tumblrkin – Typically used in a negative derogatory sense, it is used in regard to supposed Otherkin or Therians who have solely learned about Otherkinity from inaccurate Tumblr sources and refuse to accept, acknowledge, or learn the correct terminology or ideology behind the actual community.  They also tend to propagate misinformation.

    Howl/Hiss/Gathering – Terms used to describe a gathering of non-human identified individuals.  These are typically scheduled events with set dates and times.


    ~Types of Therians~


    Cladotherianthropy - The state of one's therio-type encompassing a scientific family of animals instead of a specific species. For example, a therian identifying as canis because they feel they are all the species in that family, instead of any specific one.

    Contherianthropy - A type of therianthropy in which the therian does not experience shifting, but instead is constantly in a state of half human and half animal.

    Polywere/Polytherian - A therian who has more than one theriotype.

    Shifter Therian/Otherkin - This is the "typical" kind of therian and otherkin. Someone who identifies as an animal, but experiences a wide range of shifting. When people talk about "normal therians/otherkin" this is what they're referring to.

    Vacillant (sun/syn-) Therianthropy - Similar to contherianthropy, only instead of being constantly half shifted, the base instincts and behaviors of the theriotype are ingrained into the individual's personality, and small amounts of shifting is experienced.

    ~Types of Shifts~

    The parenthesis are given to denote what the shift would be shortened to, (example: m-shift instead of mental shift).

    (As)tral Shift - When one shifts during astral projection, or when the astral form leaves the body and takes on the appearance of the individuals therio/kintype.

    (A)ura Shift - When a therian or otherkin's aura takes on the form of their therio/kintype.

    (Bi)location Shift - A shift in which one's therio/kintype leaves the individual's physical body and materializes elsewhere, taking on a physical form. Many people consider this shift as controversial as physical shifting.

    (C)ameo Shift - A shift into an animal that is not the individual's therio/kintype.

    (D)ream Shift - When an individual dreams that they are their therio/kintype, or during a dream becomes their therio/kintype.

    (M)ental Shift - A shift in which the therian/otherkin's mindset changes to become more like that of their therio/kintype's. To what extent may vary based on individual and circumstances.

    (Ph)antom Shift - A shift that causes the sensation of having a limb or body part that is not normally there, such as a muzzle, wings, or a tail. This type of shift can be likened to an amputee's "phantom limb syndrome".  May also be called supernumerary limbs.

    (P)hysical shift - Literally changing into your therio/kintype in the real world, and taking on it's physical features. This type of shifting is almost unanimously disregarded by therians and otherkin as pure fantasy.

    (Se)nsory Shift - A shift in which a therian's senses heighten to mimic that of their therio/kintype's. It's debated whether the senses are literally heightened, or if the therian/otherkin is simply paying more attention to these senses during the shift.  

    (S)piritual Shift - When one's aura, astral body, or spiritual self transforms into that of the individuals therio/kintype

    (Be)rserker Shift – A type of shift (induced or involuntary) that causes the individual to act more like their type, and in most cases, the individuals report a total loss or near total loss of human-self awareness.  These types of shifts are rarely reported, and widely viewed in the community as unhealthy and possibly a sign of a some underlying mental illness.  Frequent occurrences should be reported to a licensed mental health practitioner or physician.


    Last edited on 4/18/16 by Talon - Refined, updated, and added terminology.

      Current date/time is Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:46 am