Terminology & Lexicon | Kinmunity: Otherkin Community

Terminology & Lexicon

By Shiro, May 3, 2016 | Updated: Dec 27, 2016 | | |
  1. Shiro
    Relevant Communities:
    • Otherkin
    • Fictionkin
    • Therianthropy
    • Other Hearted
    • Vampirism
    • Multiplicity
    While it is by no means an exhaustive listing, this article provides a list of terminology that is commonly used in the otherkin community, as well as definitions for said terms.

    - People who identify either partially or wholly as one or more non-human beings, entities, or concepts in a psychological or spiritual manner.

    Transspecies - The term "transspecies" has been used to describe individuals who identify as otherkin or therians. This term is considered offensive to some in the LGBTQ+ community, and therefore it is not recommended for use.

    Therianthrope/Therianthropy - A therianthrope is a person who is, feels, or believes he/she is, in part or whole, (non-physically) one or more currently alive or once-living non-human animals on an integral, personal level.

    Cladotherianthropy - A cladotherian does not have a specific theriotype. They instead identify as a family or group of animals instead of a specific species. An example of this would be identifying as “canid” instead of “wolf”.

    Contherianthropy - A contherian is a therianthrope that does not experience shifting, but instead is in a constant shifted state. The strength of this shift can vary.

    Vacillant Therianthropy - A vacillant therian is a therianthrope that does not shift, but instead has their theriotype fully integrated with their base personality. Informally, the terms "suntherian" and "syntherian" may be used instead.

    Polytherian/Polywere - A polywere is an individual with multiple theriotypes.

    Polymorph - A polymorph is an energy being with no set form. Instead, the polymorph can take on multiple forms. This term is also sometimes used to refer to an individual with multiple kintypes.

    Theriomythic - This term refers to someone who identifies as an animal from myth. Example: Gryphons.

    Other-Hearted - A person who is other-hearted identifies WITH one or more non-human beings, rather than AS.

    Animal-Hearted - A person who is other-hearted identifies WITH one or more non-human animals, rather than AS.

    Multiplicity - Multiplicity is the state in which a person shares their body with another being/soul/headmate etc.

    Fictionkin - The term fictionkin refers to an individual who's kintype is a character or being from a work of fiction.

    Factkin - The term Factkin refers to an individual who's kintype is a specific named being (usually a person) who is either alive or was once alive. For example, a Factkin may choose to identify as President John F. Kennedy. This type of identification is widely considered to be invalid by the greater otherkin community.

    Wishkin - The term Wishkin refers to an individual who wishes they were otherkin, or who pretends to be otherkin. The term is primarily used on Tumblr.

    Copingkin - The term copingkin refers to an individual who identifies as otherkin for the sole purpose of coping with diagnosed mental illness.

    Conceptkin - The term conceptkin refers to an individual who identifies as a concept rather than a being. For example, one who identifies as a thunderstorm. There is a lot of debate in the community if this is a valid identification.

    Tumblrkin - Tumblrkin is a term that refers to people who identify as otherkin, but base the identification on information obtained solely from Tumblr.

    Special Snowflake - The term "special snowflake" refers to somebody going out of their way to be seen as unique, different, non-conformist, or original. In the otherkin community, it often refers to people who like to collect kintypes like pokemon badges, or who claim to be ultra-rare or super-powerful beings.

    Kintype - The term "kintype" refers to the type of being a particular otherkin identifies as. For example, "I am otherkin and I identify a a robot. My kintype is Robot."

    Theriotype - The term "theriotype" refers to species a particular therian identifies as. For example, "Shiro is a therian and identifies as a wolf and fox. His theriotypes are wolf and fox."

    Fictotype - Similar to "kintype". The term "fictotype" refers to the particular type of being a fictionkin identifies as. This term is especially used for fictionkin who identify as human characters, as the term "kintype" does not apply; otherkin must be non-human identities.

    Factotype - Similar to "kintype". The term "factotype" refers to the particular being that a factkin identifies as. This term is especially used for factkin who identify as human beings, as the term "kintype" does not apply; otherkin must be non-human identities.

    Awakening - The term “awakening” refers to the process of discovering that you are otherkin and/or therian and the process of discovering your tintypes or theriotypes. Although it's an extremely common experience, not all otherkin go through an awakening.

    Shifting - The term "shifting" is primarily used in reference to therianthropy (but also applies to otherkin) and describes when an individual 'becomes' more like their theriotype/kintype in a non-physical manner.

    (M)ental Shift - A shift in which a shifter takes on the mentality of their theriotype(s)/kintype(s).

    (D)ream Shift - A shift in which a shifter shifts into their theriotype or kintype while dreaming.

    (Ph)antom Shift - A shift in which a shifter feels a “phantom limb” sensation."; For example, the shifter may feel ears and a tail, or paws instead of hands.

    (C)ameo Shift - A shift into a being that is not the shifter's theriotype or kintype.

    (S)pirtual Shift - This is a rather vague term to describe any sort of shift with a spiritual undertone. It most frequently refers to when a shifer's Aura, Astral body, or spiritual self takes the shape of their theriotype or kintype.

    (Se)nsory Shift - A shift in which the shifter experiences a state of perceived heightened or reduced sense of awareness often in-line with their theriotype or kintype; eg. wolves may claim better sense of smell, etc. This type of shifting relies on perception of information, as it is not possible to smell, see, hear, and so forth beyond what is humanly possible.

    (A)ura Shift - A shift where a shifter's Aura (specifically) takes the shape of their theriotype or kintype.

    (Bi)location Shift - A shift in which the shifter's theriotype or kintype leaves their “human” body and materializes elsewhere; It is very similar to an “out of body experience”, but instead of the “spirit body” being the human body, it is the body of the theriotype or kintype of the shifter.

    (As)tral Shift - A shift that takes place in the astral plane. It is commonly used to refer to shifting which takes place during Astral projection.

    (Be)serker Shift - A shift in which the shifter loses control of themselves and begins to act more like their kintype than human. This type of shift could be an extreme mental shift, or any shift combined with a manifestation of mental illness. The general community consensus is that these types of shifts are extremely unhealthy.

    (P)hysical Shift - When one physically shifts into their theriotype or kintype. It is scientifically impossible to P-Shift.

    Greymuzzle - The term "greymuzzle" is a term used almost exclusively in the therianthropy, otherkin, and furry communities to refer to people who have been in the community for an extended period of time. Greymuzzles are generally older folks (above 30) with significant community history.

    Fluff/Fluffy - The term "fluffy" is generally used to describe an individual in the community who makes or has made outlandish, impossible, or improbable claims. For example, if someone claims to be able to physically shift, their claim would be considered fluffy.

    Howl - A howl is a gathering or meetup of therians and/or otherkin.

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    About Author

    Shiro Ulv has participated in the otherkin and therianthropy communities for over twelve years. They identify as a British Columbia Wolf and Red Fox therianthrope. They created and currently administrate Kinmunity. They also occasionally write articles regarding the otherkin and therian communities.


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  1. Ann
  2. Gryneos
    Could you add "AMA" to this list? I'm seeing it as thread-prefix bubbles now and have no clue as to its meaning or intent. Thanks :)
    1. Shiro
      It means "Ask me anything" and isn't an otherkin-specific term.
      Gryneos likes this.