Terminology & Lexicon - Otherkin - Kinmunity Jump to content
  • Terminology & Lexicon


    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.

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

    • 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."
    • 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 controversial within the community.
    • Polymorph - A polymorph is an energy being with no set form. Instead, the polymorph can take on multiple forms.
    • Wishkin -  Wishkin is a derogatory term referring to an individual who wishes they were otherkin, or who pretends to be otherkin. The term is primarily used on Tumblr.
    • Copinglinker/C'Linker - An individual who consciously takes on a non-human identity in order to help cope with various aspects of life. This could be to cope with mental illness, trauma, stress or other difficulties.
    • Conceptkin/Objectkin - 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 derogatory term that refers to people who identify as otherkin, but base the identification on information obtained solely from Tumblr.

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

    • 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."
    • 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 has their theriotype fully integrated with their base personality.
    • Vacillant (sun/syn-) Therianthropy - A vacillant therian is a therianthrope that is constantly in a shifted state, to varying degrees. Informally, the terms "suntherian" and "syntherian" may be used instead.
    • Polytherian/Polywere - A polywere is an individual with multiple theriotypes.
    • Theriomythic - This term refers to someone who identifies as an animal from myth. Example: Gryphons.
    • Gear - This term refers to items owned or worn that relate to a person's theriotype. For example, a faux tail and ears that one wears.
    • 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.

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

    • 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.

    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 controversial in the otherkin community.

    • 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.

    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 animal-hearted identifies WITH one or more non-human animals, rather than AS.
    • Heart-type - The type of animal or being the individual identifies with.
    • Kith/Kithtype - Alternate terms for other-hearted and heart-type.

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

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

    • Multiple System -

    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.

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

    Furry - A person who participates in the Furry Fandom. Furries create non-human characters (which they call fursonas) and often like consuming and creating anthropomorphic artwork. Sometimes, furries will dress up as their fursona - this is called fursuiting. The furry fandom and the otherkin community are distinctly different communities; each with its own history and culture. An otherkin can choose to be a furry, a furry cannot choose to be otherkin.

    Edited by Naia


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    Copingkin isn't limited to mental illness, so I'd word it something more like:
    Copinglink/Copingkin - An individual who consciously takes on a non-human identity in order to help cope with various aspects of life. This could be to cope with mental illness, trauma, stress or other difficulties.

    I would change multiplicity to plurality, as plural is pretty much a catch all term for anyone sharing a body with multiple individuals/personalities/souls/aspects etc... while multiple is a specific type of plural system (also changing the "Check this box if you are part of a multiple system" in profile settings to say plural system would be nice, unless of course you were meaning for that to be specific to multiples, but if that's the case adding other options for different types of systems would be nice).
    If you were interested I could suggest more plural terminology, although I feel that's likely better placed in a separate article as this seems focused on otherkin terms and, well, this is an otherkin site so that makes sense. :P

    Heart-type - The type of animal or being the individual identifies with.
    Kith & Kithtype - Alternate terms for other-hearted and heart-type.

    "The strength of this shift can vary" always confuses me in the contherian definition. A contherian is in a constant and unchanging state of human-animal and the strength of that does not fluctuate or vary. Variations in strength would be more in line with vacillant therianthropy.

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    1 hour ago, Velvet Wings said:

    Copingkin isn't limited to mental illness, so I'd word it something more like:
    Copinglink/Copingkin - An individual who consciously takes on a non-human identity in order to help cope with various aspects of life. This could be to cope with mental illness, trauma, stress or other difficulties.

    I would change multiplicity to plurality, as plural is pretty much a catch all term for anyone sharing a body with multiple individuals/personalities/souls/aspects etc... while multiple is a specific type of plural system (also changing the "Check this box if you are part of a multiple system" in profile settings to say plural system would be nice, unless of course you were meaning for that to be specific to multiples, but if that's the case adding other options for different types of systems would be nice).
    If you were interested I could suggest more plural terminology, although I feel that's likely better placed in a separate article as this seems focused on otherkin terms and, well, this is an otherkin site so that makes sense. 😛

    Heart-type - The type of animal or being the individual identifies with.
    Kith & Kithtype - Alternate terms for other-hearted and heart-type.

    "The strength of this shift can vary" always confuses me in the contherian definition. A contherian is in a constant and unchanging state of human-animal and the strength of that does not fluctuate or vary. Variations in strength would be more in line with vacillant therianthropy.

    I have implemented your suggestions in the latest update. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions!

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    There might be a copy-paste-mistake:

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

    Was it meant to be: '...who is animal-hearted ...' instead of '...who is other-hearted...' ?

    Thank you for the whole article btw! 🙂

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