an egg with a dripping gold ring


the history, identity, & mythology


A basic list of relevant terms. Any word/phrase with a page dedicated to it will have a link to read more.

Fae, Changelings, and Similar Species

Aos sí -

Auf [also: Oaf, Ouphe] -

Bortbyting -

Changeling - At its most basic, a changeling is a creature swapped in for a human child that at least initially appears to be the human child. The specific qualities of a changeling depends on the myth; for example, Irish changelings tend to be small, weak, intelligent, and sickly, while the Asturian xaninos simply grow up in a very short time and are given to humans due to a need for breastmilk.

Doppelgänger - A double or very close lookalike of a non-biologically related person. Often believed to be supernatural phenomena, or as bad omens.

Dryad - Nymphs inhabiting and embodying trees and forests. Many have their life-force bound to a tree, usually the grandest in the forest or grove. Types of dryads include hamadryads (oaks), oreads (mountain pines), the meliae (ash trees), and more. See also: nymph

Duende - A mystical humanoid creature in Iberian, Latin American, and Filipino folklore, comparable to dwarves or gnomes. Often used closely to the word “fae.” Duendes tend to be mischievous and/or magical, though whether they’re malicious or benevolent depends on the location and variety of duende. See also: hada, xana

Dwarf (creature) -

Elf [also: Alf, Alfr] -

Fae [also: Fay, Faerie, Feen, others] -

Fair Folk [also: Folk, the Noble Folk, the Good People, others ] - Euphemisms for the Sídhe/Sìth/Celtic fae. Gaelic dialects and Welsh have their own specific terms for their own fae. These terms are Celtic.

Gnome -

Goblin -

Hada - Originally a Hispanicization of the Roman fates/fatas, “hada” came to describe numerous humanoid creatures such as xanas, sirenas (mermaids), and more. Roughly equivalent to fae/fairy. See also: duende, fae, xana

Korrigan -

Mamuna [also: Boginki] -

Mermaid -

Naiad - Nymphs inhabiting and embodying sources of freshwater such as springs, streams, creeks, and rivers. See also: xana

Nymph - Hellenic minor goddesses/spirits of nature. They inhabit or embody natural spaces, things, and phenomena, such as sunsets (the Hesperides) and cooling breezes (the Aurai). Nymph types may overlap; for example, a dryad of a tree next to a creek will also often be the naiad of that creek. See also: dryad, naiad

Odmieńce -

Ogbanje -

Ogre -

Peri -

Pixie [also: Piskie, Pixy] -

Plentyn Cael -

Siabra -

Sídhe/Sìth [also: Aos Sí] - Fae creatures of Ireland and Scotland known for their immense beauty and power. Their name in Irish means “people of the hills/mounds,” with sídhe also meaning “hills” or “burial mounds.” They are regarded as similar to deities, and are most often referred to by epithets. See also: folk

Spriggan -

Sprite [also: Spright] -

Sylph -

Troll -

Tylwyth Teg -

Wendigo [from this point censored as wndg] - A malevolent spirit or creature in Native American culture, specifically Algonquian. The wndg is sometimes said to be a creature resembling a human, that possesses humans and instills in them insatiable hunger and cannibalistic desires. The name is a very serious taboo for the Algonquian peoples, and as such is censored out of respect. Not fae/changeling or adjacent–only listed in this section due to popular resources doing so frequently, as a means to combat misinformation on Indigenous folklore within the alter/nonhuman community.

Xana/Anjana/Jana - The mythical mothers of xaninos (see xanín), xanas are creatures similar to water spirits. They switch their xaninos with human children because Xanas cannot produce milk, and as such need a human mother to feed the xanín. Whether they are malicious depends on the story. See also: naiad

Xanín [plural: Xaninos] - The child of a xana, who replaces and impersonates an original human child. Xaninos grow/develop quickly compared to human children, which is how human mothers often identify them.

“Fae” Disorders & Divergencies

Experiences that fae and changeling mythology was likely developed around and used to demonize; Capgras Delusion is the sole exception, as it would have been experienced by individuals identifying others as changelings, not the “changeling” themself.

Autism [also: ASD] - A neurodevelopmental experience/disorder characterized by repetitive behavior, struggling with social cues/norms, and differences in communication. Autistic children tend to hit milestones differently, such as speaking very early in very complicated ways or not speaking at all for years, which are behaviors attributed to changeling children.

Capgras Delusion/Syndrome - The belief that something or someone important to the individual, such as a relative, pet, or heirloom, has been taken and replaced with an identical imposter.

Cerebral Palsy [also: CP] - A group of congenital disabilities affecting posture, movement, and/or muscle tone. Caused by differences or damage in early brain development.

Cystic Fibrosis - A genetic health condition that attacks the lungs and other organs, often causing pneumonia, prolapse, or death.

Deformity - Differences in appearance that are not deemed ‘normal’ or ‘natural’; distorted physical features. Often used to describe many amputations, heavy scarring, chemical or burn scars, limb damage, and significant differences in appearance associated with disability.

Down Syndrome [also: Trisomy 21] - A genetic disorder of the chromosomes that causes developmental differences and often intellectual disability. It has a distinct appearance–a flat nose, small eyes, and smaller stature. Increases the risk of thyroid and heart diseases.

Dwarfism - Short stature resulting from a genetic or health condition. Generally defined as an adult who is 4 feet 10 inches or less.

Homocystinuria - A genetic disorder causing the body to be unable to process amino acids, resulting in numerous health issues and sometimes death. Hunter syndrome [also: MPS II] - A genetic disorder causing the body to be unable to break down sugars, causing damage to the organs. Almost always occurs in people with XY chromosomes. Severity and age of onset varies.

Hurler Syndrome [also: MPS-IH] - A disease causing the body to lack the enzymes needed to digest sugar, causing damage to organs.

Phenylketonuria - An inherited disorder causing amino acid buildup in the body, which can result in brain damage, seizures, and behavioral symptoms.

Prader-Willi Syndrome - A genetic disorder usually caused by a chromosomal abnormality, typically resulting in delayed puberty, short stature, behavioral and intellectual disorders, and constant hunger.

Progeria [also: Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome] - A genetic disorder causing children to age rapidly, typically beginning within the first two years of life. The gene is randomly mutated and not inherited.

Spina Bifida - A birth defect causing a baby's spine not to develop properly. This often results in visible external abnormalities, and can have complications when untreated.

Williams Syndrome - A genetic disorder causing growth and developmental delays, distinctive facial features, and shorter stature.

Other Relevant Disorders & Divergencies

Borderline Personality Disorder [also: BPD, EUPD] - A personality disorder causing, among other things, emotional instability, a need for specific attention, and an unstable sense of self. These symptoms, especially unstable identity, often heavily influence people with BPD’s identities in many ways, including species for some.

Clinical Lycanthropy [also: ClinLycan] - A rare form of delusional misidentification syndrome/DMS where one believes they are transforming into or have transformed into an animal, especially a wolf. See also: delusional misidentification syndrome, endel

Cotard’s Delusion - A belief that one’s body, brain, or organs are dead; believing one’s organs are rotting, dead, or missing; believing that one’s soul or mind is dead or absent; and similar beliefs.

Delusional Misidentification Syndrome [also: DMS] - A group of syndromes involving delusions where one believes a familiar person, object, or the self has been replaced, transformed, or is something that is not considered possible by most. This includes experiences such as believing a close individual has been replaced with an imposter (Capgras), that one has transformed into an animal (ClinLycan), or that specific objects posess consciousness (Delusional Companion Syndrome).

Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified [also: DDNOS] - A dated diagnosis that became OSDD and unspecified dissociative disorder. DDNOS-1a and DDNOS-1b are the basis for modern individuals with OSDD using 1a/1b, despite OSDD-1 lacking those subtypes. DDNOS-1a referred to DID with less distinct identity states, and DDNOS-1b referred to DID without amnesia.

Dissociative Identity Disorder [also: DID] - A dissociative disorder categorized by the experience of two or more distinct identity states (“alters”), pronounced amnesia, and clinical distress. Many individuals with DID are plural/multiple. See also: alter

Other Specified Dissociative Disorder [also: OSDD] - A collection of dissociative disorders with 4 distinct subtypes. OSDD-1 is DID with missing criteria; OSDD-2 is categorized by major identity disturbance due to experiences like brainwashing and indoctrination; OSDD-3 features acute but severe dissociative reactions to stress/trauma; OSDD-4 is characterized by dissociative trances. Many with OSDD-1 are plural/multiple, though it is not uncommon for people with OSDD-2 or -3 to be plural, too.

Plurality/Multiplicity - The experience of having more than exactly one cohesive individual in one body; plurality is a spectrum encompassing everything from one individual made up of many parts to hundreds of distinct people. Multiplicity specifically describes having two or more cohesive individuals/identities/alters in one body.

Schizoaffective Disorder - A mental health disorder characterized by mixed schizophrenic symptoms (ie delusions and hallucinations) and mood symptoms (ie depression and mania). See also: Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia - A mental health disorder leading to extreme differences in perceived reality. Individuals with schizophrenia are likely to experience hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, disordered behavior, and catatonia, among other symptoms. The condition is lifelong. See also: Schizophreniform

Schizophrenia Spectrum [also: Schizospec] - Sometimes used synonymously with "physchotic disorder spectrum," a collection of disorders falling under the schizo- and psychotic umbrella, including schizophrenia, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and often other psychotic disorders such as delusional disorders.

Schizophreniform Disorder - A disorder causing the same symptoms as schizophrenia that lasts one to six months, unlike schizophrenia which is lifelong. See also: Schizophrenia

Schizotypal Personality Disorder [also: StPD] - A personality disorder characterized by unusual patterns of thinking, thoughts, and behaviors. This often includes magical thinking and paranoia, as well as difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. Not to be confused with schizoid personality disorder (SzPD).

System - Two or more facets, fragments, alters, self-states, etc. in one body.

Thoughtforming [also: Tulpamancy] -

Alterhumanity & Nonhuman Terms

Ahuman - Being totally disconnected from humanity; not just nonhuman, but divorced from any human(oid) terms, experience, and identity. See also: nonhuman

Alterhuman [also: Alterbeing] - Any experience of identity and (in)humanity that diverges from the expected human experience. This includes all nonhumans (who are PAHB), multiples/plurals, members of the voidpunk subculture, otherkin/hearted/etc., endels, and more. Alterbeing may be used by some uncomfortable with the suffix, though many alterhumans are at least partially human. See also: nonhuman, otherkin

Bio-Animal - An animal that was born as and is perceived by others as physically an animal. Bio-animals do not have sapience and cannot participate in human life; as such, unlike bio-humans, they are incapable of consent.

Clicking - Strongly identifying with a character, but not as them. This may influence presentation, perception, names, etc. but is not a kintype. One’s clicking identity is called a click. See also: KFF, -link, synpath

Constelic [also: Stel] - One who takes on or collects one or more identities. These identities can fade, change, and have different level of priority. Some are extremely intense, some more casual and fun. One’s constelic identity is called a stel, ie “I have a deer stell.” See also: -link, otherkin, synpath

Double - Someone who is/identifies as the same being as someone else; generally used to refer to two people who are the same fictional character.

Endel - An alterhuman identity that is heavily influenced by or rooted in a delusion.

Fakendel - An endel of a species/being that impersonates humans or a specific human, especially changelings, fae, and (human) brood parasites.

-Folk - A suffix for any alterhuman identity experienced as “I am x,” regardless of whether the identity is voluntary, kin, link, spiritual, literal, a strong relation, or something else entirely. Commonly misunderstood as a synonym for kin, though it is not. Individuals under the umbrella are called alterfolk (not otherfolk). See also: endel, otherkin

Human-passing - Appearing human as a nonhuman; having a nonhuman body that is viewed by others as human. See also: PAHB

Humanesque - An entity that vaguely resembles humans, but not strictly humanoid. “Humanesque” can apply to anything resembling something related to humanity, including bodies, behavior, shapes, interests, and experiences.

Humanoid - Having an appearance or characteristics closely resembling a human; generally bipedal with arms, legs, and a head, which may be oddly shaped, missing, or multiplied.

IRL (adj.) - Short for "in real life." The state of being anything, especially an identity, or of something being real. This is commonly used online to refer to the offline world, and by many alterhuman communities to acknowledge seriously being their identity offline.

IRL (noun) - A term intended to refer to delusionally identifying as a character. Though it was meant to be psychotic-only, this term developed after its casual/informal use in alterhuman and nonhuman spaces, and as such many non-psychotics identify as IRLs.

-Link - A voluntarily chosen identity. Common types include otherlinks (the broad ‘linker category), copinglinks or c’links (an identity chosen as a coping mechanism), and funlinks (an identity chosen for fun). While a ‘link can sometimes be dropped, it’s more common that the link shifts or evolves to adapt to the person’s needs. The identity one is linked to is called a linktype. See also: choicekin, constelic, otherkin, synpath

Nonhuman - An individual who is not human; on this page, used to refer to nonhumans in bodies that are human or perceived as human unless stated otherwise. See also: alterhuman

Otherkin [also: Otherkind, ‘Kin] - Identifying as nonhuman or a specific character/entity/being on a non-physical level. Often spiritual and including belief in past lives, though not always. Otherkin are whatever they are kin of; an elf otherkin is/identifies fully as an elf. The thing one is kin of is called a kintype. See also: exomemory, -folk, therian

PAHB [also: RAHB] - Perceived/Recognized as Human Bodied, an individual whose body is considered human by others. See also: human-passing

PIP/PIC - Physically Identifying Person/Creature, someone who is PAHB but identifies their physical body as their nonhuman/alterhuman identity’s species.

PNHP [also: PNHC] - Physically Nonhuman Person/Creature, sharing a definition with PIP/PIC. The person/creature ending must be present to distinguish PNHPs with bio-animals.

Synpath/Otherhearted - Identifying closely with a species/being and feeling a deep connection to them while not identifying as them; often one may feel that they should be that species/being. One’s synpath/otherheart identity is referred to as a synpath or hearttype. See also: alterhuman, -link, otherkin

Therian - Identifying as an earthly animal, such as a wolf or a falcon, or another sapient animalistic identity such as a mythical beast, on an integral and often spiritual level, though not physically. One’s therian identity is called a theriotype. See also: nonhuman, otherkin

Transspecies - Nonhuman individuals who desire body modifications to become less human, and/or who feel they are [species] in the wrong body, and/or experience a very close intersection between transgender and alterhuman experience. Transspecies transgender individuals generally agree that the only difference is the influence; many trans folks’ transitions may involve actions to alleviate both species and gender dysphoria. The label is also a rejection of the political contexts of humanity and how the “human” category is abused for oppression. Similar but not to be confused with transhuman.

Trumorph - A body which has been completely transformed and is now in its true form/a body that’s always been nonhuman/alterhuman. The term is explicitly for somatically delusional individuals and not to be used in relation to p-shifting. See also: clinical lycanthropy, somatic

Voidpunk - A subculture by and for individuals of often dehumanized identities, especially aromantics, asexuals, Autistics, disabled individuals, and other experiences treated as inhuman. The movement reclaims dehumanization, its participants rejecting humanity as a response to oppression. See also: alterhuman Were [also: Werecreature] - Dated term for therians, meaning an animal in a human body. Fell out of favor around 2005, though is still used by many. See also: therian

Other Vocabulary

Alter - Short for “alternate identity state” and formerly “alternate personality,” a term referring to an identity state in a body with two or more identity states, especially disordered systems. Typically used to refer to individuals within a system, though may also refer to identities who are not individuals/do not identify as separate. See also: DID, headmate

Brood Parasite - Creatures who rely on others to feed and raise their young. Brood parasitism manifests in behaviors such as laying eggs in another’s next, killing and replacing the original offspring, and other general manipulation tactics to get a host to raise their young. Changelings are brood parasites.

Exomemory - A memory that did not happen to one’s current body, but that is experienced as an authentic memory. Typically experienced by introjects (ie source memories) and otherkin who have memories of being their ‘kin.

Fictive/Factive/Fcktive - The three most common types of introject. A fictive is an introject of a fictional being/thing/concept, a factive is an introject of a nonfiction being/thing/concept, and a fcktive (aka fucktive/faitive) in the grey area between the two. See also: introject

Headmate - An individual who shares their body with other individuals. Used like roommate; a roommate shares your room/house, a headmate shares your head/brain. See also: alter

Introject - An alter/headmate in a system who is a copy of, heavily influenced by, or formed around a specific character, person, or other entity. For example, an alter who is Percy Jackson would be an introject. See also: fictive/factive

Introjection - The process of adopting traits, beliefs, identity, behavior, and mannerisms that one witnesses in others. Everyone experiences introjection. Many kins and all introjects experience a more extreme level of introjection.

Masking - The act of pretending to be the norm, especially in regards to Autistics; a “mask” is the way one behaves around others to seem normal, often out of necessity and a need for safety.

Mundanes - Typical humans/those outside of the alterhuman community, has a similar connotation to “normies.” Was popular with vampires in around 2012, though has fallen out of favor.

Neurodivergent [also: ND] - An individual, thing, or experience that diverges for the expected function of the typical human mind. This includes but is not limited to plurals, the mentally ill, people with neurodevelopmental disorders/differences, individuals with personality disorders, and more.

Neurodevelopmental - A condition/experience relating to or involving the development of the nervous system. Everyone experiences neurodevelopment. Neurodevelopmental disorders/differences include Autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, tic disorders, and more.

Neurotypical [also: NT] - An individual, thing, or experience that is not neurodivergent.

Phantom Limbs - The sensation of having a limb that one does not or no longer has. Most commonly used to refer to them in amputees, though phantom limbs occur in many psychotics, kins, and nonhumans.

Shifts - Changes in (self) perception. In an otherkin or therian context, shifts refer to: shifting into a mindset more like one’s ‘type (mental shift), feeling limbs that one’s body does not have (phantom shift), shifting into one’s ‘type in a dream (dream shift), and more. See also; P-shift

Singlet - An individual who is not plural; one being in one body.

Somatic - Literally “relating to the body; bodily.”

Switching - In systems, the process by which the fronter (alter/headmate currently controlling the body) changes.

Walk-ins - Spirits, entities, other external beings that enter a body/system. They may come and go, or remain in their host body.

Controversial Terms

This is not a discourse page, and a term being put here is not an indicator of its legitimacy. This section of the glossary serves only to educate on controversies within the relevant that one is likely to come across while researching, and that this site may mention.

Choicekin - Individuals who chose their otherkin identity/identities. Choicekin may or may not be able to change their kintype once it’s decided. Controversial due to many otherkin insisting that being otherkin is a fully involuntary experience and not desirable, and as such choosing a kintype is either impossible or disrespectful. See also: -link

Delusional Attachment [also: D/A] - According to its coiner and community, a D/A is a delusion of grandiose that one is a fictional character. The definition of delusions used misrepresents psychosis and identity in general, as it characterizes/can characterize any internal identity as delusion, and refers to the wrong type of delusion. As such, much of the community is often non-delusional, disrespectful to otherkin, ableist to psychotics, and spreads misinformation on delusions. Psychotics especially feel strongly about the term’s impact. See also: endel

Factkin - Having a kintype of a real person, the perception of them, and/or their public presentation. Controversial due to being seen as invasive or creepy, despite the common definition of kintypes as being largely involuntary and the inability of most factkin to choose to drop the kintype. See also: otherkin

-Genic - Suffix meaning “formed/produced by,” in this context referring to origins of systems. Specifically controversial is endogenic (not formed by trauma), though many plurals seek to abolish origin labels in general. See also: plurality, syscourse

Kin for Fun [also: KFF] - Identifying with or heavily relating to a character while not identifying intrinsically as them. For example, a KFFer who ‘kins’ Rapunzel does not identify as being Rapunzel, and Rapunzel is not their kintype. Controversial due to misdefining kin as a strong connection instead of as a core identity inseparable from one’s self. See also: clicking, synpath, -link, stel

Kincourse - Discourse on otherkin issues. Generally centers around debates on voluntary identity, respectability politics, the ethics of kin identity, and who can use what term.

Kinnie - A derogatory word for otherkin, possibly created to be equivalent to a transphobic slur. Often used to describe individuals who are KFF, despite many in the anti-KFF community identifying it as a harmful word against ‘kin. The otherkin community doesn’t fully agree whether the term is a slur, but most agree it is not. See also: otherkin

P-Shift - Short for physical shifting, the idea of shifting physically into one’s ‘type. This practice is not possible, and if it somehow were, not safe. There is currently no way to voluntarily physically shift or make someone else p-shift. The term is especially dangerous because the concept of p-shifting is leveraged by predatory individuals to abuse others. Anyone claiming to be able to teach others to/make others p-shift is not to be trusted. Not to be confused with trumorphs or PNHP. See also: shifts

Singleton - Another word for singlet with more derogatory connotations. Derived from an ableist term that some consider a slur, so it has fallen out of favor due to the term’s history.

Special Abilities [also: Differently Abled] - Euphemisms for “disabled” that are near universally rejected by the disabled community. Individuals may identify with the terms, but many see them as insults.

Syscourse - Discourse on system issues. Generally understood to be origin discourse, debating the validity of systems based on their formation and diagnoses.

Tulpamancy - The term itself is controversial due to being derived from a marginalized spiritual practice, and many of that practice and culture considering it appropriation. Whether the use of the term is appropriation or cultural sharing is a matter of debate, and too nuanced for this glossary to make a definitive statement on. See also: thoughtform