Here at Dogpatch Press, we get an awful lot of confused outsiders asking, “what’s this all about?” Here’s some definitions to help. If you have family or friends who want to know more about your hobby, share this to help them understand.
Anthropomorphic: Mixing animals with human characteristics. Think of cartoons, Aesop’s Fables, werewolves, and much more.
Furry: Anthropomorphic media and its fans. They often (but not always) role-play an animal character. A reptile one is a Scaly.
The fandom: Furry subculture. It’s different from others because it doesn’t follow specific media like Star Trek. Furry is it’s own thing.
Fursona: The character representing a furry’s self.
Fursuit: The costume that brings a fursona to life, and can fulfill a wish to transform.
Furmeets and Cons (Conventions): Organized gatherings that include fursuiting, art, creative writing, parties and more. Cons are usually held at hotels once a year. Meets can be casual and regular and held at houses, public social places, or special ones in the woods.
Weres, Otherkin, Bronies, and Planties: These fandoms are sometimes lumped in with furries, but they aren’t the same. Weres (AKA Therians) take a fursona literally. Otherkin feel like a different species or entity in their body. Bronies are adults who love My Little Pony. Planties are the anthro-botanical fandom.
Fleshies / Smoothies: Outsiders to the fandom. Furries often make fun of them as “Steve” or “Steves”.
PCD (Post-Con Depression): Grief about having to return to life among Steves.
Con Crud: A rare itchy fungus harbored in fursuits. Cons bring vets to help everyone get vaccinated.
Hugs, Huggles and Cuddles: Also called “the furry handshake”, a hug is the typical greeting among every furry. Huggles are so enthusiastic that you fall over. Cuddles continue for a while.
Breaking the Magic: A taboo act with a fursona. It can happen by talking out of character at the wrong time, or if a costume comes off among fleshies, or if you ignore their furry name and call them by their Steve name. (It used to mean when a cat and a dog do things together against their species, but the fandom has evolved and looks down on racism now.)
Scritching: Grooming and massaging for affection, or to make sure there’s no Con Crud.
Yiff/yiffing: “Yiff” is a sound of excitement made by foxes. If cuddles and scritching get sexual, that’s yiffing.
Marf: To proposition a furry, say “Yiff?” If they answer “Marf,” they probably aren’t in the mood. A neutral expression that can also work like “smurf” in the Smurfs cartoon: “Can you marf me the salt?
Murr / Murrsuit: “Murr” is a sexy murmur. A Murrsuit is a fursuit equipped for yiffing with SPH’s (Strategically Placed Holes.)
Fursuit Crush: A fursuiter who gives you butterflies.
Furpile: Group cuddles, not necessarily for yiffing.
Fursecution: Prejudice against furries by Steves.
Furfag: An outspokenly flamboyant furry who delights in ogling tails and fursuit crushes, and will marf and scritch without shame or breaking the magic.
FurFu: Martial art developed for fursuiters and for combating fursecution. You can find online music videos of synchronized dancing by skilled FurFu artists. There have been controversial incidents of fursecution at cons that led to Steves getting swarmed, taken down and furpiled. However no furry has been arrested, due to the targets reporting a pleasant experience and refusing to press charges.
Popufur: A popular furry, or a bad word for ones who appear arrogant and only loved for their suits. Like “hipster”, nobody self-identifies as one without irony, so it’s a meaningless word that can be thrown at anyone.
Suit Envy / Suiter Gap: Some furries can’t afford fursuits or feel underappreciated, so they give sour grapes about popufurs. The suiter gap is the portion who want suits and don’t have them. Many cons have panels about how to end these problems.
Confuzzled: Furries speak of a well known tendency for new, curious members to enter the fandom with very conservative sexuality, then over time shift from straight to very open and bisexual or gay for furries. That’s “Confuzzled”. They joke that “the fandom turned me gay!” It’s not the same as “jailhouse gay” in regular society; it’s same-sex attraction specifically for furries, but not humans, and it’s permanent.
Squizzled: Squeakers are popular fursona enhancements. They should be used carefully. Overuse is incredibly annoying. Inexperienced users tend to wander around cons sounding like field mice on crack, leaving a trail of snarls and tinnitus. Being sick to death of squeakers is “squizzled.”
Toony and feral: Animal features can be realistic, but the more caricatured they are, the more toony. Most furries have two legs, but ferals have four.
Musclefurs vs. Fluffers: Some fursonas show highly exaggerated muscle tone. “Furry abs” are especially distasteful to fluffers who prefer soft, sweet and cuddly characters. A classic fluffer icon is Rabbit from Winnie The Pooh. (He/she turns the wedge shape of a musclefur upside down). Around the year 2000, there was major fandom drama with both sides fighting over the definition of “real” furries.
Some preferences. Fox art by Demi-Beast
Plushie / Plushophile: A plushie is a stuffed toy. Plushophiles collect them, and get huge respect from ebay sellers for doing astonishing bidding wars.
Scat: A style of jazz singing, used by furries to talk among Steves without giving away secrets or breaking the magic.
Macrophile: Wants to be stepped on by Godzilla.
Vore and Rooting: Vore is an interest in being consumed or inserted in orifices of a macro character. Rooting is mainly seen in art where a character (like a snake) goes in one hole and out another, often at the same time.
Weaseling, Double Weaseling and Cuckoo Play: When one furry puts on another one’s suit for yiffing with a partner who doesn’t know. A typical reaction when they find out is delight or humor (rather than shock or outrage.) A less typical but even funnier situation is when one fur catches on to another’s plan, and flips it back by having the target secretly switch places with someone else. That’s Double Weaseling. Cuckoo Play is another word for this interest. A Cuckoo Play party is when a whole group of furries switch suits at the same time.
@DogpatchPress yeah, I try to keep it to facts. Like our Otter Satan testicle clamp initiations. Just keep it to the regular stuff.— Alecta Andromeda (@alectayiff) November 2, 2016