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Common Terms Used In Plural Spaces

Written by The Dragonheart Collective

Version 2.0.1 | Last updated 5/28/2023

This is a non-comprehensive dictionary of common terms used currently in plural spaces. Many dictionaries and glossaries are either not good enough for the current vernacular, or they are loaded with rarely used and redundant labels that make learning the lingo very intimidating. Hence this guide.

This guide is for only the ‘essentials’, the most common terms people use as of writing this that can let you get a foot in the door regarding the language of the community.

To reiterate: Not every term is going to be in here. There are simply too many microlabels for that. This is ONLY a guide for the most common terms to avoid swamping folks who notoriously don’t have the best memory in too much information.

If there are terms you come across that are not listed here, asking the person who posted them to define the terms they are using is the recommended option. This also eliminates doubt as to what they mean, as not everyone uses the same definition for certain words. It is good practice to do this to ensure communication goes smoothly.

In addition, not everyone uses the terms listed here and may have their own words for the same concepts. They may not even use any words for those concepts at all. Its important to note that no one is required to adopt or use language or labels that they don't want to. Use what sparks joy and is useful, don’t use what you find uncomfortable or useless.

This will be broken up by category;

Navigation: Click on the section name to go to that section of the Glossary.

Basic Terms:

Plural- Someone who is ‘more than one’ in a body. Can be conjugated in many ways. This is an opt-in label, and not everyone who falls under it may consider themselves plural.

Singlet- Someone who is not plural, or someone who is 'one mind one body'. May also be called in older texts a 'singleton'.

System- A group of people within a body. May also commonly be called a collective, inner community, or household.

System Name- A name for the system as a whole. Some systems have one, and some do not.

Headmate- A entity inside a system. A community-made word and the generally preferred 'default' term to use when speaking of entities in systems. Systemmate is another similarly neutral word for the same. Alter, part, personality, or ego state may also be used by those who do not mind the more medical language. Avoid applying medically oriented language to others without asking, as some find the language dehumanizing.

Facet- A community word for a less separate/defined headmate. Aspect is a similar neutral word. Fragment, and ‘part with low elaboration’ are medical origin terms for this and may be seen as dehumanizing or medicalizing to use without asking on others.

Inner World- An internal space that represents ones psyche. Headmates may go here when not fronting. Not all systems have inner worlds, and they are not exclusive to plurality. An inner world may be anything from a temporary thought construct to aid communication to a place that is just as real as 'real life' to that system. An inner world may also be called an otherworld, headspace, wonderland, or mind palace.

Outer World- 'real life'. The world outside the inner world. May be shortened to outworld. May also be called meatspace.

Switching- The act of switching control of the body from one entity in a system to another.

Fronting- The act of controlling the body. May also be called being out, driving, or piloting.

Co-Fronting- The act of more than one headmate controlling the body at the same time. May also be defined as fronting without switching. Frequently confused with co-consciousness.

Co-consciousness- When more than one headmate is aware of what is going on but not necessarily fronting at a time. Frequently confused for co-fronting. May also be called being awake or present.

Disassociation- The disconnection between a person and ones identity, agency, memories, emotion, body, or the world around them. Very common to plural folks, particularly those with dissociative disorders. Depersonalization, derealization, and dissociative amnesia are subtypes of disassociation.

General Terms:

Blurry- A form of depersonalization where its hard to tell who is at front exactly. Usually considered a negative experience.

Blendy- When two or more headmates are 'blending' together a bit for a short while, usually connotative of this happening at front. Some systems find this a negative experience similar to blurring, while others find it a positive one that lets one be closer to their headmate.

Integration- The act of lowering dissociative barriers in a system. May be used interchangeably with Final Fusion by community members and therapists alike. This is because of the popular view in psychology that all plurals are just singular people with dissasociated trauma responses who will acknowledge being only one person if you lower dissociation. Integration refers to the whole therapy treatment of which Final Fusion is the end stage of. As the community is aware of this, integration is often treated as the same thing as Final Fusion even if there is technically a difference.

Final Fusion- The act of a system becoming a singlet by merging all the headmates into one entity and the only acknowledged treatment for DID. It may be shortened to FF. It has a low success rate for working and often does not stick when it does work. Final Fusion is pushed very strongly in medical spaces and plural-specific psychiatric abuse often involves it. Final Fusion is a valid treatment goal, but its pushed on the community heavily as the Only valid treatment(or only treatment at all), causing the decision to potentially be coerced in nature. Some systems see FF as a type of death, but others see it as healing. May also be called full integration, unification, or merging.

Headpressure- A ‘pressure’ sensation in the head area associated with learning system skills like internal communication. Its theorized to be caused by blood moving around the brain in ways it usually doesn't. A common phenomenon particularly in tulpamancy circles where neural pathways have to be created wholesale.

Losing Time- When one cannot remember chunks of time due to dissociative amnesia. This may be called timeloss or having blackouts.

Passive Influence- When thoughts and emotions that another headmate has about something are experienced by the person at front briefly as if they are their own. May also be called thoughtleak, thoughtbleed, or bleedover.

Role- A thing that a particular headmate does. Not all system or headmates use or have roles. Some systems find roles limiting or dehumanizing, while others find them useful to describe how their system works.

Singletsona- The 'singlet' presentation of a plural person. This is the person that the system pretends to be/masks as when not out about being plural. This singlet mask may be an actual headmate in the system or not.

Splitting- The act of a headmate being created by 'splitting' a bit of personality off from another in the system. This is usually connotative of happening due to stress or otherwise adverse experiences. Some systems split headmates and some do not. Some simply have headmates form or appear, others only discover headmates that have always been there instead.

Switch Trigger- A kind of trigger that makes a switch happen. Can be anything, positive or negative.

Switching Headache- A headache brought on by a switch. A more severe form of headpressure. Unlike headpressure, a switching headache is not a good thing. May also be called a dissociation or fronting headache.

Switching Type- A type of switch. Not all types of switches are listed, only broad common categories of switches. Switching may feel differently for different systems, between different headmates, or at different times.

Types of Systems:

Disordered System- A system that qualifies for a current plural-related dissociative disorder diagnosis or considers their plural experience disordered. To qualify for any current dissociative disorder the exclusion criteria must be met; that its not due to drugs/alcohol or a spiritual/cultural practice and that its causing significant impairment or distress. Having a dissociative disorder is strongly associated with trauma, but its not a required component for diagnosis. Personal origin beliefs do not have to involve trauma either. Not all those with a dissociative disorder identify as plural. Some systems may identify with a diagnostic label no longer in the books.

Nondisordered System- A system that does not qualify for a dissociative disorder or does not consider their plural experience disordered. This does not necessarily correlate to origin beliefs. May also be called healthy multiplicity or healthy plurality in older contexts, as previously before the added exclusion criteria, all plurals were considered disordered.

Multiple- A plural system with strongly defined headmates. Connotative of claiming separate personhood, but not always.

Median- A plural system with less defined headmates. Connotative of not claiming separate personhood, but not always. Median systems may consider themselves multiple ‘versions’ of the same person or states of a single overarching person, but not always. May also be called a midcontinuum system.

Hybrid System- A system with both multiple and median headmates. May also be called a mixed system, but this causes confusion with the term mixed origins.

Subgroup- A grouping of headmates in a system, which are grouped because of the way they function in relation to one another and the rest of the system. There are several frameworks for this based on slight differences in how they function and how the wider system conceptualizes them.

Origin- The believed or theorized way as to how a system became a system or how a particular headmate formed. Some systems put a lot of stock in origins as an important part of their identity to know or label, and some do not. There are many origin terms, though only some broader umbrella categories will be listed.

-Based- when a system has a particular thing heavily effecting their functioning as a system in some way. This may or may not align with their origin. Common -based terms are trauma-based, spiritual-based, and creation-based.

Types of Headmates:

Age Slider- A headmate that changes ages over time. This may be a real cognition/mentality change or just an ‘apparent age’ change of their appearance in headspace. As with other kinds of headmates, apparent age and actual age may not match.

Core- A headmate the rest of the system split off from. Often but not always is the original member of the system. Some systems have a core, some do not.

Daemon- The mental construct created in daemonism. A daemon may or may not be sentient, capable of fronting or switching, or consider themselves a separate entity. Usually in the shape of an animal to follow the novel series (His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman) that the practice was inspired from.

Frontrunner- The headmates in a system who front, often used by larger systems. Some systems use it only for those who front with frequency in the place of ‘host’ language.

Gatekeeper- A headmate that can control certain technical aspects of a system. For example memory sharing, what headmates can front, dormancy, headspace appearance, or headmate formation.

Host- Either the ‘main’ fronter, the one that claims the most ‘ownership’ of the body, or the one called to the front the most. The host may or may not be a core or original. In daemonism systems, the host may be called a Daemian or daemonist. In tulpamancy systems the host may be called a tulpamancer. In soulbonding systems, the host may be called a soulbonder. Multiple people may be hosts in larger systems. These people may be called co-hosts. Some systems do not have hosts at all.

Little- A headmate that is a minor and/or notably younger than the body in either internal appearance or actual cognitive mentality, memories, or ability. May also be called a syskid. Headmates in the age range between 13 and 18 in adult systems are sometimes called middles.

Nonfronter- A headmate that does not front. May also be called an insider, though this sometimes refers to all headmates besides the host.

NPC- A nonsentient entity in the headspace that ‘fills out’ an inner world. May be ‘programmed’ to act a certain way or ‘puppeted’ to have them do things. They are not usually counted as headmates. A similar concept in tulpamancy is a servitor. These may be made into 'full' headmates with effort.

Original- The ‘original’ entity in the system. Some systems have one of these and some do not. The original may or may not also be a core or a host.

Othertive- The inclusive umbrella word for a headmate that is based on another entity of some kind. The medical-oriented word is introject. Xtive is another proposed word for Othertive.

Persecutor- A headmate that harms the system or body. This role term is particularily controversial because it makes a judgment about a often traumatized entity as being ‘bad’ by nature. They are sometimes called maladaptive headmates instead.

Protector- A headmate that protects the system from something.

Soulbond- The entity that is connected to in a soulbonding system. The entity may be within the system itself permanently, on a ‘psychic link’ while they live in their own world, or may go back and forth between their world and the soulbonder’s mind. A soulbond may also be called a muse.

Thoughtform- A umbrella term for any complex thought construct, including but not limited to headmates, servitors, or programmed spells in the context of occult practices.

Trauma holder- A headmate that holds a trauma for the system, sometimes a specific traumatic event.

Tulpa- A headmate that is created through focus and treating them as real until they are in tulpamancy systems. An accidental tulpa is a tulpa created by accident.

Walk-In- A headmate from ‘elsewhere’, usually of spiritual origin. In tulpamancy spaces this is any headmate that was not created through focus. In occult contexts, this is a person whose original inhabitant departed the body and was replaced with a new one.


Alterhuman- An alternate human identity or an alternative to humanity; a subculture for those who experience an identity that does not conform to average human identity. An extremely wide umbrella that includes a large number of experiences, though only a few will be listed. Includes plurality under it but not other neurodivergences, a decision that the wider plural community was not consulted for first, so the inclusion is contriversal. Some systems consider themselves alterhuman for being plural, but many do not.

Antipsychiatry- A movement based on the view that psychiatric industry has major problems and is often more damaging than helpful. May be shortened to antipsych. Often focused on the rampant psychiatric abuse, the pathologization of normal responses to circumstances, the structural oppression of various bigotries baked into the system, and its role in incarceration. Some antipsych folks dismiss all psychotherapy and medication as a scam, whereas others have a more nuanced take. A large number of systems are antipsych or psych-critical because of the abuse they have historically faced from the psychiatric industry.

DSM- The diagnostic manual for psychological disorders in the USA. The DSM-V is the most current version of the manual. This manual determines what diagnoses can be diagnosed.

False Memory Syndrome- May be abbreviated as FMS. This is a made up condition where someone believes fully fabricated memories of trauma or abuse to be real. Its mainly used to dismiss reports of abuse. It has been thoroughly disproved that people will fabricate memories wholesale. Though details may be incorrect sometimes, recovered memories of abuse are usually relatively accurate.

ICD- The diagnostic manual outside of the USA. Includes a section for psychological disorders. The ICD-11 is the most current version of the manual. This manual determines what diagnoses can be diagnosed.

Mad Pride- A movement spearheaded by users and former users of psychiatric services that advocates for and celebrates those who may be considered mentally ill or otherwise ‘insane’. It celebrates the ‘mad’ identity and focuses on issues like the right to autonomy and refusal of treatment. It has roots in the antipsychiatry movement. A large number of systems are part of the Mad Pride movement.

Neurodivergency- A divergence from what is considered the ‘normal’ brain. Includes all mental illnesses, neurological conditions, developmental disorders, and nonpathological ‘odd brain things’ like synthesia and plurality. Neurodivergency theory is that all brains exist on a spectrum of traits and it should all be celebrated and accepted, though neurodivergent is colloquially used with the ‘brain that diverges’ definition and specifically for said groups. Being plural is generally considered a neurodivergency, though some spiritual systems do not consider themselves neurodivergent as their systemhood is not psychological in origin.

RAMCOA- Ritual Abuse, Mind Control and Organised Abuse. Repeated extreme abuse usually done by a group over a long period of time to program the survivor so they will be easier to control and further abuse. Deliberately inducing dissociation to this end is common. A specific ideology such as religion is often but not always central to the abuse. May also be called Satistic or Satanic Ritual Abuse(SRA). SRA plays a key role in plural history, as many cases of MPD caused by SRA were fabricated by therapists abusing their clients for clout during the Satanic Panic- which proceeded to make people disbelieve both MPD and RAMCOA exist.

Syscourse- The intracommunity slapfight about who counts as plural. This ‘discourse’ involves a lot of harassment and trolling and informs a lot of community trends in the current stage of the plural community’s history.

Theory of Structural Dissociation- The most popular but not only theory for how the dissociation of traumatic memories in PTSD and dissociative disorders works. May be abbreviated as ToSD. Most of the paper’s content pertains to PTSD rather than DID. It asserts that trauma is the cause of dissociation, and creates ‘parts’ of the self when the trauma is not integrated properly, one or more that are ‘normal’ and often amnesiac, and one or more that are pure trauma response. It also claims that young children do not have a real personality/sense of self before the age of 6, and theorizes that DID occurs when this dissociated trauma happens before that and interrupts the normal formation of a 'true personality'. It considers all headmates and the system at large as less than a person unless fully integrated and refers to all headmates as ‘it’, strongly championing unification. Many plurals strongly criticize ToSD for this, as even many diagnosed DID systems do not fit its model (in age of trauma, level of personhood of headmates or as a child, etc). One of the writers for the ToSD also lost his liscense for abusing a client, which throws some statements in it into a different light.

Voidpunk- A subculture focused on reclaiming dehumanization suffered by society. Open to all minorities, including those who are neurodivergent. Many plural systems are voidpunk.

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