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Were is an old community term that is short for werewolf or any were-creature, such as werecat, werebear, or werebat. A person who says “I am a Were.” means that he or she is an animal in human form. This term was used by the members of alt.horror.werewolves (AHWW) beginning in 1993 and up until the term "Therian" became more popular around 2005.

The term is "outdated" but it is still commonly used, especially be older members of the community.

It should be noted that Weres and Therians are the same thing. In the early 2000's, the community felt a need to move away from the "Hollywood werewolf' stereotypes. There was also an increasing problem with role-players claiming to be 'weres', and causing a massive amount of confusions in the community. Prominent communities including the Awereness Forums ( and Werelist decided that the term "therian" should be used instead.

Origins and variations of the word

The term most likely derives from Old English wer (or were). The word-part wer, translates as "man" (in the sense of male human, not the race of humanity).

It has cognates in several Germanic languages including Gothic language wair, Old High German wer and Old Norse verr, as well as in other Indo-European languages , such as Latin vir, Irish language fear, Lithuanian language vyras and Welsh gŵr, which have the same meaning.


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