Glossary and Definitions


Family n, pl -lies 1 : a group of individuals living under one roof and under one head : HOUSEHOLD 2 : a group of persons of common ancestry : CLAN3 : a group of things having common characteristics; esp : a group of related plants or animals ranking in biological classification above a genus and below an order 4 : a social unit usu. consisting of one or two parents and their children

Fidelity n, pl -ties 1 : the quality or state of being faithful 2 : ACCURACY syn allegiance, loyalty, devotion, fealty

Friends With Benefits abbr. - [FWB] n : a casual relationship used to describe the physical and emotional relationship between unmarried people who engage in uncommitted sex acts. The intent is generally to relieve sexual frustrations through an alternative to masturbation, and is not intended as a romantic relationship. All parties are free to date and engage in sex acts with other people. This type of a relationship effectively gives the people involved an outlet for their sexual urges without the potential stress and time-demands of a committed relationship. The people may elect to become "Friends With Benefits" because they are not willing to commit to a full-fledged relationship for whatever reason

Grex n : a synergistic group of highly interdependent individuals whose functioning is enhanced by their association

Group Marriage n : a marriage involving more than two people

Group Partner n : a person of group marriage or relationship

Group Relationship n : a committed, loving relationship involving multiple partners

Hinge n or adj: Refers to Vee's, or similar dynamics in a more complex relationship, the "person in the middle", more bonded to each end than they are to each other, is sometimes called the hinge. Without the hinge, the others people often go their separate ways.

Hippie Hefner n : a male that is a charming mid-life hippie who attempts to create [though may already have done so] a flock of buxom women

Hot Bi Babe [HBB] n : mythical creature [female] that some couples search for as for the Holy Grail.

Husband n : a male partner in a marriage or committed relationship

In search of Hot Bi Babe [ISO HBB] n : a couple that is only looking for the elusive HBB. Won't talk to anyone else. Not interested in anything else.

Inclusive Relationship n : a relationship in which all partners agree to include more lovers into their relationship

Intentional Family n : a relationship in which three or more partners consciously chose each other as family, partners may or may not live together, there is the potential for all family members to be sexual with each other if they mutually chose to do so but this is not a requirement for family membership, syn expanded family

Intimate n, vb or adj 1 : an intimate friend, associate, or confidant 2 : INTRINSIC; also : INNERMOST 3 : marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity 4 : marked by a warm friendship 5 : suggesting informal warmth or privacy 6 : of a very personal or private nature-mated; -mating 7 : ANNOUNCE, NOTIFY 8 : to communicate indirectly : HINT; intimation n; intimacy n; intimately adv

Intimate Network n : individuals who desire friendship and perhaps sex with their lover's and other friend's, forming a web of varying connections within a social circle

Intimate Partner n : a gender-free, hetrosexual free term that define a person that another person is involved with their is a presumption of a romantic or sexual connection

Intimate Relationship n : a gender-free, hetrosexual free relationship term that assumes romantic or sexual connection

Jealousy n or adj 1 : the opposite of compersion 2 : negative, angry feelings that a group or an individual can prevoke in another group or individual 3 : demanding complete devotion 4 : suspicious of a rival or of one believed to enjoy an advantage 5 : VIGILANT; jealously; jealous adj*

Line Marriage n : a term from the works of Robert A. Heinlein, science fiction writer, meaning a marriage that from time to time adds younger members, eventually establishing an equilibrium population, spouses dying off at the same rate as new ones are added, this is a different form of familial immortality than the traditional one of successive generations of children

Lovestyle n : the design or structure of a sexualove relationship, like the term lifestyle, it implies a conscious choice. syn. Relationship Orientation

Mixed Relationships n 1 : relationships that have heterosexual and homosexual members 2 : relationships that have people from different races and cultures

Monogamy n 1 : the practice of marrying only once 2 : being married to only one person at a time 3 : a marriage in which tow partners agree not to have sex or erotic love with anyone else 4 : a lovestye for two players; monogamist n; monogamous adj

Multipartner Relationship n : any nonmonogamous Relationship

Multiple adj 1 : more than one; also : MANY 2 : VARIOUS

Multiple Partner n : more than one partner

Multiple Relationship n : more than one relationship

New Normal n or adj : searching for normality and balance after establishing a new relationship within a group relationship. Establishing a new relationship within an existing multipartnered relationship brings changes to the emotionally established order of the group relationship. Finding the "NEW NORMAL" is what the shared group members strive for to improve the relationship and bring the group back into balance after adding a new member.

New Paradigm Relating n : a philosophy of relationship which emphasizes using the relationship to consciously enhance the psychological and spiritual development of the partners,* New Paradigm Relating is characterized by responding authentically in the present moment, honoring individual autonomy, equality, total honesty and self responsibility.

New Relationship Energy n or adj: energy that flows between partners in a "new" relationship, the excitement and discovery that occurs during this time as opposed to old relationship energy that is part of a more settled, stable, comfortable time in the relationship

Nonmonogamy n : a relationship which allows for more that one sexual relationship at a time

Not-so-hot Bi Babe [NSHBB] n : unfortunately non-mythical annoying rookie who "Just doesn't get it" and would be more happier swinging.

Odd-One-Out Syndrome n or adj: an intimate situation where one person feels left out, usually because there is an odd number or members

Old Greaser n : a male who, at least once an hour, tries to have sex with anything female, regardless of appropriateness.

Old Paradigm Relating n or adj : a philosophy of relationship which emphasizes well defined rules, extensive agreements, ironclad conditions and the importance of the group over the individual, usually involves a hierarchical power structure.

One True Way Polyamorist n : Often times the Bright-eyed Novice [See Bright-eyed Novice] will morph into The One True Way Polyamorist after several months. This person has read everything they can find and will tell you exactly how Polyamory works, and what you must do. They will tell you that you are immoral or dishonorable if you disagree with them.

Open Marriage n : Includes one primary spouse bond and other secondary or tertiary lover's depending on availability and circumstance.

Open Group Marriage n 1: A group of individuals who describe themselves as married, but may or may not be all primaries and who are open to outside sexual relationships

Open Relationship n : an agreement among the members in which the partners decide that they can have sexual relations outside of the relationship.* Partner have agreed that they can have sexual relations independently of each other

Partner n 1 : Short for life partner(s).* Gender-free, heterosexual assumption free term for someone with whom one is romantically involved with 2: SPOUSE or SPICE 3: ASSOCIATE(S), COLLEAGUE(S) 4: two or more persons who dance together 5 : one who plays on the same team with another 6: one of two or more persons contractually associated as joint principals in a venture--partnership n

Plural Marriage n : a name often applied to Mormon-style polygyny,* all the wives may live together or each may have her own home
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Poly n or adj 1 : many or several 2 : Short for Polyamorous 3: The relationship orientation of people who love and want to be intimate with more than one person at a time* 4: A relationship that is non-monogamous relationship* 5: A person that is either in or at least interested in a multipartnered relationship and family

Polyactivist n : a person interested in taking action intended to counteract the political, social and religious enforcement of monogamy; Polyactivists help promote greater awareness of Polyamory as a legitimate relationship choice; polyactivism n

Polyamorous n 1 : practicing polyamory 2 : of or characterized by polyamory

Polyamory n : is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously.* Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time.* Polyamory is an umbrella term which integrates traditional multipartner relationship terms with more evolved egalitarian terms.* Polyamory embraces sexual equality and all sexual orientations towards an expanded circle of spousal intimacy and love.* Polyamory is from the root words Poly meaning many and Amour meaning love hence "many loves" or Polyamory

Polyandrous n 1 : practicing polyandry 2 : of, engaging in or characterized by polyandry

Polyandry n 1 : the state or practice of having two or more husbands at the same time 2 : the mating of one female animal with more that one male; polyandric adj; polyandrist n

PolyChildhood n 1 : the state of being a child in a multiple partnered relationship
2 : from infancy to puberty* 3 : an early stage or development within a multiple partnered relationship

PolyChild n -ren pl 1 : a girl or boy in the period before puberty* from a polyamrous marriage or relationship 2 : an infant; baby of polyamorous union

Polyerocist n : a person who practices or prefers sex with multiple partners

Polyeros n : a lifestyle or relationship in which sexual partners agree that they may take additional sexual partners

PolyFamily n 1 :* all the people living in or sharing life experences in the same home or household* 2 : a social unit consisting of multiple adult models 3 : when polychildren are present the term includes others adults, besides blood or birth parents, who are responsibly involved with the polychild or polychildren, most adult take an active role in polychild rearing* 4 : a group of people related by common commune, tribe, clan, lineage, ancestry, relatives, commitment or marriage 5 : a sharing of living expenses and property

PolyFriend n 1 : a person whom one knows well and is fond of polyamorous people 2 : intimate associate or close acquaintance of a person of an polyamorous orientation

Polyfriendly n 1 : an ally of people of a polyamorous orientation 2 : amicable 3 : supporting, helping or favorable 4 : showing friendly feelings polyamorous people or unions 5 : ready to be a friends to polyamorous people or unions

Polyfi Fundamentalist n : Closely related to the One True Way Polyamorist [See One True Way Polyamorist], differing only in the fact that they believe polyfidelity is paramount to all of the other Poly-style relationships. Will politely tell you how immoral you are if you are not Polyfidelitous. Though, some will vehemently call you a swinger or wannabe if you argue with them.

Polyfidelitous adj 1 : practicing polyfidelity 2 : of, engaging in or characterized by polyfidelity

Polyfidelity n : a group in which all partners are primary to all other partners and sexual fidelity is to the group; shared intent of a lifelong run together. More primary partners can be added with everyone's consent.* The term was coined by the Kerista commune

Polygamous adj 1 : practicing polygamy 2 : of, engaging in or characterized by polygamy

Polygamy n : the practice of having more than one wife or husband at one time; polygamist n; polygamous adj

Polygynous adj 1 : practicing polygyny 2 : of, engaging in or characterized by polygyny

Polygyny n 1 : the state or practice of having two or more wives at the same time 2 : the mating of a male animal with more than one female

PolyLove n 1 : strong affection or attraction to more than one person 2 : the strong belief that human beings are capable of having love and affection for more than one person at a time 3 : warm attachment and joyful feeling in presence of your beloveds 4 : attraction based on sexual desire multiple partners 5 :* intimate fantasies and dreams about multiple partners 6 : beloved people 7 : unselfish loyalty, benevolence and concern for others 8 : to feel a passion, devotion, or tenderness for multiple partners or loveones 9 : to take pleasure in being with many

PolyLover n : a person of polyamorous orientation with whom you have an intimate relationship*

PolyMarriage n 1 : the state of being committed in multiple partnered relationship 2 : a multiple partnered relationship where commitment ritual was performed 3 : any close or intimate multi partnered union of duration

PolyPartner n : a person of polyamorous orientation that you are intimately involved
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4 (possibly from British use) that I've searched. They exist on the board, but - apparently - not yet in this glossary:

wibbles, wibbly:
frubbles, frubbly:
"Polyamorists also have a word for low-key jealousy - "wibbles".

It's a kind of jealousy that doesn't represent a massive sexual threat; it's a smaller version of jealousy," said Dr Barker. "You can say 'I'm wibbly' - I'm really OK but a bit shaky, and I need some reassurance."

Another is "frubbly", which describes the positive feeling of seeing your partner with another lover. "[Frubbles] the opposite of jealousy," Dr Barker said.
quoted from the article "Free love gets a fit of the wibbles" at
Just want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to put this page together it is very helpful:)
I am a struggling theoretical polyamorist/monomour who is afraid of the monogamonster...*
Here is another acronym:
CRAP - Changing Relationship Adjustment Period...
Polywog warning - I'm new to all this. A few thoughts though.

How are we ever going to be taken seriously? :p

Personally, I feel we don't need to help jealousy get taken seriously. Wibbles is awesome.

However, I have some trouble with the definition of jealousy stated here. To me, being new to poly, it's something very nuanced, and it sorta needs to be dissected and treated carefully & tenderly. It's that stuff that gets deflated by love. The stuff that creates problems & week-long discussions, seemingly impossible to pin down, until you add love & attention, making it melt away.
My spouce only wants to use it when there's a feeling of threat involved, I tend to use it where there's something I want but someone else seem to be getting, or someone else in a role that I want to be in. I get jealous when someone else is caring for her after our rows, or someone else gets acceptance when I get a frown...
It's a many-headed thing, that can cause a lot of destruction, but when you spot it, it's the easiest conflict to defuse. I would never call it negative, since it's just a need for love, and I'm all for love. It's just a bit hard to spot, since it tends to hide behind anger & stuff. Can't shoot her down for not spotting it herself, love is supposed to be a bit confusing.
Question about Zee?


Zee n :Slang shape of four people in a poly relationship where two are sexual and two are not yet all four live in the same house

What do you call four people, where two are sexual and two are not that don't live in the same house? It also feels like a Z shape.

Hypothetical: My girlfriend and I both have mono husbands?
I've seen the term used alot... but what exactly does "DH" stand for? Is it (as I keep imagining) imported and ironically repurposed baseball slang, or is it something else entirely?
I've seen the term used alot... but what exactly does "DH" stand for? Is it (as I keep imagining) imported and ironically repurposed baseball slang, or is it something else entirely?
It's message board speak for "Dear [or Darling] Husband." DW, DS, DD = Dear/Darling Wife, Son, Daughter. I've always thought they were really stupid abbreviations, and they do annoy the shit out of me. Below is a list of some abbreviations commonly used in online communities/forums, and here. Texting has created newer ones, but most of these have been around a long time:

  • BF - Boyfriend
  • BFF - Best Friend Forever
  • BIL - Brother-in-Law
  • BTW - By The Way
  • BTDT - Been There, Done That
  • DD - Dear or Darling Daughter
  • DH - Dear or Darling Husband
  • DS - Dear or Darling Son
  • DW - Dear or Darling Wife
  • DIL - Daughter-in-Law
  • DSD - Dear Stepdaughter
  • DSS - Dear Stepson
  • EA - Emotional Affair
  • EX - Ex-husband or Ex-wife
  • FIL - Father-in-Law
  • FWIW - For What It's Worth
  • FYI - For Your Information
  • GF - Girlfriend
  • GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
  • HTH - Hope This Helps
  • IMO - In My Opinion
  • IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
  • IOW - In Other Words
  • ITM - In The Meantime
  • IRL - In Real Life
  • ITA - I Totally Agree
  • J/K - Just Kidding
  • JMHO - Just My Honest/Humble Opinion
  • KWIM - Know What I Mean
  • LDR - Long Distance Relationship
  • LMAO - Laughing My Ass Off
  • LOL - Laughing Out Loud
  • MIL - Mother-in-Law
  • OM - Other Man
  • OW - Other Woman
  • OP - Original Poster
  • OMG - Oh My God
  • OSO - Other Significant Other
  • OTOH - On the other hand
  • ROTFLMAO - Rolling on the Floor Laughing My Ass Off
  • SAHM - Stay At Home Mom
  • SIL - Sister-in-Law/Son-in-Law
  • SO - Significant Other
  • STBX - Soon-To-Be Ex
  • STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease
  • STI - Sexually Transmitted Infection
  • TIA - Thanks In Advance
  • WTG - Way To Go
  • WTH - What The Hell
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I'm familiar with a lot of those (and I too am loathe to actually use them) but the DH was a new one for me. Thanks for the update.

May I suggest a word I heard recently in an Youtube interview with Allena Gabosh from Seattle?
She uses the word "Polycules" synonymous with all kinds of polyfamilies and polyrelations if I got her correct.

The assosiation comes from "molecules" and their multiple possible structures :D
Love it :)
"prescriptive" secondary basically means you're "not allowed" to ever become more than a secondary, you'll never be as valued as the primary, and if your relationship ever becomes "too threatening" to the primary relationship, you're out the door.

Compare to "descriptive" secondary, where it's more like you just happen to have your life not as entangled (i.e. your partner has a wife with kids together, shared bills, and a joint mortgage) so the "secondary" status just describes the nature of your current relationship, without forcing it in a box that says it will never be allowed to become something more.
thought this would be worth repeating here.
I've learned so much from this thread! :D

Most notably, I learned there's a term for someone like me: polyflexible. And, I am now determined to include wibbly and frubbly into my usable vocabulary. XD

I think these terms are worthy of the front page, if someone can put them there. The first because it helped me solve my confusion and feeling of alone-ness (I hadn't heard of others who thought like that before) and the latter two because they are just so awesome and useful!
...I am now determined to include wibbly and frubbly into my usable vocabulary.
Oh, please don't!

I think these terms are worthy of the front page, if someone can put them there.
This is a "sticky note," which means it's at the top of every page in this "Poly Relationships Corner" forum.

Here's a new term that came up on a Facebook group recently:

Bi-monogamous - referring to a person who desires one male and one female partner. Can be a applied to a couple where the relationship is open to both partners to have one additional partner of the same gender.