The Code of the Furries

Version 1.3

Ross Smith ( 7-Feb-98



In the spirit of Robert Hayden's Geek Code, Peter Caffin's Goth Code, Jayne Alexander and Dave Ratcliffe's Cat Code, and other similar codes that have cropped up all over Usenet, I thought it was time us furries had a code of our own. (Or, to put it another way, it was Sunday afternoon, I'd read all my Usenet news, it was too wet to go to the zoo, and I had nothing intelligent to do.)

As with all such codes, the idea is to produce a series of compact symbols that (a) communicates our essential characteristics to other members of our subculture, and (b) looks really cool.

Your Furry Code consists of a series of letter, number, and symbol codes, each describing you in some category. Go through the Furry Code list, work out which code in each category best describes you, and list them. Don't worry if the description of a particular code doesn't match you exactly; just pick the one that comes closest.

Each code consists of a prefix (a letter that indicates which category we're talking about) and a suffix (one or more characters that indicate where you place yourself in the category).

Anyone who has any suggestions for changes, enhancements, and other improvements is invited to email me (suggestions of "Get a life!" will be cheerfully ignored.) If you want to put a copy of this this up on your own Web site, feel free (please make sure you have the latest version; you can copy the "pawprint" logo too). This document is copyright 1998 by Ross Smith, and may be freely distributed over the Internet; ask me if you want to distribute it in any other form.

Thanks to those who have sent suggestions, especially: James Andrews; Nick Brienza; Bryan Chaney; Jeff Eddy (P. H. "Brer" Foxxe); David Formosa; Marshall Hervey (Skoob); Lontra; Ron Orr; Daniel Reitman; Dean Ridgway; David Round; Adam Siemens; Lenester Taxidean; Jason Tracer (Electric Keet); Ysengrin Werewolf. Apologies to anyone I've forgotten.


General modifiers

These symbols can be attached to any of the standard codes, to indicate some unusual or uncertain factor.

Part 1: Your furry side

F -- Furry species

This code indicates what species your furry persona is. You can indicate your exact species, or just a general type if your personal furry doesn't fit into a particular species.

There's a subtle difference between using "generic" codes and using the ? modifier. For example, FC means you're a canine, but don't fit one of the known species, while FC? means you haven't decided which specific type of canine you are. Similarly, F? means you don't know what kind of furry you are, while FG means you do have a definite shape, but it's just a kind of "generic furry", not any particular species.

Obviously the list of species here can only cover some of the more common ones. In some cases, I haven't broken down the codes to the level of individual species, because that would lead to too many different codes; instead, I've used more generic terms (e.g. "deer" or "mongoose"). If you don't fit any of these, put the name of your species in square brackets after your code (e.g. FP[kinkajou]). Let me know if you think some species not listed here is sufficiently common in Furrydom to deserve its own code.

[Several people have written to point out that, according to most books on zoology published this century, the giant panda belongs under Procyonidae, not Ursidae. These books are out of date; recent genetic analysis has shown that the giant panda really is a bear after all. See any recent (since about 1990) book on the subject.]

After identifying your basic furry species, one or more modifiers may be added to indicate variations on the theme:

For the purposes of the Furry Code, a "taur" is a variation on the animal theme, while a "centaur" is half-human, half-animal (and is counted as a species in its own right). If you have the upper body of a human and the lower body of a zebra, you're a zebra-centaur and your code is FCeZ, while if you look like a zebra all over, but with four legs and two arms, you're a zebra-taur and your code is FEZt.

Next, add a number to indicate where you fall on the human-to-animal scale:

Finally, add one or more letters after the number to indicate what your relationship is with your personal furry.

If you have more than one furry persona, depending on the context, use more than one code here. For example, if you play a werewolf on FurryMuck, and draw pictures of your lupine character, but dress up as a fox at conventions, and have a bear as your totem, your code might be something like FCWh4dm/CF3c/UGm6s.

A -- Art

Most furry fans try their paw at furry artwork sooner or later.

C -- Conventions

How often do you go to/get involved in/get thrown out of furry conventions? (Note: this category, except as noted below, refers specifically to furry cons, not to SF-related cons in general.)

D -- Dressing up

Many furries are into cross-dressing. Cross-species, that is.

Add an m after the D if you've made your own fursuit.

H -- Hugs

A popular activity among furries when they gather, although not to everyone's taste.

M -- Mucking and mudding

Use this code to indicate how deeply involved you are in online multi-user universes such as FurryMuck.

P -- Plush critters

Well, until those genetic engineers get their act together and give us some real furries, we'll have to make do with these...

R -- Realism vs tooniness

Do you prefer your furries anatomically correct (if that makes sense), or cartoonish, or somewhere in between?

T -- Transformation

If you had the chance, would you want to become a real furry?

W -- Writing

For those who have tried their paw at telling us some grim (or even not-so-grim) furry tails.

For those who have made sales, use W+ etc if your stories or books are furry-related, W* etc if not.

Z -- Zines

Use this code to indicate how deeply involved you are in the furry fanzine and comic scene.

S -- Furry sex

Like it or not, S-*-X seems to be part of furry life. Use this code, if you wish, to indicate the sex (and sex life) of your furry persona. Feel free to use the # ("mind your own business") or ! ("nothing to do with me") modifiers if you prefer.

First, indicate which sex your furry persona is:

Then add a modifier to indicate what your furry persona's sex life is like:

(For example, Sm+ would indicate a male furry who has had TinySex at least once.)

Part 2: Your human side

RL -- What you do in Real Life

Unfortunately, we can't yet be furries in Real Life (you know -- that boring game you play when the computer's down and there's nothing on TV), so we have to find something else to do. This code indicates what you do for a living, or what you're studying to do for a living, or what you do to avoid living.

(The $ modifier shouldn't be used here, since it's taken for granted that this represents your day job, or the nearest thing you have to one.)

A few special cases:

Add a * after the code if you're trained or experienced in the field, but haven't managed to persuade anyone to actually pay you to do it yet (this doesn't apply to RLU or RL-).

Example: I was trained as an astrophysicist but now work as a computer programmer (or "software engineer", as my employers prefer to put it, because it sounds cooler), so my code is RLCT/S*.

a -- Age

So, how long have you been a human being? ("Three foot six!")

If you prefer, you can use a number to indicate your exact age rather than using one of the approximate codes. Example: If you're 30, you could use a+ or a30 (or a#, of course).

c -- Computers

Since you're probably reading this on a computer screen, there's a good chance you have some familiarity with the technology. Use this code to tell us how much of a Computer Geek you are.

If your rating is at least c, add one or more of the following letters (just after the c) to indicate your preferred operating environment:

d -- Doom, Quake, etc.

ID Games' Doom and Quake, and related games (Dark Forces, Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic, Hexen, etc), seem to be at least as hugely popular among furries as they are among the population at large. What is it about running around with heavy-calibre weaponry shooting the shit out of everything in sight that appeals to us? Or does that question answer itself?

e -- Education

How far have you managed to crawl up the academic ladder?

f -- Real life furriness factor

How far does furryness spill over into your other life? Or, to put it another way, how far do you allow the mundane world to get in the way of the important things in life?

h -- Housing

What sort of home do you live in?

i -- Internet

The Internet, and its various sub-media and related media (Usenet, email, World-Wide Web, MUCKs and MUDs, IRC, FTP sites, and gods know what else), has quickly become a leading medium of communication among furries (not to mention the rest of the technologically aware universe). How deeply have you dived in?

Add a w after the i if you have your own home page on the Web; make it wf if your page mentions furries.

j -- Anime (Japanese animation)

Many of us are also avid fans of the genre of animation known as "Anime". You know, the kind where all the characters have huge eyes and even the bad guys are cute?

p -- Pets

If we can't be furries in Real Life (yet), at least we can do the next best thing and cohabit with them.

s -- Human sex

Use this code, if you wish, to describe the sex (and sex life) of your human persona. As with the furry sex code, you should feel free to use the # ("mind your own business") or ! ("nothing to do with me") modifiers if you prefer.

First, which sex are you?

If you wish to reveal any details of your sex life, use one of these codes:

(For example, sm+ would indicate a male human who has had sex at least once.)


And here, as a demonstration, is my own Furry Code:


Automatic Furry Code Encoder/Decoder