How To Grow Your Poly Vocabulary

Resources to expand your understanding of non-monogamous words and slang

Last updated:
December 11, 2023
Contributed by:
Jessie Rushing

How To Grow Your Poly Vocabulary

Words are hard, but they are also super important, and we want to help you make sure you are being understood as well as understanding the polyamorous or CNM/ENM people you talk with. At one point we considered creating a huge vocabulary section of this site, as in building it into our CMS and everything, but then we found https://www.polydictionary.org/ and were grateful that they’ve already started doing this good work. 

Polyamory Vocabulary Links

What are all the polyamorous vocabulary resources you should know about? This is our list, but we know it’s possible that we’re missing some, so if you know of one that we don’t, please tell us where you are learning new polyamorous words. 

Instead of bringing you a list of words, we’re bringing you a list of word lists. We don’t want to try to recreate the wheel when it comes to polyamorous content, instead we want to promote, expose, and share the amazing content that our community is already doing such a great job of creating. 

As practicing polyamorists ourselves, we’ve seen how the terminology has evolved over time, and instead of trying to maintain yet another online glossary, we want to help keep the ones that already exist up to date and active. That’s why this isn’t a polyamory dictionary itself, but is instead a list of dictionaries & glossaries that others in the community have already put a lot of time and effort into creating. 

#1 polydictionary.org

For a comprehensive and searchable list of words related to non-monogamy, we love the way polydictionary.org has organized their vocabulary list. Users can submit new words to expand the dictionary and get credited for their additions. We also love that entries are dated, so you can see when terms were added. With a handy list of links to a few other non-monogamous resources, this is a fantastic reference list for anybody practicing CNM. 

Polyamorous Glossaries

If you want to know what the word “polyamory” means or learn more about its history and origins, the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_within_polyamory has a pretty extensive definition, but considering the page is called “Terminology within polyamory” it falls massively short in it’s Miscellaneous Terminology section. We really need some wiki updaters to make this better, but perhaps they don’t bother because there are already so many comprehensive polyamory glossaries out there. 

Here are just a few of the ones we like:

Black and Poly Dictionary

This list is available at http://blackandpoly.org/dictionary/ and it is so good and comprehensive that they had to split it up into a short version too, which is also a great quick reference. If you’re not already following them on socials, or reading their blog, then we’re very happy to introduce you to this fantastic content creator who you absolutely should be following. 

Reddit’s r/polyamory wiki vocab list

Reddit used to claim that it was the “front page of the internet” and so its r/polyamory subreddit has been around for a very long time. While the sub itself can sometimes be problematic, in that it’s frequently accused of being an echo chamber or being full of gate-keepers, the vocabulary list is one that has been lovingly grown and maintained for many years. We also like how quickly new words get added to this list, as sometimes our communities' new words and phrases are being coined on this very subreddit. 

Loving More non-profit Polyamory Terms

Finally we also want to share with you the Loving More Non-profit’s Polyamory Terms list which is available at https://www.lovingmorenonprofit.org/home/polyamory/terms/. This is another list that has been around for a long time, and while it’s very comprehensive we’re not sure exactly how frequently it gets updated. This non-profit organization based in Colorado in the United States, publishes the Loving More online magazine as well as holds polyamorous retreats and conferences. 

Learn polyamory words on Tiktok

Links to sites are great if you’re on your laptop and need a quick reference and want to search for a specific word CTRL-F style, but what if reading a long list of vocab words is not for you? Then let us introduce you to @polyphilia on Tiktok, and no you don’t have to just go search for their profile, you can visit their site’s FAQ page for a handy list of Tiktoks and Reels that cover all kinds of nonmonogamous definitions and explanations. This award winning account features tons of educational CNM/ENM content, and links are available at https://www.polyphilia.blog/faq

Vocabulary Podcasts

MULTIAMORY Poly Glossary

Compared to the online glossaries that we’ve already mentioned, the Multiamory glossary isn’t really that extensive, but their podcast library makes up for it. If you want to expand your polyamorous vocabulary by listening to one of the best podcasts on the topic that exists, then head over to their site, at https://www.multiamory.com/poly-glossary and go from there. 

This podcast has an incredibly extensive library going way way back, and you can start listening at any time. Check out their content at their site, or pick up a copy of their book Multiamory: Essential Tools for Modern Relationships which is also a great educational resource. 

More Non-Monogamous Vocab Resources

We’re not only here to bring you product links, that’s just an easy thing to get started with that can support the site while we grow our audience and establish our partnerships. Eventually we’d love to be affiliated with all of our community’s favorite content creators and product makers, but it takes time to build those relationships. 

Are you a polyamorous resource that we should be promoting? Drop into our DMs on our instagram @shopJustPolyThings or shoot us a message from our contact page so that we can talk about partnering. JustPolyThings wants to be a hub for the community, but we need more connections to make it happen. 

Contributor:
Jessie Rushing
Jessie has been practicing solo-polyamory since 2014, and is this site's glorious and illustrious founder. When not building JustPolyThings.com she enjoys building other websites, trail running, and hosting polycule play parties.
This page may contain affiliate links. Learn more

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