Distinguishing werewolf from other wolf-related tags

In category: Tag/Wiki Projects and Questions

It's been bugging me for a while now how werewolf as a tag pretty much violates tag what you see, partly since not everybody seems to agree on what should count as a werewolf on a website where half of the content is about anthropomorphic beasts, and partly because TWYS can often be interpreted in more lenient ways when it comes to species. Most discussions regarding aliases and implications to and from were-* tags tend to have people debating on the exact meaning of those tags in the context of furry art ([1] [2] [3]) and that should probably be a sign that "What counts as a werewolf" is a question that needs a clear answer.

I've personally always been more of the opinion that an image should show traces of a transformation having taken place or make it clear that the character in question is a savage beast and not a "person" anymore. Looking at images like post #1354849, however, I'm on the fence about identification via other physical characteristics (slit pupils, significant size difference, etc.) and that's more of less why I left it at that when I made the wiki edit that added the list of "what should be there for the image to qualify " last week...

deep breath
yes-im-sorry-for-doing-that-without-asking-about-it-on-the-forum-first-and-i-wont-do-it-again-please-dont-hurt-me

Now, if we were to take this as a baseline (please make suggestions on what you think should or shouldn't count), the worgen → werewolf implication would need to go (and be replaced with a simple → wolf implication) unless there are other indications within the image that make it match the requirements. I know it's not the first time the implication has been criticized, but werewolf ought to have more meaning than most other species tags, otherwise it would just be redundant with the regular wolf tag.

This is probably going to set a precedent for other were-* tags if we do manage to agree on a definition, so there's that too.

BlueDingo
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Oh cool, it's this song and dance again. Not sure what will come of it this time, but let's go a few rounds and see what happens.

I'm not trying to be rude or anything. It's just that this topic's been brought up several times before and not much has happened each time.


+1, I agree. A lot of the times people even ending up tagging wolf and werewolf together anyways and really, unless it's super obvious or distinct, it seems as if it's an unneeded addition to posts as of right now.

But yeah, I feel we need to have some baseline as to what makes something "were" in an image's context, which would be things like showing transformation, showing a more beastly nature, hugely muscular, etc etc.


BlueDingo said:
Oh cool, it's this song and dance again. Not sure what will come of it this time, but let's go a few rounds and see what happens.

I'm not trying to be rude or anything. It's just that this topic's been brought up several times before and not much has happened each time.

Sometimes, it doesn't take much to get a bunch of tags cleared up. Naga and lamia used to be like that, but add a proper wiki page with a good explanation and the rest might very well sort itself out.

In our case, though, it'd probably be good to make sure everybody agrees, especially since that's going to need some implication rewiring.

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User: Darou
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too bad you cant even use savagery these days or even the full moon to varify werewolves, sence hollywood has kinda thrown a shovel into the traditional concept of what is a werewolf with movies like twilight or wolfgirl...

seems only useful a tag when it is visible that transformation has actually taken place...

It worth noting other fictional species like Cerberus also suffer the same problem of being unclear about the difference between the regular and the mythlogical(ex. multi headed regular husky vs. mythological cerberus)


I agree that something should be done, however, unlike Naga and lamia I don’t think it can feasibly happen. Nagas and lamias are distictly different were as the line between anthro and werewolf is blurry. I would say they are more animalistic than anthros, but even thisnis down to each indivual persons interpretation of what makes something an anthro. The only things I can think of that can maybe at least helpnfix this are:

-use the archetypical werewolf (good luck agreeing on what that is) as the qualifying body type
-get rid of the worgenwerewolf implication, in my opinion not only do I think worgens count as a different species because they don’t have tails but alot of the worgen pictures I saw when I searched the term looked like anthro wolves, not werewolves so I think getting rid of this can clean up the werewolf tag
-use archetypical werewolf lore stuff together like full moon, transformations, etc. (This might be harder as artistic mediums are always coming up with there own definition of what a werewolf is)

What I think should qualify as a werewolf:
2017 5_fingers angry anthro attack black_fur black_nose blewzen_(artist) canine claws coin detailed_background duo first_person_view full_moon fur human looking_at_viewer mammal moon night open_mouth outside sharp_teeth teeth town tree were werewolf yellow_eyes

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User: GhostWolf2018
Date: February 22, 2017 2017 a-u-r-e-l_(artist) black_fur black_nose canine claws detailed_background full_moon fur human mammal moon night open_mouth outside sharp_teeth solo standing teeth toe_claws town were werewolf

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User: GhostWolf2018
Date: February 09, 2017

What I think doesn’t qualify as a werewolf:

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Something semi-related I want to bring up.

A dog at any level of anthro is still called a dog. A cat at any level of anthro is still called a cat. If fact, pretty much every animal at any level of anthro is still considered that animal... except for wolf, which is considered a werewolf at this specific level of anthro and just a wolf at any other level.

Notice that a werewolf (which literally means man-wolf) is essentially an anthro wolf and almost always depicted as such yet has no wolf implication?

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User: Commander_Eggplant
Date: September 20, 2017

yeah honestly i think that werewolf should be used only on images with stuff like

-visible full moon
-transformation
-when character is visibly a werewolf (like naturally lacking fur coating, physical humanoid traits and so on)
-clear symbolism hinting character being werewolf


What if the species in the image is 100% from some franchise that calls it a "werewolf"? TWYS and whatnot, but we're perfectly fine with going to the source material for names.

Ledian
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Strikerman said:
What if the species in the image is 100% from some franchise that calls it a "werewolf"? TWYS and whatnot, but we're perfectly fine with going to the source material for names.

werewolf_(franchise name)?


BlueDingo said:
Something semi-related I want to bring up.

A dog at any level of anthro is still called a dog. A cat at any level of anthro is still called a cat. If fact, pretty much every animal at any level of anthro is still considered that animal... except for wolf, which is considered a werewolf at this specific level of anthro and just a wolf at any other level.

Notice that a werewolf (which literally means man-wolf) is essentially an anthro wolf and almost always depicted as such yet has no wolf implication?

Well, that's why I think we should probably stress the "not (quite) a person" aspect for were-* tags. Take each of these posts, for instance :

absurd_res anthro bed bouquet canine clothing duo eyes_closed female hair hi_res human larger_female male mammal size_difference sleeping smaller_male spooning vanchamarl were werewolf wolf

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User: g3kk3y
Date: February 16, 2016

Would anything seem wrong if you replaced the werewolf in those images with a human? Would any meaning be lost? Do you think that said werewolf might still be allowed to or lucid enough to drive a car in this state? Does it have the right to vote?

Jokes aside, that would straight up make every transformation images safe to tag as such (you gotta turn into *something*, so just replacing everything with humans wouldn't work) and it could still be meaningful enough of a distinction to sort out the rest, even though it's probably not enough on its own.


SharkFetish said:
get rid of the worgenwerewolf implication, in my opinion not only do I think worgens count as a different species because they don’t have tails but alot of the worgen pictures I saw when I searched the term looked like anthro wolves, not werewolves so I think getting rid of this can clean up the werewolf tag

Every Worgen is a werewolf, and their design is quite werewolfish anyways so it's not like it completely breaks TWYS. Also, I don't think a werewolf needs a tail, plenty of werewolves in popular media don't have one. If you don't like seeing the worgen for whatever reason you can always search "werewolf -worgen" or just blacklist the tag entirely.

SharkFetish said:
What I think should qualify as a werewolf:
2017 5_fingers angry anthro attack black_fur black_nose blewzen_(artist) canine claws coin detailed_background duo first_person_view full_moon fur human looking_at_viewer mammal moon night open_mouth outside sharp_teeth teeth town tree were werewolf yellow_eyes

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User: GhostWolf2018
Date: February 22, 2017

Ok, so you're saying that if we removed the full moon from the background that thing would suddenly cease to be a werewolf? It LOOKS like the most stereotypical werewolf ever, and yet if you just remove the full moon it's "nah...that's just an anthro wolf now." That's ridiculous.


Dyrone said:
Every Worgen is a werewolf, and their design is quite werewolfish anyways so it's not like it completely breaks TWYS. I don't think a werewolf needs a tail, plenty of werewolves in popular media don't have one. If you don't like seeing the worgen for whatever reason you can always search "werewolf -worgen" or just blacklist the tag entirely.

What in their design is specifically "werewolfish" that isn't already covered by the wolf tag or isn't up to the artist's interpretation. As I said earlier, if we can't figure out a way to make werewolf as a species visibly different from just wolf, we might as well just not have that tag at all.


Fifteen said:
What in their design is specifically "werewolfish" that isn't already covered by the wolf tag or isn't up to the artist's interpretation. As I said earlier, if we can't figure out a way to make werewolf as a species visibly different from just wolf, we might as well just not have that tag at all.

This is their base design

How is that not a werewolf?


Dyrone said:
This is their base design

How is that not a werewolf?

No one is arguing that the base design of worgen's aren't werewolf based.

What's being argued is a lot of artists portray them as much more wolf-like and very little werewolf-ish, as most art of them I've seen look much more like wolves with no tails. This, being a TWYS site, makes a lot of fanart of the species look very non-were and therefore... rly not well tagged imho.

I feel werewolf on worgen should be tagged on a case by case basis, and worgen gets implicated to wolf instead of werewolf. This way the more werewolf looking worgen content can be tagged properly, while the species is still implied to wolf.


facelessmess said:
I feel werewolf on worgen should be tagged on a case by case basis, and worgen gets implicated to wolf instead of werewolf. This way the more werewolf looking worgen content can be tagged properly, while the species is still implied to wolf.

Doesn't matter how the artists draw them. As long as there is significant proof that it is a worgen it should also be tagged werewolf, that's why it's aliased in the first place. Sometimes you have go a bit beyond TWYS, as long as it's not completely unreasonable under TWYS, which worgens are not.

I just think it's dumb to basically divide a fantasy race on whether or not they look "savage" enough. Like a scary worgen is a werewolf and a cute worgen is suddenly...not? It seems like a stupid delineation to make.

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Dyrone said:
I just think it's dumb to basically divide a fantasy race on whether or not they look "savage" enough. Like a scary worgen is a werewolf and a cute worgen is suddenly...not? It seems like a stupid delineation to make.

Moreso than the divide between wolf and werewolf?

werewolf -wolf - 3200+ results


BlueDingo said:
Moreso than the divide between wolf and werewolf?

werewolf -wolf - 3200+ results

I'm speaking specifically about worgen here.


BlueDingo said:
Moreso than the divide between wolf and werewolf?

werewolf -wolf - 3200+ results

That really begs the question as to why werewolf doesn't already imply wolf. It shouldn't be to keep 'wolfman' type werewolves out of the 'wolf' tag, they're as relevant as anime girls with pointy ears.

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regsmutt said:
It shouldn't be to keep 'wolfman' type werewolves out of the 'wolf' tag, they're as relevant as anime girls with pointy ears.

I'm guessing by 'wolfman type', you mean the more human-looking ones. They would likely fall under wolf_humanoid.


regsmutt said:
That really begs the question as to why werewolf doesn't already imply wolf. It shouldn't be to keep 'wolfman' type werewolves out of the 'wolf' tag, they're as relevant as anime girls with pointy ears.

The tag chain for those tags is all kinds of messed up. Lycan (which should be aliased to werewolf) doesn't imply either wolf or werewolf.

So long as we can't agree on a tagging policy for werewolf, though, I don't think we could really do much about the aliasing rules. Which is why I think it's important that we have that discussion.


Dyrone said:
I just think it's dumb to basically divide a fantasy race on whether or not they look "savage" enough. Like a scary worgen is a werewolf and a cute worgen is suddenly...not? It seems like a stupid delineation to make.

Because worgen being werewolves then veers into "tag what you know", which is a problem for the werewolf tag as a whole, since there's no agreed upon way to distinguish an anthro wolf from a werewolf under the current policy.


Fifteen said:
Because worgen being werewolves then veers into "tag what you know"

And? I already addressed this twice. I'm not going to restate my stance on it again simply because you've decided to not read my posts.

Fifteen said:
there's no agreed upon way to distinguish an anthro wolf from a werewolf under the current policy.

There's plenty of tips on the wiki about how to distinguish a werewolf from a wolf humanoid. Just because you haven't bothered to look doesn't mean no resources exist.


Dyrone said:
There's plenty of tips on the wiki about how to distinguish a werewolf from a wolf humanoid. Just because you haven't bothered to look doesn't mean no resources exist.

Like I said in my OP, I'm the one who added those last week and I'd really prefer we agreed upon something instead.

And going beyond TWYS is hardly an answer. Consider that we're not supposed to tag Pokémon based on their template species, so crobat shouldn't be tagged bat even though it's meant to be a "bat pokémon" and pretty clearly looks like a bat any way you look at it. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing, since it means I don't have to go through hundreds of Renamon images whenever I feel like looking up foxes. The worgen → werewolf implication is just one of those lore implications that I feel just makes searching for images of "proper" werewolves harder than it needs to be.

Tell me frankly : Lore accuracy aside, what's the benefit of having such an alias?

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Dyrone said:
Doesn't matter how the artists draw them. As long as there is significant proof that it is a worgen it should also be tagged werewolf, that's why it's aliased in the first place. Sometimes you have go a bit beyond TWYS, as long as it's not completely unreasonable under TWYS, which worgens are not.

that is not how it works. if you cant see from image that its a werewolf, it should not be tagged as such. just because its recognizable as werewolf based species doesnt suddenly qualify it for werewolf tag. just like you cant tag all pikachus as rodent purely based on the fact that pikachus are based on rodents.


Commander_Eggplant said:
that is not how it works. if you cant see from image that its a werewolf, it should not be tagged as such. just because its recognizable as werewolf based species doesnt suddenly qualify it for werewolf tag. just like you cant tag all pikachus as rodent purely based on the fact that pikachus are based on rodents.

there's a news bulletin at the top that literally says it's okay to tag the family species of a given Pokemon


Commander_Eggplant said:
that is not how it works. if you cant see from image that its a werewolf, it should not be tagged as such. just because its recognizable as werewolf based species doesnt suddenly qualify it for werewolf tag. just like you cant tag all pikachus as rodent purely based on the fact that pikachus are based on rodents.

It's more that you can't tag them as a specific species, as you can tag them as the base species (canine for renamon for example, instead of the specific "fox")

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Strikerman said:
there's a news bulletin at the top that literally says it's okay to tag the family species of a given Pokemon

you still cant tag it as rodent if it doesnt look like rodent at all in some specific piece. sometimes canine or feline might suit better.


Commander_Eggplant said:
If you cant see from image that its a werewolf, it should not be tagged as such.

If it meets the criteria for a worgen, then it meets the criteria for a werewolf, even if it's pushing the boundaries a little. This isn't about tagging a giraffe as a werewolf because in some fantasy universe they're considered werewolves, stop straw-manning.

Strikerman said:

Commander_Eggplant said:
just like you cant tag all pikachus as rodent purely based on the fact that pikachus are based on rodents.

there's a news bulletin at the top that literally says it's okay to tag the family species of a given Pokemon

In the gaming community this is what we refer to as "getting rekt".

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Dyrone said:
If it meets the criteria for a worgen, then it meets the criteria for a werewolf, even if it's pushing the boundaries a little. This isn't about tagging a giraffe as a werewolf because in some fantasy universe they're considered werewolves, stop straw-manning.

again, if nothing in image suggest that character is a werewolf, it fucking should not be tagged as such. "worgens are werewolves" is purely external knowledge and should have absolutely no weight in tagging

In the gaming community this is what we refer to as "getting rekt".

again, if some pokemon looks more like dog despite of being based on mouse, it gets tagged as canine. the canon information has no weight in tagging this shit.


Commander_Eggplant said:
again, if nothing in image suggest that character is a werewolf, it fucking should not be tagged as such. "worges are werewolves" is purely external knowledge and should have absolutely no weight in tagging

I honestly don't care about your opinion on this at all, it's already implicated, and you're straw-manning yet again by suggesting that a worgen looks NOTHING like a werewolf. Even the most cartoony versions of worgen still look like werewolves to some degree.

And TWYK can factor into tags, the mother_and_son tag, for instance, is completely dependent on TWYK in a lot of cases. Yall need to stop acting like using TWYK is a cardinal sin that can NEVER be committed, it's simply wrong, and honestly makes you look like you have a very base understanding of tagging in general.