See also SystemNames.
Once we became aware of the fact that the body was shared by more than just myself and my Hostess, we decided that a system name was necessary to avoid confusion for others when interacting on the 'net. Our criteria for choosing a name were;
- It must be equally applicable to all members of the system
- It must be flexible enough that if more members were to appear, the name would not become redundant (ie; a name based on a number would be a bad idea)
- It must be a positive name. No names implying broken-ness or dysfunction
- It must be aesthetically pleasing to everyone (or at least it doesn't disgust anybody)
- It must not be already used by anyone in the otherkin or multiple online community
Organising the project fell to me, since I am the one who's obsessed with languages and words. Taking suggestions from anyone else in-system who wanted to contribute, I compiled a list of possible words, including words synonymous with "group" or "system". I put those words together in various combinations. None of them were particularly pleasing from an aesthetic point of view, so then I started diving into various foreign-language dictionaries. The most popular name combinations were translated into various different languages until we found one that we all liked enough to live with. The language we chose in the end was Manx Gaelic, because Gaelic is a pretty language and the Manx dialect is the nearest in geographical location to the region where we live.
In the end the name we finally settled on was not anyone's favourite, but it was the best compromise. Maybe one day we'll find something more appropriate, who knows?
--Casteylan (of Doltaghey House)
Using the body name
One option is to use the body name for the group name, then have each individual have their own name that is distinct from it. Everyone then needs to respond to two names, the body name and their chosen name. This doesn't seem to be much of a problem as I am not aware of a multiple who isn't aware of what the body is called (though they may exist).
The downside is that it can be hard to distinguish between the group label and an individual who isn't yet coaware. That problem exists regardless of which name is used collectively though.
Changing the body name
I know of a few multiples who have gone through a legal name change, and more who've gone through a common usename change. This is related to choosing a system name but somewhat less flexible in realspace. (Eg. How many people refer to Doltaghey House as Doltaghey House in person?).
A couple of those have chosen names that reflect the names of a subset of their internal collectives. How does doing so make the various members of the collective feel is a question that I've raised to varying results. Something to ponder anyway.
"But I don't want a group name..."
Some multiples actually don't have a group name. The reasons may be varied, up to and including "We haven't found one that quite fits yet". In such a case, it may be standard operating procedure to simply refer to the person(s) by individual names, and hope that they are reasonable if you get it wrong every so often.
- In my case, people are encouraged to refer to the body using my name, unless otherwise notified, or unless it's obviously not me, in which case, they are encouraged to ask. Different people I channel are more forthcoming than others. --Arashi