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I'm in need of a word that describes someone who has two personalities (they don't necessarily contrast each other, good/evil).

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Can you provide more context? The title and the text of your question are not clear... –  Alenanno May 7 '11 at 10:30
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Two-faced (in your title) really is exactly Janus-faced, fake etc. Multiple-personalites (in your text) is something else. Which do you prefer? –  Mitch May 8 '11 at 18:26
    
Yes, Janus-faced sounds about right. Probably spot on. –  meiryo May 19 '11 at 12:31
    
How abou split-personaility? –  Sȱɳɨȼ Ʈħe ǶḝÐɠḝħȱɠ Sep 1 '11 at 21:06

7 Answers 7

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Janus?

Janus statue

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions [...]. Most often he is depicted as having two heads, facing opposite directions: one head looks eastward and the other westward. Symbolically they look simultaneously into the future and the past, back at the last year and forward at the new.

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Oh? He meant physically two-faced? –  Alenanno May 7 '11 at 11:55
    
+1 for the pix! :) –  Paul Amerigo Pajo May 8 '11 at 5:45
    
This is very good, upvotes to everyone else for suggestions too. –  meiryo May 19 '11 at 12:30
    
Is there really a negative connotation to Janus in the mythology? Or is that sense of a later invention? –  Kris Oct 20 '12 at 15:36
    
There is no negative connotation to him anywhere—the negative connotation is to the word ‘two-faced’, which is a much later, English invention. The subsequent use of ‘Janus-faced’ builds on ‘two-faced’ and is also an English invention. I guess I should also throw in a “Hey, I resent that!” comment here, just for good measure. ;-) –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 16 '13 at 18:14

Well, unfortunately, they're usually just called "a two-faced person", and most other words dealing with it are adjectives that in noun form simply refer to the abstract quality of the adjective (a -ness noun, e.g. "deceitfulness") rather than one who has the quality of the adjective. Let's see what I can come up with though.

"Double-dealer" - One who says one thing and does another, or one who does two things which are diametrically opposed to one another (such as selling weapons to both sides in a war, playing both sides against the middle)

"Fake" - usually slang in this context, one who acts one way but thinks something else. Like someone who pretends to be your friend to your face, but talks about you behind your back

"Sociopath" - Sociopaths usually display an overt duality of personality, one which acts as a front to cover for their real (completely unemotional and ruthless) personality. Hence, you get Sociopathic serial killers who live completely normal lives while nobody suspects that they're torturing people to death in their spare time. However, this refers to an actual medical condition, but it's not uncommon to use.

"Traitor" - One who betrays.

"Turncoat" - A traitor who switches sides, principles, etc.

"Deceiver" - One who deceives.

That's all I can think of right now.

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You could try duplicitous.

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Although, I have just noticed you asked for a noun. Janus is probably your best bet. –  Liv May 13 '11 at 2:48
    
I could use this too, thanks @Liv –  meiryo May 19 '11 at 12:32

Jekyll and Hyde, maybe? This is very much linked to good/evil, though.

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try janus-faced

  1. Having two faces; two-faced; hence, double-dealing; deceitful.
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How about a Dualist ? or Bimorphic ? How about a flip flopper? Hell you can talk about a many faced person as them being a Polymorph.

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I used polymorph today, thanks to you @Arjang :D –  meiryo May 19 '11 at 12:33

A person can be "multifaceted" if you mean that person has more than just two sides. A person who has a set of behaviors and interests out in the world but has a "different" set of behaviors and interests when at home, can probable be seen as "multifaceted." A mother who is a sexy beast in the bedroom and who is also a strong disciplinarian, and also a very quiet person in public, could be described as multifaceted.

I would venture to say "dual-faceted" with the hyphen. Also, "dual-form", "double faceted", "dual sided". A fairly common one is "of two minds". I would like to know more context though.

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