7

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

4
  • 1
    Can you provide more context? The title and the text of your question are not clear...
    – Alenanno
    May 7, 2011 at 10:30
  • 2
    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, 2011 at 18:26
  • Yes, Janus-faced sounds about right. Probably spot on.
    – meiryo
    May 19, 2011 at 12:31
  • How abou split-personaility? Sep 1, 2011 at 21:06

8 Answers 8

15

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.

4
  • 1
    Oh? He meant physically two-faced?
    – Alenanno
    May 7, 2011 at 11:55
  • This is very good, upvotes to everyone else for suggestions too.
    – meiryo
    May 19, 2011 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, 2012 at 15:36
  • 1
    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. ;-) Oct 16, 2013 at 18:14
9

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.

3

You could try duplicitous.

1
  • Although, I have just noticed you asked for a noun. Janus is probably your best bet.
    – Liv
    May 13, 2011 at 2:48
2

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

2

try janus-faced

  1. Having two faces; two-faced; hence, double-dealing; deceitful.
0

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.

0

Maybe A Hypocrite?

As in one who is double-faced...

One who says something else but practices something different.

Example:

In public, a person talks about hazards of drinking alcohol. But, he actually consumes it.

-1

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.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.