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wererat is a therianthropic creature in the shape of a rat. The term is a neologism coined in analogy to werewolf, used in the fantasy or horror genre since the 1970s. The concept has since become common in role playing games and fantasy fiction inspired by them. Were-rats are commonly portrayed as sewer-dwelling scavengers and opportunistic thieves.A
were- is often used as a prefix applied to an animal name to indicate a type of lycanthropy and/or shapeshifter (e.g. "were-boar"). Hyphenation used to be mandatory but is now commonly dropped, as in werecat and wererat. This usage can be seen as a back-formation from werewolf (literally, "man-wolf"), as there is no equivalent wifewolf.In folklore and fantasy fiction,