The leaders of the dominion are known for having 3 names:

The Founders, what they called themselves, which became their official Star Trek name. Shapeshifters*, what others called them. Changelings*, also what others called them. *Not every shapeshifter or changeling was a founder, like Odo and Laas. And not every alien with shapeshifting abilities was either of them, like Species 8472.

Since they altered the Vorta from monkey like beings they probably named the vorta. And since they created the Jem Hadar they also created their name. But did they ever got a name in their own language?

  • Was species 8472 able to shape shift naturally? I thought they had to take injections to maintain a different form during that episode.
    – Alarion
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 18:28
  • Species 8472 couldn't shapeshift naturally, they did had to take some injections to maintain other forms and be able to function in a Class M atmosphere.
    – Sava
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 18:29
  • "Changling" is what the Founders' species is known as. Changlings have been shown referring to their species by this name. "Founders" is what the group of Changlings within the Dominion is known as. Changlings have been shown referring to their group by this name. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 18:54

3 Answers 3


The difficulty with this question is that there is no evidence that Changelings have a language of their own, in the way we understand it atleast.

A Changeling's natural state is liquid and the majority of them reside in one 'lake'. When Changelings are in liquid form together they are linked mentally to the point where the lines of individuality are blurred or possibly non-existent.

The humanoid forms we are familiar with are at best a mimicry/approximation of other humanoid species. It's doubtful that they ever developed speech using sounds or writing before meeting other humanoid lifeforms. So if they do have a name for themselves, it's more likely to be a thought than any spoken or written word.


To my knowledge no piece of Star Trek media, outside information, or writer commentary has ever given an official name for the race aside from Changelings. That appears to be their species name for all intents and purposes.


The Star Trek: Star Charts factbook contains race identification for each homeworld. The Founders (AKA "changelings") are clearly named as such.

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According to Star Trek Magazine, the original conversation about the Founders (between Ira Steven Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe) was that they were an enigmatic race.

"We talked about having a race called the Founders; we wouldn't know who they were, or what kind of creatures they were, for a long time. That would be a big mystery."

Founders - Conceptual Origin: Memory Alpha

  • Thanks everyone.
    – Kasper
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 22:07
  • Curious that the Founder homeworld would be named "The Great Link". I thought that's what the Founders themselves called that giant puddle they would collectively form, not the planet they occupied. Odd that the name would be extended to the planet itself.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 18:20
  • @AnthonyX We call our planet "earth", even though the bits we live on don't comprise the majority of the surface.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 12:28

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