Even if werewolves are different from series to series
, they tend to be easy to spot because of the one thing they typically have in common across all works: their meaningful names are almost always
a reference to the werewolf myth.
Typically, your fictional werewolf will have his name based on...
- The scientific name for the gray wolf, canis lupus
- Lycus, the Latin transliteration of Old Greek λύκος ('wolf'), which also appears in "lycanthropy" (the condition of being a werewolf, or a delusion of being an animal)
- Other foreign words for wolf, such as lobo.
- Fenrir, the monstrous wolf from Norse Mythology
- The German name Wolfgang
- Romulus or Remus, the twin founders of Rome, said to have been suckled from a wolf's teat.
- Fangs or claws, because wolves have them.
- The words "Moon" or "Silver", or variations thereof, often via foreign languages or mythology; Luna, Diana, Selene...
- Just the word wolf, because writers can be lazy sometimes.
Werewolves aren't required
to have wolf-related names, but if you're in a supernatural setting and you meet a guy named Romulus Wolfgang, you can bet that he gets hairier when the full moon rises.
A subtrope of Meaningful Name
and Our Werewolves Are Different
Anime & Manga
- Blood Lad has Wolf Boy and his father Daddy Wolf.
- Ginei Morioka from Rosario + Vampire. His given name means "silver shadow".
- Akira Inugami from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest. 'Inu' meaning dog, and 'gami' being a variant of 'kami', meaning spirit/daemon. So effectively wolf-spirit.
- Kiba (fang), Toboe (howl), Hige (whisker), and Tsume (claw) from Wolf's Rain. They're not exactly werewolves so much as wolves psychically disguised as humans, but same difference.
- The Lobo Brothers and Maximus Lobo from the Marvel Universe.
- Anthony Lupus from the The DCU.
- Scud The Disposable Assassin made fun of this: Scud has to hijack a space shuttle, one of whose members is secretly a werewolf. All of the astronauts have names like "Lupin," "Mike Wolfman," "Ted Howls-at-the-moon" and so on, just to obfuscate which of them it is.
- Jack Russell from Werewolf by Night in the Marvel Universe shares his name with a breed of terrier.
- Lucian, the leader of the Lycans in the Underworld franchise. "Lucian" is a real name with an unrelated etymology, but it sounds similar to Lycan, which again sounds like a shortening of 'lycanthrope' ('wolf-man' or werewolf).
- Remus Lupin and Fenrir Greyback from the Harry Potter series.
- Space Wolf: Canis Wolfborn, and every Space Wolf that doesn't have a Viking name. And then there are those like Ragnar Blackmane.
- Parodied in Discworld: Big Fido the poodle spends his time extolling the virtues of wild wolves, claiming they have names like Quickfang. The actual werewolf knows this is BS, as wolves don't think of themselves that way. Indeed, in The Fifth Elephant we learn they have names like Arsehole. The evil werewolf is named Wolfgang, though.
- Mocked in Curse of the Wolfgirl by Kalix. Kalix, a real werewolf from family of werewolves who have no wolf-y sounding names finds a comic about a werewolf called "Arabella Wolf" and finds it incredibly unlikely and insulting that a girl is called "wolf" long before she becomes a werewolf.
- Anthony Boucher's The Compleat Werewolf has a wizard lampshade the hell out of this, pointing out that the titular character is named "Wolfe Wolf".
- Prince Wulfric from Heir Apparent by Vivian Van Velde.
- Wolf Cowrie of Sheeps Clothing is an unusual case of a character having wolf as a first name. Justified because he is half-Native American and raised Sioux.
- Humorously averted in the Kitty Norville series where the protagonist takes a good deal of ribbing for being a werewolf named "Kitty."
- In the Saga of Egil Skallagrimsson, Egil's grandfather Ulf, nicknamed Kveld-Ulf, is rumored to be a "shape-changer"—someone whose spirit roams around in animal shape while the shape-changer appears to sleep. 'Kveld-Ulf' means 'evening-wolf' and alludes to him turning a wolf (úlfr) at evening (kveld; i.e. when he goes to sleep).
- The Saga of Hrolf Kraki:
- Prince Bjorn is cursed by his stepmother to be a bear between sunrise and sunset. As it happens, his name means 'bear'.
- Bjorn's son Bodvar Bjarki reveals himself as a shape-changer at the Battle of Hleidragard: While Bodvar appears to sleep, his spirit fights in the shape a giant bear. Interpreted literally, 'Bodvar Bjarki' means 'Little Battle-Bear'.
- The Munsters' wolfboy son, Edward Wolfgang Munster.
- Oz, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is in a band named Dingoes Ate My Baby, or "Dingoes" (read: wild dog) for short. The band existed long before Oz became a werewolf, though: it was mentioned in the unaired pilot, while Oz wasn't bitten until halfway through season 2.
- In Kamen Rider 555, there's Takumi Inui. Inu means dog, and we find out why it's a Meaningful Name mid-season. The same goes for his Kamen Rider Decade counterpart, Takumi Ogami, which is close to Okami, meaning wolf.
- Mason Greyback from Wizards of Waverly Place.
- In Classical Mythology (as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses and other sources) King Lycaon of Arcadia was turned into a wolf as a punishment for trying to serve human flesh to his guest Zeus. His name contains "lykos", the Greek word for 'wolf'.
- Monster High has Clawdeen Wolf, her brother Clawd, and her sisters Howleen and Clawdia.
- Golden Sun: The Lost Age has the city of Garoh (a reference to the French word garou), which is populated entirely by werewolves.
- Fenrich from Disgaea 4
- Darkstalkers: Jon Talbain is named "Gallon" in Japan-"Flench" for "werewolf."
- Fang from The Lost Vikings is a werewolf.
- Touhou has the were-Honshu wolf Kagerou Imaizumi, whose given name means "Shadow Wolf" and whose family name is a reference to a well-known Japanese zoologist who studied the now-extinct Japanese wolf.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have the twin Companions members Farkas and Vilkas, which mean 'wolf' in Hungarian and Lithuanian respectively. In addition, there's Kodlak Whitemane, whose first name comes from the word for "werewolf" in some Slavic languages.
- World of Warcraft's Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas. Who, oddly enough, had that name back in Warcraft II, over a decade before he ended up being the faction leader for the playable Worgen in World of Warcraft.
- Samantha Wolf in The Wotch, better known as "Wolfie" to her friends. Jason thinks it's way too obvious that she's the werewolf, but he's wrong.
- Skin Horse has Julie Rome (as in Romulus), Sergeant Willoughby and Lucy (sounds a bit like lupine or lycan). There's even a theme-named werewolf victim: Private Hood.
- In Wilde Life, Barbara Yaga has two dogs who can change into human children; the pair seem to be twins, and one is named Remus. Played for Laughs with Cliff(ord), a redheaded teenager who can also turn into a large wolf. Get it?