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Werewolf Theme Naming

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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 (or just the Latin word lupus).
  • Lycus, the Latin transliteration of Old Greek λύκος (lykos, "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, ulv and varg.
  • Names containing the element wolf or wulf, like the German name Wolfgang, or the Anglo-Saxon name Wulfric.
  • Fenrir/Fenris, the monstrous wolf from Norse Mythology.
  • Romulus or Remus, the twin founders of Rome, said to have been suckled from a wolf's teat.
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  • 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.

It can also apply to other werebeasts: werelions called Leo, werebears called Bjorn, and so on.

A Sub-Trope of A Lizard Named "Liz", Meaningful Name and Our Werewolves Are Different.


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Examples:

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    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.
  • Wolfram from Wolfsmund is rumored by the peasants to have wolf blood in him.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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).
  • Full Eclipse: Adam Garou, the leader of the werewolf pack, is named for loup-garou, the French word for werewolf. (In Cajun French garou can also be used as a suffix akin to "were-," to indicate various kinds of shapeshifters.)

    Literature 
  • From Harry Potter:
    • Remus Lupin has a double-barreled themed name, as Remus is a mythical founder of Rome who was suckled by a she-wolf, and a lupin is a flower the name of which means "wolfish". Moreover, Remus' parents may have themed names as well: the name of his father Lyall may come from an Old Norse personal name Liulfr, which contains the element úlfr 'wolf'; and his mother's maiden name is Howell, which sounds very similar to "howl".
    • Fenrir Greyback is a child-targeting Fully-Embraced Fiend with an appropriately sinister name.
  • 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 short-story "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 Sheep's Clothing is an unusual case of a character having wolf as a first name. Justified because he is half-Native American and raised Sioux.
  • Parodied 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'.
  • Largely averted in the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series, as its werewolves and various other Unnaturals were (usually) ordinary humans before the Big Uneasy, and retain their everyday human names. Played straight with nicknames, like the biker Monthlies Scratch and Sniff.
  • Warwolf: the Centurion Warrior has the eponymous title character.
  • Beorn in The Hobbit has a name that means "bear" in Old English, and he is a "skin-changer" who can turn into a bear at will.
  • A metafictional version in "The Lion in His Attic"; Rordray the werelion actually a weresealion was a Tuckerization of a friend of Larry Niven named Andre Lion.
  • The My Brother the Werewolf series has a subtler version, as the titular siblings' surname is Packer.
  • In This Is Not A Werewolf Story, protagonist Raul is given the power to turn into a wolf, while his friend Vincent has some supernatural connections to Ravens and Crows (including the hint that he might become a raven shapeshifter one day). Mary Anne notices the latter and comments that St. Vincent was associated with ravens, and adds that Raul's name means "wolf." He marvels a bit at that, wondering "do our names call the animal? Or are we named for the animal we call?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • Inverted on Teen Wolf—the werewolves all have perfectly normal names, while the family that hunts them has the surname Argent, which means "silver" in French. Lampshaded by Jackson when he finds out.

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer: While the game doesn't have werewolves, is does have a guy who can turn into a bear by the name of Beorn Bearstruck. Wulfrik the Wanderer, while not a werewolf, does have a certain wolf theme (in addition to serving Khorne, among whose many nicknames is the Bloodwolf).
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Space Wolves are Viking-themed Space Marines and some suffer from a condition that turns them into wolflike mutants called wulfen. Their names all being some variation on the wolf theme (Ragnar Blackmane, Harald Deathwolf, Canis Wolfborn), overlap is inevitable, yet the only named wulfen is Murderfang (and even that's a nickname).

    Toys 
  • Monster High has Clawdeen Wolf, her brother Clawd, and her sisters Howleen and Clawdia.
  • Resurrection of Monstress has Wolfinica, who doesn't seem to have any other name or secret identity.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Blizzard Wolfang of Mega Man X6 is a humanoid wolf robot and one of Gate's minions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Havenfall Is for Lovers has Mackenzie Hunt. The surname is obvious, but there's also a species of wolf called the Mackenzie wolf.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Howler from Drak Pack.
  • In Gargoyles
    • Like all members of the Pack, Wolf is named after an animal, but originally he was just a normal human. Later he gets genetically modified into a wolf-man by his own volition. As it turns out, he's descended from Viking warriors, so his augmentation brings to mind the Ulfdhednar.
    • Fox, who turns into a sort of monstrous were-fox every night after the Eye of Odin brings out her Superpowered Evil Side. A confusing example: "Fox" is a name that she chose herself, but before the temporary shapeshifting. Maybe she became a fox because she already identified with them? Also, her birth name is Janine Renard.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, the name of Anthony Lupus, mentioned in the comics section above, was adapted to Anthony Romulus.

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