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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.
  • Loup-garou, the French word for werewolf.
  • Names containing the element wolf or wulf, like the German name Wolfgang, or the Old English name Wulfric.
  • Fenrir/Fenris, the monstrous wolf from Norse Mythology.
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  • Romulus or Remus, the twin founders of Rome, said to have been nursed by a wolf.
  • 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.
  • Wolfram from Wolfsmund is rumored by the peasants to have wolf blood in him.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman foe Anthony Lupus from the The DCU.
  • The Lobo Brothers and Maximus Lobo from the Marvel Universe.
  • 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.
  • The Golden Age version of The Vision once battled a female werewolf named Llhupa (which would be pronounced 'Lupa') Sanders.
  • Werewolf by Night:
    • Jack Russell shares his name with a breed of terrier.
    • One of the members of The Braineaters—a biker gang of werewolves that battles Jack—is a woman named Lupe. (However, given that most of the gang are Only Known By Their Nicknames, it is possible that is not her real name.)

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Wolfwalkers, Mebh and her mother Moll have the last name MacTíre, which is Irish for "wolf". Naturally, they're both Wolfwalkers, who take inspiration from legends of the Werewolves of Ossory.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.)
  • The title character of Wolf Cop is simply named Lou Garou, because Wolf Cop is a very silly movie with no interest in subtlety.
  • 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).

    Literature 
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. There's also the reverse-werewolf in Reaper Man, who is literally named Lupine.
  • In the Extreme Monsters book series, the werewolf of the eponymous athletic Monster Mash is named Wulf.
  • From Harry Potter:
    • Remus Lupin has a double-barreled themed name, as Remus is a mythical founder of Rome who was nursed by a female 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-hunting Fully-Embraced Fiend with an appropriately sinister name.
  • Prince Wulfric from Heir Apparent by Vivian Van Velde.
  • 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.
  • Parodied in the Kitty Norville series, where the protagonist takes a good deal of ribbing for being a werewolf named "Kitty."
  • In some American editions of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the wolf Maugrim is known as Fenris Ulf.
  • 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.
  • Ze’ev Kesley from The Lunar Chronicles is called "Wolf" due to his wolfish modifications throughout most of the series, but his given name means wolf in Hebrew.
  • The My Brother The Werewolf series has a subtler version, as the titular siblings' surname is Packer.
  • The Parasol Protectorate:
    • The two most plot relevant werewolves are the London Pack Alpha Connall Maccon, whose given name means 'strong wolf', and his Beta Randolph Lyall, whose name contains the element "wolf" twice (Randolph = "shield-wolf"; Lyall may come from the Old Norse name Liulfr, which also contains úlfr).
    • Kingair Pack Alpha also has a name meaning 'wolf'—the obscure Scottish name Sidheag. Justified in her case since she was raised by the pack.
  • 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 Wolf Girl in The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School is Aconita Gould: "Aconitum" is the scientific name for wolfsbane, and Sabine Baring-Gould literally wrote the book on werewolves (The Book of Were-Wolves, 1865).
  • 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.
  • Space Wolf: Canis Wolfborn, and every Space Wolf that doesn't have a Viking name. And then there are those like Ragnar Blackmane.
  • In This Is Not a Werewolf Story, protagonist Raul marvels a bit when he realizes that his name means "wolf," while his friend Vincent, who seems to have some supernatural connections to Ravens and Crows, was named after a saint associated with ravens.
    Do our names call the animal? Or are we named for the animal we call?
  • Warwolf: the Centurion Warrior has the eponymous title character.
  • Mostly Averted in Wolven, but there's one character with the rather ridiculous name of Crescent Moon. To be fair, she's part of an all-werewolf band (fittingly called the Howlers), so maybe it's a stage name. She also has a bandmate named Otis, which may or may not be a reference to a famous cinematic dog.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • In Li'l Horrors, the werewolf girl at the All-Ghouls School of Maug Stone Hall is named Claudia Howell.
  • The Munsters' wolfboy son, Edward Wolfgang Munster.
  • 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.
  • Mason Greyback from Wizards of Waverly Place.

    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".

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer:
    • One Chaos warrior who can turn into a bear goes by the name of Beorn Bearstruck.
    • Wulfrik the Wanderer, while not a werewolf (though the Total War game does give him skinwolves, the local equivalent), does have a certain wolf theme, such as being born with wolf fangs instead of teeth (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 
  • In Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, the leader of the werewolves is named "Loup Garou", which is the French word for "werewolf".
  • BlazBlue: Valkenhayn R. Hellsing. I mean look at him. Name, species, moveset, just everything about him in general really.
  • Darkstalkers: Jon Talbain is named "Gallon" in Japan-"Flench" for "werewolf."
  • Fenrich from Disgaea 4.
  • 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.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age has the city of Garoh (a reference to the French word garou), which is populated entirely by werewolves.
  • Fang from The Lost Vikings is a werewolf.
  • Blizzard Wolfang of Mega Man X6 is a humanoid wolf robot and one of Gate's minions.
  • Tales of Vesperia: Protagonist Yuri Lowell's moveset is based on wolf names. Even his name Lowell translates to "little wolf".
  • 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.
  • Valheim: Werewolves can be found in the wild as Fenrings which walk upright, while the ones found in caves are more bestial and are called Ulvs.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: One sidequest features a werewolf named Morkvarg. "Mörkvarg" is Swedish and translates to "Darkwolf".
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas and lord of the worgen. To be fair though, his name is just a fantastic coincidence - he had that name back in Warcraft II, years before the worgen even existed in the lore and over a decade before he ended up being their faction leader. Plus, his fur is actually white.
    • Other worgen are more intentional. Ivar Bloodfang is the leader of the feral pack in Silverpine Forest. Ralaar Fangfire was the first worgen, a night elf druid who created the curse by accident (he would later rename himself Alpha Prime). Admiral Ripsnarl is a boss in the Deadmines post-Cata, and Jes and Bobby Howlis are bosses in Tol Dagor. And of course there's nothing stopping the player from naming their character like this as well.
    • Archmage Arugal ("arroooo"-gal). Although he never became a worgen himself, he was the mage that accidently summoned them into the Eastern Kingdoms. He later went insane and kept worgen as his pets in Shadowfang Keep.

    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 
  • Menu of Charby the Vampirate did not have a name when Charby first met him so Charby offered him the name of the moon god Menulis in reference to his lythancropy.
  • Referenced in The Rant to one El Goonish Shive strip. When Pandora is complaining that name-based magic affinity is a thing that exists, even though it makes no sense, and it guarantees that if Catalina Bobcat gets spells they'll be cat-related, the rant says "Name-based magic affinity: Now canon for all your "the guy with wolf in their name is a werewolf" or whatever logic."
  • 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.
  • Sorcery 101 gives us Brad Wolfe. No, he was not born as one. Kayla comments that this seems rather silly.
  • Wilde Life:
    • Barbara Yaga has two dogs who can change into human children, one of whom is named Remus. Played With because Word of God says that they're not natural shapeshifters, just normal dogs that she uses her own magic on.
    • Played for Laughs with Cliff(ord), a ginger teenager who can transform into a large, red wolf. Get it? Clifford believes that his mother is unaware of his power, but Oscar brings the name up as evidence that he might be wrong.
    • Hanyi's backstory, set sometime in the distant past, involves her friendship with a Native American boy named Blackwolf. When Oscar asks if he was a werewolf, Hanyi's response is basically "Well, duh."
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in Allison Pregler's "Charmed (1998) Rewind." When reviewing an episode about a wendigo that is basically a werewolf, the villain is so obvious that she and Phelan jokingly call her "Wendy Go."
  • In 2013, a character name generator image based on this trope was being passed around Tumblr, making one's wolf name based on their initials. Tumblr user "kitchikishangout", due to her initials of P.W., got Moon Moon as a result, becoming a meme instantly.
  • Parodied and Subverted in Vampire Reviews, when Maven calls Obscurus Lupa under the assumption that she's a werewolf. (Though to be fair, if you watch her you know that she is a werewolf fangirl.)

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, the name of Anthony Lupus, mentioned in the comics section above, was adapted to Anthony Romulus.
  • 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.
  • PJ Masks: Played straight with two of the three Wolfy Kids, who are named Howler and Rip. Averted with the third member, whose name is...Kevin.

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