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indo-european wolf wulf ulv ulf volk wilk vilkas varg warg lupus icon

Indo-European wolf was often called "a thief", "an enemy", "dangerous", "evil". Actually a similar concept is kept in a Lithuanian word "liūtas" which means "a lion", this word is connected to Slavic words "лютъ (ljutŭ)", "luty", "лю́ты (ljúty)" which mean "harsh, fierce, dangerous, cruel". Hittite "walkuwa" meant "dangerous" and Luwian "walwa/i" meant "a lion".

The she-wolf from the legend of Romulus and Remus was regarded as a symbol of Rome from ancient times. Several ancient sources refer to statues depicting the wolf suckling the twins. Livy reports in his Roman history that a statue was erected at the foot of the Palatine Hill in 295 BC

In Norse mythology wolves have mostly negative conotations.

Fenrir ("Fen-dweller") is a son of Loki and is foretold to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will in turn be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.

Fenrir's son Sköll ("Treachery") is a wolf that chases the horses Árvakr ("Early wake") and Alsviðr ("Very quick") that drag the chariot which contains the sun (Sól) through the sky every day, trying to eat her. Sköll has a twin brother Hati ("He who hates"), who chases Máni, the moon. At Ragnarök, both Sköll and Hati will succeed in their quests.

Airitech was a mysterious creature whose three daughters were werewolf like creatures, eventually killed by Cas Corach. The Irish word for wolf is "Mac Tíre" meaning literally "the Son of the Country(side)" and association with human transformation linger, There are many references in Irish mythology to lycanthropes and changing to other animal forms. The Morrígan was said to take on the form of a red-furred wolf, particularly in her battle with the hero Cú Chulainn. Mac Cecht killed a wolf feeding on a still living woman on a battlefield. Cormac mac Airt was said to have been raised by wolves, and that he could understand their speech. Four wolves would accompany him in his rebellion against Lugaid mac Con, and would later be accompanied by them until the end of his life.


Latvian: vilks

Lithuanian: vilkas

Old Prussian: wilkis

Kashubian: wilk

Polish: wilk


Sogdian: wyrk, wirk-


Khotanese: birgga-


Latin: volpes ("fox")

Middle English: wolf

English: wolf

Scots: wolf, woulf, wouff

Old Frisian: wolf

West Frisian: wolf

Dutch: wolf

Afrikaans: wolf

Old High German: wolf

Middle High German: wolf

German: Wolf

Luxembourgish: Wollef

Russian: волк (volk)

Macedonian: волк (volk)

Slovene: vȏłk


Belarusian: воўк (voŭk)

Polabian Drevani: wouka

Polabian: våuk

Rusyn: вовк (vovk)

Ukrainian: вовк (vovk)


Gutnish: ålv


Manx: olk ("evil")

Old Irish: olc ("evil")

Irish: olc ("evil")

Scottish Gaelic: olc ("evil")


Hittite: walkuwa ("dangerous")

Luwian: walwa/i ("lion")

Lydian: walw-el(i), walve ("lion-like, pertaining to lions")

Tocharian B: walkwe

Bulgarian: вълк (vǎlk)


---> Veps: vargaz ("thief")

---> Ludian: vargaz ("thief")

---> Votic: vargas ("thief")

---> Livvi: varras ("thief")

---> Karelian: varras ("thief")

---> Ingrian: varas ("thief")

---> Estonian: varas ("thief")

---> Finnish: varas ("thief")

Lithuanian: vargas ("hardship, misery")

Latvian: vārgs ("misery")

Old Prussian: wargan ("misery, suffering") (accusative singular)

Old East Norse: vargʀ

Old Norse: vargr ("wolf, evildoer, destroyer")

Icelandic: vargur

Faroese: vargur

Norwegian Bokmål: varg

Norwegian Nynorsk: varg

Norn: varg

Old Swedish: vargher

Swedish: varg

Danish: varg

Elfdalian: warg

Gurani: ۋەرگ‎ (ʋarg)

Zazaki: verg (varg)

Gujarati: વરુ (varu)

Old Persian: 𐎺𐎼𐎣 (varka)

Old English: warg, wearg, werg, wearh ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Old Saxon: warag ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Dutch: warg ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Old High German: warg ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Middle High German: warc ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Middle Dutch: warch, werch ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Polish: warchoł ("criminal, reprobate, felon, monster, evil spirit")

Polish: warczeć ("to growl, to snarl, to whirr, to gnarl")


Old Church Slavonic: врагъ ⰲⱃⰰⰳⱏ (vragŭ) ("foe, enemy")

Russian: вра́г (vrág) ("foe, enemy")

Rusyn: враг (vrah) ("foe, enemy")

Bulgarian: враг (vrag) ("foe, enemy")

Macedonian: враг (vrag) ("foe, enemy")

Serbo-Croatian: вра̑г vrȃg ("devil")

Slovene: vrág ("devil")

Czech: vrah ("foe, enemy")

Slovak: vrah ("murderer")


Old East Slavic: ворогъ (vorogŭ) ("foe, enemy")

Belarusian: во́раг (vórah) ("foe, enemy")

Russian: во́рог (vórog) ("foe, enemy")

Rusyn: ворог (voroh) ("foe, enemy")

Ukrainian: во́рог (vóroh) ("foe, enemy")

Russian ворча́ние (vorčánije) ("snarling, growling")


Polish: wróg ("foe, enemy")

Upper Sorbian: wróh ("murderer")


---> Erzya: верьгес (verʹges)

---> Moksha: верьгас (verʹgas)

Lithuanian: vierchas ("leader of criminals")

Avestan: vəhrka

Mazanderani: ورگ‎ (verg)


Samogitian: vėlks

Lower Sorbian: wjelk

Upper Sorbian: wjelk


Old East Slavic: вълкъ (vŭlkŭ)

Jatvingian: wułks

Gothic: 𐍅𐌿𐌻𐍆𐍃 (wulfs)

Old English: wulf, ƿulf

Saterland Frisian: Wulf

Old Saxon: wulf

Middle Low German: wulf

Vilamovian: wūf

Serbo-Croatian: ву̑к vȗk


Old Norse: úlfr, ulfʀ

Icelandic: úlfur

Faroese: úlvur

Norwegian Bokmål: ulv

Norwegian Nynorsk: ulv

Old Swedish: ulver

Swedish: ulv

Danish: ulv

Gutnish: ulv

Elfdalian: ulv


Lepontic: 𐌖𐌋𐌊𐌏𐌔 (ulkos) ("evil")

Old Albanian: ulk

Albanian: ujk


Old Church Slavonic: влькъ ⰲⰾⱐⰽⱏ (vlĭkŭ)

Czech: vlk

Slovak: vlk


Sanskrit: वृक (vṛ́ka) ("wolf, dog, jackal, crow, owl, thief, kshatriya, plough, thunderbolt, moon, sun")

Hindi: वृक (vŕk)

Chorasmian: wry̆k

Shina: उरुक (uruk)


Sanskrit: वृक (vrika, vrriikah)


Ancient Greek: λύκος (lúkos)

Greek: λύκος (lýkos) (Maybe from *vlikos)

Paeonian: Λυκκ- (Lukk-), Λυκπ- (Lukp-)

Latin: lupus

Aragonese: lupo

Aromanian: lup

Corsican: lupu

Istro-Romanian: lup

Italian: lupo

Maltese: lupu

Romanian: lup

Sardinian: lupu

Sicilian: lupu

Romansh: luf

Walloon: leu

Old French: leu


Old Portuguese: lobo

Portuguese: lobo

Spanish: lobo

Galician: lobo

Asturian: llobu

Mirandese: lhobo

Catalan: llop

Occitan: lop

Franco-Provençal: lôf, lop

Friulian: lôf

French: loup, leu


Venetian: lóvo

Emilian: låuv


Book Pahlavi: gwlg


Kurdish: gur, gurg

Middle Persian: gurg

Classical Persian: گرگ‎ (gurg)

Tajik: гург (gurg)

Baluchi: گرک‎ (gurk)


Iranian Persian: گرگ‎ (gorg)

Article published on the 11th of July 2018.