Wolves are majestic creatures that have captivated humankind for centuries. Their symbolism features heavily in mythology, folklore, literature, and pop culture across the globe. Long associated with both danger and wisdom, wolves continue to both intrigue and unsettle us. While the male is simply called the wolf, the female has her own special names that further highlight her mystique.
The most common female name for a wolf is simply ‘she-wolf’. This emphasizes her gender while keeping her linked to the archetypal image of the wolf. Tales of she-wolves appear throughout history, often portraying them as especially fierce and wild creatures. Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome, were suckled as infants by a she-wolf in a cave. This demonstrated both the she-wolf’s power to nurture life as well as her raw primal nature.
She-wolves also feature in medieval literature, such as Marie de France’s ‘Bisclavret’ in which a noblewoman is cursed to transform into a murderous she-wolf. She-wolves transcend history to remain part of popular culture today. The phrase ‘she-wolf’ is still used to describe a predatory woman, while Shakira’s 2010 hit song ‘She Wolf’ embodies the provocative nature of the term.
Lupa is another distinctive female wolf name taken directly from Roman mythology. It refers specifically to the she-wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. The word ‘lupa’ was also slang in Latin for a prostitute, further emphasizing associations between she-wolves and dangerous female sexuality.
Lupa remains an evocative wolf name today, featured in fiction, film, and even baby name lists. It captures both the nurturing and wild aspects of wolf symbolism in one short, striking name. Lupa is also incorporated into the taxonomy of the wolf – the scientific name for the European grey wolf is Canis lupus lupus, with ‘lupus’ meaning wolf in Latin.
Louve is the French word for she-wolf, linked to the Latin term lupa. It therefore shares the same rich symbolic history, while also sounding distinctly exotic and feminine to English ears. Tales of louves feature heavily in medieval French literature, often portraying these she-wolves as dangerous seductresses.
More recently, Catherine Hardwicke’s 2011 Red Riding Hood film depicted a character named Louve who could transform from woman to wolf. Louve remains a popular choice for fictional she-wolves, especially in Gothic tales. It has also started being used as a name for baby girls, associated with both strength and beauty.
In Inuit mythology, Amarok is a legendary giant wolf that preys upon hunters who are foolish or disrespectful. The name comes from the Inuit word amaroq meaning wolf, and this giant she-wolf was said to roam the Arctic alone. Stories of Amarok served both as entertainment and as lessons about hubris and humility when facing the dangers of the natural world.
Today, Amarok remains a popular female wolf name in fiction and pop culture, especially in works drawing on Inuit folklore. It is also sometimes bestowed on Arctic wolf pups in zoos and wildlife parks. The name brings associations of great size and power, combined with the mystique of indigenous oral traditions.
In old Turkic mythology, Asena was a mythical she-wolf who was impregnated by a human and then gave birth to the first members of the Göktürk dynasty. This origin myth connected the Turks with both the primal power of wolves and the culture-founding abilities of humanity.
Unsurprisingly, Asena remains a popular Turkish female name for she-wolves, especially in novels and epics drawing on Turkic folklore. It also resonates for many modern parents seeking a unique name with deep roots. Asena manages to combine facets of both human and lupine natures in an evocative female name.
|Female Wolf Name||Origin||Meaning|
|Amarok||Inuit||Legendary giant wolf|
|Asena||Turkic||Mythical ancestor she-wolf|
She-wolves have captivated us through myths, legends, and tales since ancient times while retaining their mystique right through to modern pop culture. They symbolize the untamed feminine power of nature, feeding our imagination. Some names like Lupa and Louve directly emphasize associations of the she-wolf with sex and danger. Others like Amarok and Asena combine great size and strength with more nurturing and noble connotations.
Regardless of the specific name, the she-wolf remains an endlessly evocative creature. Her wildness calls out to our own hidden animal instincts and primal energies. She embodies both the beautiful and the perilous, the protective mother and the voracious predator. The names we bequeath her reflect our complex relationship with wilderness itself – perilous yet alluring, frightening yet deeply fascinating.