Is it Werwolf, Wherewolf, Were-wolf, or Wer-wulf?
You’ve probably seen the spelling for werewolf a number of different ways. Are words such as werwolf and wheirwolf purposeful or accidental misspellings? Is there more than one way to spell the word for this shapeshifting creature? Let’s take a look at some of the more common spellings out there that you might come across…
This is one of the more common ways you’ll see “werewolf” spelled. And while yes, some of the incidents you’ll see of this spelling are indeed mistypes, others are purposeful! This is indeed a real spelling! Werwolf is a German spelling and meaning for the word! There was actually a German commando task force named “werwolf”!
were-wolf or wer-wolf or wer-Wulf
Were-wolf is another variant spelling that you’ll sometimes see referenced – in particular this spelling is used by old texts dating to the 1800s. The word “werewolf” originates from the Old English word “were” or “wer” (meaning man) and wulf (meaning beast). As a consequence, older texts sometimes use these “bases” and add a hyphen to them to spell the word. The result is in any of a combination of the spellings… were-wolf, wer-wolf, wer-wulf. Usage of the hyphen in present-day spellings is not needed. In addition, it is generally accepted in the english language to adopt the “were” instead of the “wer” when spelling the name. It is worth noting that the spelling “wer-wulf” is an actual Frankish spelling of the word.
Yes, this is actually the correct Dutch spelling for “werewolf” !
This spelling is an amusing and utterly incorrect spelling of “werewolf” in the English language. Most people that spell the word as “wherewolf” are spelling it by sound or phonetically and are assuming that the first part is spelled like the word “where”. This is a simple, and common mistake to make, the real spelling of course being without the “h”.
Another incorrect spelling, again used by individuals who are sounding out the word and spelling what they hear. “wear” means to put on the body, and is not to be confused with “were” for werewolf.
There are a few linguistic people on the interwebs that are taking the approach that “werewolf” is a very masculine name because “were” is from the Old English term man…they are therefore changing the spelling of the word to wheirwolf (in a humourous vein) to give it a less masculine slant..
Find more werewolf names around the world!