First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Wolf mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Wolf

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Wolf
  1. [Zoöl] Any one of several species of wild and savage carnivores belonging to the genus Canis and closely allied to the common dog. The best-known and most destructive species are the European wolf (Canis lupus), the American gray, or timber, wolf (Canis occidentalis), and the prairie wolf, or coyote. Wolves often hunt in packs, and may thus attack large animals and even man.
  2. [Zoöl] One of the destructive, and usually hairy, larvæ of several species of beetles and grain moths; as, the bee wolf .
  3. Fig.: Any very ravenous, rapacious, or destructive person or thing; especially, want; starvation; as, they toiled hard to keep the wolf from the door.
  4. A white worm, or maggot, which infests granaries.
  5. An eating ulcer or sore. Cf. Lupus.(Obs)"If God should send a cancer upon thy face, or a wolf into thy side." [Jer. Taylor.]
  6. [Mus]
    1. The harsh, howling sound of some of the chords on an organ or piano tuned by unequal temperament.
    2. In bowed instruments, a harshness due to defective vibration in certain notes of the scale.
  7. [Textile Manuf] A willying machine.

Etymology: OE. wolf wulf, AS. wulf; akin to OS. wulf, D. & G. wolf, Icel. ūlfr, Sw. ulf, Dan. ulv, Goth. wulfs, Lith. vilkas, Russ. volk', L. lupus, Gr. ly`kos, Skr. vṛka; also to Gr. "e`lkein to draw, drag, tear in pieces. √286. Cf. Lupine (a.) Lyceum

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Any of various predatory carnivorous canine mammals of North America and Eurasia that usually hunt in packs
  2. A cruelly rapacious person
  3. A man who is aggressive in making amorous advances to women
  4. German classical scholar who claimed that the Iliad and Odyssey were composed by several authors (1759-1824)
  5. Austrian composer (1860-1903)
  6. Eat hastily ("The teenager wolfed down the pizza")

From wolf.

  1. The constellation Lupus.

From Middle English and German short forms of given names containing the Germanic element "wolf".

  1. A surname​.

    Wolf was also found in the following language(s): Dutch and German

    Notable Persons Named Wolf

    Wolf Blitzer is a journalist. He holds the title Anchor, The Situation Room, and Wolf. He was most active from 1972 to present. Wolf was given the name Wolf Isaac Blitzer on March 22nd, 1948 in Augsburg. Wolf is also known as Blitzer, Zev; Barak, and Zev.


    Wolf Hoffmann is a heavy metal music, speed metal, and hard rock musician. He plays Guitar, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Flying V, Jackson King V, and Vocals. Wolf was born on December 10th, 1959.


    Bill Macy is an actor. His career lasted from 1955 to 2010. Bill was given the name Wolf Martin Garber on May 18th, 1922 in Revere, Massachusetts, U.S.


    Wolf Muser is an actor. Wolf was born on October 23rd, 1950 in Esslingen am Neckar.


    Wolf was born on November 24th, 1984 in New York City.


    Wolf Kahler is an actor. He was most prominent from 1975 to present. Wolf was born on April 3rd, 1940 in Kiel.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Wolf

    Scott Wolf is an actor. He was most active from 1990 to present. Scott was given the name Scott Richard Wolf on June 4th, 1968 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.


    Howlin' Wolf was a chicago blues musician. He was most active from 1940 to 1976. Howlin' was given the name Chester Arthur Burnett on June 10th, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi. He left this life on January 10th, 1976.


    Dick Wolf is a television writer, director, executive producer, and creator. Dick was given the name Richard Anthony Wolf on December 20th, 1946 in New York City, New York, U.S. Dick is also known as Richard A. Wolf and Richard Wolf.


    Naomi Wolf is a writer. Naomi was born on November 12th, 1962 in San Francisco, California, U.S.


    Peter Wolf is a rock, roll, blues, and blue-eyed soul musician. He has been prominent since 1966. Peter was given the name Peter W. Blankfield on March 7th, 1946 in United States.


    Tom Wolf is a Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Tom was born on November 17th, 1948 in York, Pennsylvania.


    How popular is the baby name Wolf in the U.S.?

    Click Here to Show Chart Data
    Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
    1912 5 0 5
    1950 5 0 5
    1953 7 0 7
    1956 8 0 8
    1957 7 0 7
    1958 19 0 19
    1959 14 0 14
    1960 15 0 15
    1961 5 0 5
    1962 5 0 5
    1963 6 0 6
    1966 6 0 6
    1968 5 0 5
    1970 9 0 9
    1971 7 0 7
    1973 6 0 6
    1974 6 0 6
    1975 8 0 8
    1976 8 0 8
    1977 10 0 10
    1978 8 0 8
    1982 8 0 8
    1984 5 0 5
    1986 9 0 9
    1987 11 0 11
    1988 8 0 8
    1989 7 0 7
    1990 9 0 9
    1991 12 0 12
    1992 6 0 6
    1993 6 0 6
    1994 14 0 14
    1995 15 0 15
    1996 13 0 13
    1997 15 0 15
    1998 25 0 25
    1999 12 0 12
    2000 18 0 18
    2001 19 0 19
    2002 14 0 14
    2003 21 0 21
    2004 14 0 14
    2005 15 0 15
    2006 27 0 27
    2007 23 0 23
    2008 25 0 25
    2009 28 0 28
    2010 29 0 29
    2011 26 0 26
    2012 24 0 24
    2013 53 0 53
    2014 48 0 48
    2015 61 0 61
    2016 67 0 67
    2017 73 0 73
    * Years where the name was given to 5 or fewer babies will show zero to respect privacy.

    Where is the name Wolf popular?

    International Interest for Wolf

    Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

    Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

    United States
    United Kingdom
    New Zealand
    Russian Federation

    Popularity in the US

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    Popularity of Wolf as a last name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Wolf as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in North Dakota, Wisconsin, or Ohio.

    Common last names for Wolf

    • Cohen
    • Levy

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Wolf U.S.
      White 93.67% 64.26%
      African American 1.07% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.61% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 1.05% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 1.46% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.16% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Wolf

    People with the last name Wolf are most frequently White

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Wolf

    • How Popular is the name Wolf? Wolf is the 11,056th most popular name of all time. As a last name Wolf was the 474th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Wolf have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 929 babies born with the first name Wolf in the United States. That's more than enough people named Wolf to occupy the country of Vatican City with an estimated population of 800 (as of March 1, 2011).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Wolf? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1912 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
    • When was Wolf first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Wolf is Thursday, May 16th, 1867.
    • What year had the most people named Wolf born? The highest recorded use of the first name Wolf was in 2017 with a total of 73 babies.
    • Random Wolf Factoid: According to the 1996 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Wolf is not a popular baby boy's name in New York. Imagine that, only 7 babies in New York have the same name as you in 1996.
    • Weird things about the name Wolf: Your name in reverse order is Flow. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Lofw. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Wolf? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 70,031 people with the last name Wolf.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Wolf? Wolf was ranked as the 474th most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

    What Wolfs Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Wolf

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.