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I'm writing a story. Part of the world of this story are the wolves. Because I'm uncreative, I'm using real-world languages for each race; the wolves got Latin.

Now, these wolves are largely identical to real-world wolves, in terms of anatomy and where they live, or similar enough that a description of the differences really doesn't affect anything. With that in mind, I'm trying to find a word for "wolf den". I've been using "cava", because it was the first word that meant anything remotely similar that popped into my head, but that's not even a real word.

The closest real Latin word to my half memory is "cavea". However, as far as I can tell, that just means "cave", which happens to be where wolf dens are.

Is there a Latin word that specifically means "wolf den"? Failing that, is there a word that means something other than "wolf den", but is very strongly associated with them?

Side note: I Googled quite a lot, and got about a billion businesses named "Wolf Den" or with something called a wolf den in them.

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Well, I did a quick search and found no words that quite match what you are looking for (one might exist, i just didn't find it), so here are some words that mean "den" in some form, which might be useful to you.

  • Cavea: cave, but also enclosure for animals
  • Latebra: hiding place, den
  • Latibulum: a hiding-place, refuge, or lurking-hole
  • Lustrum: den of wild beasts
  • Secessus: hiding-place
  • Secretum: hiding-place
  • Specus: cave or den
  • Spelaeum: cave or den
  • Spelunca: cave or den
  • Spoliarium: den of cut-throats or robbers

Now, I am not the one writing your story, but wolves are usually associated in modern culture with evil, thievery, greed, destruction, and even stealth. This is why I included Latibulum and Spoliarium because they both could be a cool, metaphorical name for the home of the wolves. These are just ideas, and if someone else finds something that fits your situation better, go ahead and use it. Good luck!


If you really want to reinforce the relationship with wolves, you could use the adjective Lupinus, which means "pertaining to wolves", or you could use the genitive of Lupus/-a.

  • Why do I keep asking for words that Classical Latin doesn't have :( Aside from that, though, nice answer! The two extra suggestions don't really fit, since the wolves in this story are more mysterious and elusive than evil, but they'd be good to keep in mind for other uses. – Nic Hartley Jul 23 '16 at 0:35
  • Another word for this list is latebra "hiding place, den", which is often used for the dens of wild animals (including but not limited to wolves). – TKR Jul 23 '16 at 1:06
  • @QPaysTaxes I feel like Latibulum could still be applicable, but again, it's up to you! Also, you could consider secessus or secretum, which means "hiding place" which could make sense for the elusiveness and mystery. – Sam K Jul 23 '16 at 1:21
  • @SamK You should add those to the answer! And yeah, I misread lustrum's definition for latibulum; the latter would still work pretty well. Thanks again! – Nic Hartley Jul 23 '16 at 1:22
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I propose the word lupercal (lupercālis, neuter).

Lupercal is the name of a cave under the Palatine hill where the wolf was believed to nurse Romulus and Remus. For more information about this cave, please consult Wikipedia, Vicipaedia or this BBC news article. The cave made it to the news because it was discovered relatively recently. It is not certain that the cave actually is Lupercal, but it makes no difference for this answer.

If I understood correctly, the name Lupercal refers to this one cave, but for the purpose of writing a story that does not take place in ancient Rome it can be well used for a wolf den. I would say that Lupercal means "the wolf den", not "a wolf den". If your wolves all live in one den or there is a main den for a herd of wolves, I think lupercal is a good choice. If you have several small dens, I might prefer using some of the words SamK listed in his answer.

  • I like this for the mythical aspect, and I'm going to use it for the biggest of them where the legendary something or other does whatever legendary beasts do, but the other answer answers my actual question (what's a wolf den called). Thanks! – Nic Hartley Jul 23 '16 at 16:57
  • If I wanted to use this as a fancy name for a wolf den in English, would I call the den "the Lupercal" or just "Lupercal"? – Nic Hartley Aug 2 '16 at 23:03
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    @QPaysTaxes, I don't know. I suppose it's your call, since you are not trying to refer to the Roman cave but to recycle the prestigious name. The BBC article seems to use "the Lupercal". – Joonas Ilmavirta Aug 3 '16 at 5:43

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