Lyall comes from a Scottish surname via an Old Norse name, Liulfr. The second element derives from Old Norse úlfr meaning “wolf” while the first element of the name remains uncertain.

It’s also possible that Lyall originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon, both meaning “lion”; it derives from Latin leō < Ancient Greek léōn which derives from an uncertain origin; it’s possible it could have been adopted from a non Indo-European source, perhaps from Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-, *labuʾ.

Incidentally, Lyall is a homophone of Lyle (which has a totally different etymology and means “island”).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic origin

Meaning: a shortened form of an Old Norse name “wolf”; could also have originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon “lion”

Usage: English


  • Lyell (English)


Lovell comes from an English surname, a variant of Lowell that originated from Norman French nickname lou (or its feminine form louve) meaning “wolf” combined with a diminutive suffix, which might have originated as a nickname for a fierce or savage person. Lou is the Old French form of Latin lupus (wolf) which ultimately derives from a PIE origin

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “wolf” or “little wolf”

Usage: English


  • Lowell (English)


Ralph is a contracted form of Old Norse Ráđúlfr meaning “wolf counsel”, made up of Old Norse elements ráđ (counsel) and úlfr (wolf). The name was first brought to England by Scandinavian settlers which was later reinforced after the Norman Conquest through its current form.

Wolves have a complicated relationship in Germanic mythology. They are viewed as a representation of chaos and destruction; in Norse mythology Fenrir was a giant wolf, the offspring of Loki and the giantess Angrboða, who was chained by the gods till the advent of Ragnarök, destined to kill the god OdinHowever, Odin himself had two wolves (Geri and Freki) who were faithful pets and represented loyalty, bravery, and wisdom, as well as ferocity and cunning. In this case, it’s possible Ralph may have essentially meant something along the lines of being as wise or cunning as a wolf. Then again, it could have just been the result of two common name elements fused together and has no particular significance attached to it.

Ralph is also an English surname originating from the given name. In British English it’s pronounced rayf while in American English it’s ralf.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “wolf counsel”

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German

Pronunciation: In British English Ralph is pronounced as rafe while in American English it’s ralf



  • Ráđúlfr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Radulf (Germanic)
  • Ralf (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)
  • Rafe (English)
  • Raef (English)
  • Raife (English)
  • Raif (English)
  • Raff (English)
  • Raoul (French, Italian)
  • Raul (Portuguese, Italian)
  • Raúl (Spanish)
  • Radolf (German, Dutch)
  • Raül (Catalan)
  • Rædwulf (Old English)
  • Rádhulbh (Irish)