‘Werewolf’ vs ‘Lycan’: What’s the difference? It’s time to tap into our inner child and learn about fantasy creatures. Whether you’re doing research for a novel, are catching up on your history, or are simply curious, this is the article for you. Read more to learn the difference between a ‘Werewolf’ vs ‘Lycan’.
Are you in a rush? Here’s a short version of what you’ll learn:
The interesting thing about ‘Werewolf’ vs ‘Lycan’ is that there are certainly intertwined terms but have grown to be slightly distinct from each other. Since they are not interchangeable, we’re here to break down their differences.
To start, ‘Lycan’ comes from the word ‘lycanthropy,’ which in mythology meant a curse that turned a man into a wolf. However, in modern times, ‘lycanthropy’ is considered a mental disorder in which the patient believes they are a wolf.
They are full shapeshifters, while a ‘Lycan’ merely takes on the qualities of a wolf. What can be confusing is that the term ‘lycanthrope’ is sometimes used as a synonym for ‘Werewolf’ because the words come from similar origins. But, what are those origins?
Now that we know the main difference between the two beasts, let’s look at what separates ‘Werewolf’ vs ‘Lycan.’
The history of the word ‘Werewolf’ is widely spread in European folklore and beyond. The term appears in various forms in different languages, but is most closely related to the Middle German ‘werwulf’, which means “man-wolf.”
While ‘lycanthropy’ is still considered a modern disease, ‘Werewolf’s’ were hunted for a time in Europe and were identified as people who were suspected of becoming wolves or wolf charmers. This practice was at its peak during the witch-hunting era but died down after the
‘Lycan’ is a noun that originates from the ancient Greek myth of Lycaon, the king of Arcadia. According to Britannica, King Lycaon is described as:
‘Lycan’ then went on to be the ancient Greek word for “wolf” after the king who was transformed. Some versions of the tale say Lycaon had the body of a man and the head of a wolf, which may relate to the present-day view that a ‘Lycan’ is not a full-shape shifter.
Since writing is not the only aspect of language learning, we also want to prepare you to tackle these beasts in conversations. Being able to correctly pronounce new words will ensure confidence in using them in any conversation, acting role, or presentation.
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Werewolf’ as a guide:
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Lycan’ as a guide:
The final step to learning new words is making sure you feel comfortable putting them into action. Especially with words like ‘Werewolf’ vs ‘Lycan’, you’ll want to be able to create the proper context in which the words will fit correctly. Below, you’ll find some sample sentences to read over, then try writing some of your own as practice.
Mythical creatures can be fun to write and talk about because of their magical nature — but, you don’t want to get caught mixing up creatures. Learning new vocabulary and its history can be a great tool to broaden your understanding, so we hope this article gave you a better idea of the difference between two similar beasts.
Need a quick recap? Here’s a review of what was covered:
Want to tackle more monstrous words? Be sure to check out other confusing word articles to help navigate the small distinctions between terms. Remember that sometimes it’s helpful to see how words are related before we tear them apart.