Does there exist alternative names for vampires? Perhaps an euphemism; for example, in Harry Potter, those who feared Voldemort called him "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" in lieu of his real name. Or perhaps something like a true name.

Is there anything like this with vampires?

To clarify, I don't mean translations of the word vampire in different languages, nor do I mean variations on vampire lore in different cultures. I am writing a book, and considering using vampires perhaps, but I would like to be specific, and not calling them just vampires.

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    Different vampire-like creatures from different regions would of course have different native names. Is that the sort of thing you are looking for? Or are you looking for different types of vampires in a specific (European) tradition? BTW, it doesn't seem to be an issue here, but for future reference, generally it is preferred for each question to be focused on one thing, i.e., not "When I ask this question, I ask a lot of things."
    – Semaphore
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 10:36
  • Sorry I'm new here, but yes, I was thinking the specific types of vampires. And not native names per say, but more of a code name?
    – Jillifish
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 14:43
  • Perhaps nicknames, I guess. But the real thing I'm looknig for is code names.
    – Jillifish
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 1:06
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    Please note that different 'local' names for vampires can also mean a different type of vampire. sometimes there is even a local distinction between two types. (such as Moroi and Strigoi in Romanian, denoting whether the Vampire is undead or not dead)
    – Amber
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 11:55
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    @Amber if you could elaborate on that, I think it would make a great answer.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 17:46

4 Answers 4


In Romanian language you will come across the term Moroi who translates roughly as "dead nightmare".

Another such term is Strigoi.

These terms are used by many modern authors who want to present a vampire-like-creature as something: undead, bloodthirsty, evil (so no Twillight for you).

Example of these books are:

In all of these books, the Moroi term is used to describe what the reader perceives as a "vampire" creature.

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    I attended a talk Del Toro gave before the launch of the Strain TV show, mostly to ask about his original film, which also was a Vampire story, Cronos, but incredibly deep, thematically speaking. (Not a huge fan of the show, per se, but Del Toro is the real deal imo.) His research into the origins of vampires was extensive and he was actively working to re-introduce the "strigoi". (Bloodlines, which came later, almost certainly took a cue from his earlier Strain novel.)
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 19:34

I picked up a copy of the Element Encyclopedia of Vampires for 4 bucks plus shipping for a reference on the book and I think it definitely would be handy if you do decide to go the vampire route in your book.

It's 700 pages and has entries about everything from historical vampire panics to folklore all the way to vampires in tv and movies. Not everything is useful but there's definitely enough to make it worth the low cost and having your own copy means you can notate it.

As far European vampires go, there are a ton of variations in "vampire species" (Upir, Upyr, Upor, Obour, Ubour, Murony, Moroi, Nachzehrer) those are just a few examples.

They vary wildly in abilities, how they feed, what they eat and many have some pretty weird traits. Like having only one nostril. Not sure why but there are several like that. There are also like 20 species that are just just floating heads with their spines dangling.

I'd advise you to get the book. It's an interesting read if nothing else. Personally though I think you need to just commit if you go the vampire route. They're so engrained in our minds that if they act like a vampire that's how the audience is going to think of them no matter what they go by.

If you decide not to do the vampire route the book still has a lot you might be able to use. You could take some of the traits from this and that and make your own creature.

I'll leave the link here. If you think of anything specific you'd like me to look up feel free to ask. Otherwise good luck.



No. I've done some (admittedly brief) research, and I can't find any mention of vampires having a "code name" that they use to talk about themselves.

Let's talk about your question. Looking at the original revision for the question, your thought process seems to be something like:

  1. I am writing a book, and I want to include vampires in it.
  2. It would be really cool if the vampires had a secret name that they could use to refer to themselves.
  3. Maybe Vampires actually (i.e. in mythology) had a secret name that they used to refer to themselves.

There is nothing "wrong" with this thought process, but it doesn't represent the best way to learn about vampires. If you want to learn more about vampires, the best way is to get a book from your local library, and then ask question here if you are confused about anything the book says.

However, if you want to write a book about vampires, I would just use your imagination, and not worry about about whether your story corresponds to mythology. Your book is going to be judged on how interesting/entertaining/thought provoking it is; no one is going to go through your book to make sure that everything you say about vampires is correct.

If you really want to write a realistic book about vampires (not that vampires are realistic), again, my advice is to go to a library and find a book about vampires. Whether vampires use code names is only a small piece of information you need to know about vampires: you also need to know more about what vampires look like, their personality, etc. The best place to learn about all of that would be a book from your local library.

Just my two cents.

  • Thanks for the consideration on looking for an answer to my question - even though it was brief ;) - I have read A LOT of books about vampires ( The over 8 novel series of Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith, 5 book series of Vampirates by Justin Somper, ect.) , I was just hoping to get code names because I am absolutely terrible at coming up with any type of name for things.
    – Jillifish
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 2:46
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    @Jillifish those books don't reflect vampires as they were portrayed in folklore, but rather a modern interpretation of vampires. The folklore around vampires is quite different from the modern interpretation. If you're having trouble thinking of a name, have you thought about reversing vampire (i.e. eripmav)? That seems relatively cryptic to me.
    – user62
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 3:50
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    What can he find in his/her local library that he/she can't find on the Internet?
    – erictrigo
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 10:25
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    @Hamlet If his main source of knowledge is his local library I'm going to make a guess and say that it's more likely he will find scholarly works written by academics that are out of date.
    – erictrigo
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 9:05
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    @antrim with all due respect, I would have to disagree. Even if the library does not have an up to date collection (which, to be fair, is frequently the case), then most libraries have resources that allow patrons to request materials from other libraries. Regarding the internet, I have only seen a few instances where there are scholarly websites about mythology that are comparable in accuracy and quality to the recently published material on the subject. BTW the OP uses she, not he, in her profile.
    – user62
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 16:37


Vampires of European and other mythologies often overlap in concept with modern ideas of witches, zombies, and werewolves, however the ostensibly Romanian term Nosferatu has cultural significance as a synonym with vampire pre-dating (and later popularised by) the novel Dracula.

As for other languages, most Slavic languages have a word cognate to vampire (e.g. Serbian вампир, Croatian vampir, Czech upír, Ukrainian упир), and most other european languages have either a direct loanword from one of these, or a via English.

There is also the Albanian dhampir (in addition to vampir) possibly named for dham ("tooth").

Several languages have euphemisms meaning "blood sucker" e.g. German Blutsauger, Irish súmaire.

Analogous myths

As for words for vampires or analogous creatures in other languages, there is the flesh/liver consuming Greek βρυκόλακας (whose name derives from the Bulgarian name for "werewolf" vǎrkolak).

Albanian lugat refers to zombie like vampires.

Romanian also has strigoi meaning witch/vampire, from Latin striga of the same.


In early Germany the witch (hexe) seems to have been also a vampire.

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