Ranking all the names for zombies in The Walking Dead universe

The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

Let’s rank all of the different names for zombies in The Walking Dead universe

AMC’s Walking Dead blog recently released a list of all the various names used for the undead in the shows of The Walking Dead universe. While we have all heard of “walkers” before, there are a few on the list that may not sound familiar to even the most hardcore of fans.

Even though the show has evolved beyond just being about zombies, the hordes of undead are still a massive part of the story of The Walking Dead all these years later. Characters and communities across The Walking Dead universe have come up with their own unique nicknames for them – some of which are great and some of which are complete misses.

Without further ado, let’s rank all the names for zombies that we’ve heard on The Walking Dead!

1. Walkers

The number one spot was never in doubt. The name that started it all, “walker” is a word that is synonymous with The Walking Dead. Even people who haven’t watched the show before have likely heard of the nickname for the undead, and thus it stands at the top of the list.

2. Geeks

While we haven’t heard this one in a long time on the show, just reading it creates some flashbacks to the show’s beginning and some of the most beloved characters. Whether it was Glenn, Daryl, or Shane, some legendary characters used the word “geeks” to label the zombies, and thus it deserves a place near the top spot.

3. Lurkers

A name that has somewhat died out as the seasons go on, “lurker” is one of those words for the zombies that fits perfectly within the universe. The zombies are a deadly threat as we’ve seen time and time again on the show. They seem to be lurking around the corner at the worst possible times, so to call them “lurkers” feels right.

Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC
Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz/AMC /

4. Empties

While we haven’t actually heard any characters refer to the zombies as “empties” quite yet, the name will be used constantly in the new spinoff, World Beyond. The name fits perfectly for the undead, as there is clearly nothing going on in their heads other than a desire for flesh.

5. Biters

This one keeps it plain and simple, but it really works. Mostly used by the members of Woodbury, “biters” didn’t catch on as much as it should have. What do the walkers do to people when they get a hold of them? They bite. Sometimes simple is better, and that’s why “biters” ranks so highly.

6. Creepers

Although the name can’t help but remind me of the infamous Minecraft creatures, “creepers” are a great way to describe the zombies. No matter how brave viewers or characters are when seeing the undead, there’s no denying that they are, in fact, creepy.

7. Roamers

Used by the Alexandrians prior to Rick’s arrival, “roamers” is an applicable name for the walkers, especially given the context that many of the Alexandrians saw them in. As seasons pass and the number of zombies who are a threat to the survivors fades, perhaps the term “roamer” will be revitalized.

8. The Infected

Used often at the beginning of The Walking Dead, “the infected” has fallen by the wayside in favor of some more creative nicknames in recent seasons. While accurate, this label is a little too scientific for most people to rank any higher on the list.

9. Rotters

This one is just nasty. As we’ve seen throughout the different shows, the zombies start to rot away as the years pass in the apocalypse. The name is creative for sure, although maybe it hasn’t caught on as much because of the disgusting connotations the word has.

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier; Walker – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier; Walker – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 16 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

10. Rippers

“Rippers” is a pretty gruesome name for the zombies, but it certainly makes sense. Only ever used by Virgil so far on any of the shows, it is probably best to leave this one by the wayside, especially around survivors who recently lost loved ones to the walkers.

11. Deadheads

Ranking in the middle of the list namely because of the character the word is associated with, “deadheads” is one of the more catchy labels for the zombies of The Walking Dead. Used by the infamous Alexandrian Nicholas, “deadheads” lived and died with Glenn’s rival.

12. Growlers

Unlike a name seen later on the list, the word “growlers” at least gets some points for accuracy. The trademark growl of the zombies is one that Walking Dead fans and characters alike are well aware of. “Growlers” winds up in the twelfth spot because while it makes sense, it is a bit uninspired.

13. Lame-Brains

Introduced by a couple of “lame-brains” themselves in the infamous bar scene in season 2 of The Walking Dead, this label never caught on, and with good reason. It’s a silly nickname and is largely forgetful given the short lifespan of the characters, Dave and Tony, who said it.

14. Stinkers

This one just doesn’t sit right. Obviously, the zombies smell unimaginably bad, but calling them “stinkers” downplays the deadly nature of their existence. Maybe that’s what Magna and her group were trying to do when they called the zombies that in season 9, but it missed the mark.

The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
The Walking Dead _ Season 10, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

15. Floaters

As infamous as the “well walker” from season 2 is in Walking Dead folklore, the name is far too specific to escape the lower ends of the list. It was very apt for the situation involving Glenn and Hershel’s farm, but otherwise “floater” hasn’t had much use.

16. Hissers

A name used by a bit-part character in season 10, “hissers” is simply not applicable. Unlike “growlers,” this word doesn’t accurately describe the sound made by the zombies on the show, and thus “hissers” lands near the bottom of the list.

17. The Passed

“The Passed” is a very respectful way to refer to vicious creatures trying to eat your flesh at all times. The more jaded survivors would likely scoff at referring to a random zombie as one of “The Passed” at this point, although maybe that is more of a reflection on the survivors than anything else. John Dorie from Fear The Walking Dead means well here, but this is a name that won’t catch on anytime soon.

18. The Wasted

This may be an accurate way to describe the zombies in The Walking Dead, but something about it just doesn’t feel right within the context of the world established by the main show. Some may rank “The Wasted” higher on the list after hearing it on both the main show and Fear, but it sits right near the bottom here.

19. Cold-Bodies

Only ever used by one of the cannibals from Terminus, it’s clear why “cold-bodies” belongs at the bottom of this list. If you need to question as to why it is ranked dead last after watching what went down at Terminus in season 5, that’s a little concerning.

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What’s your favorite name for the zombies in The Walking Dead? Let us know by leaving a comment!