I know that in the television series, zombies have been called walkers and biters, and a couple of other names that I can't recall. Each group of survivors tends to have their own name for the animated dead.

Up through Season 6 of the TV series, Volume 24 (Issues 139-144), and Season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead what are all the terms used to refer to zombies, and by which group(s) are those terms used?

Episodes/issue numbers not required, but would be a sweet bonus.

  • I expanded the scope slightly to include the print novels and the Telltale story games.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 2:18
  • @WadCheber Works for me! Once I saw that there was more in the games, I thought about doing it, but didn't want to make your answer at the time be "incomplete". I would have include them if I'd known beforehand.
    – user31178
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 2:22
  • I didn't include "Survival Instinct" because I haven't played it, but the names used there are available on the TWD wikia link at the bottom.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 2:23

3 Answers 3


Note: This answer represents the best information I was able to find regarding the following media - The Walking Dead comics, television show, print novels, and Telltale story games, and the Fear the Walking Dead television show. Unless otherwise noted, mentions of television shows refer to The Walking Dead, not Fear the Walking Dead.


Various episodes and issues, as well as the print novels, most frequently used on by Woodbury residents and those they ally themselves with, such as Cesar Martinez' camp.


Episode No Sanctuary, used by Terminites.


Episode S3E3, Walk with Me, used by Merle.


Various episodes, used most often by Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita.


"Floaters" and "swimmers" are the same thing, but the former is used in the comics, the latter in S2E4 Cherokee Rose by Dale, when the zombie in the well is discovered.


Used in both the comics and the show, more often in the early seasons than recently. Glenn and Daryl used it more often than anyone else, although Shane and T-Dog also used it once or twice. The first use on the show was from Glenn, in S1E2, Guts. In the Telltale story game (season two), Molly makes use of the term as well.


Episode S2E8, Nebraska, used by Dave and Tony, the two men Rick killed in the bar while trying to persuade Herschel to return home.


Much more common in the comics than on the show, where it is only used once, by the people of Woodbury, in S3E3, Walk With Me. In the comics, almost all zombies are classified as either "roamers" (zombies who wander around seeking prey) or "lurkers" (zombies that sit/stand/lay in one place, apparently dead, until provoked or attracted to a nearby victim).


Ubiquitous in the comics, limited to Alexandrians on the show. See "lurkers" above.


Various episodes, used by Andrea (S3E16, Welcome to the Tombs), and Jessie's son Sam (various episodes in seasons 5 and 6), among others. Also employed by Brenda St. John, Chet, and Clementine in the Telltale story games.


Various episodes of seasons 5 and 6, used by the people in Grady Memorial Hospital and by the Wolves.


Used by Ana and Hippie Sam in S4E4, Indifference.


The most frequently used name in every format of the franchise. Primarily used by Rick's group and everyone they ally themselves with, but the strangers in S6E6, Always Accountable know what Daryl means when he asks "How many walkers have you killed?". This might be because they have heard the term before, or they might have figured out what it meant through simple common sense and deduction. It is also used by Lee Everett's group and their allies in the Telltale story games.


Used in the comics by a group of new arrivals in Alexandria, circa issue #127 or so.


Used by Lieutenant Moyers in the S1E5 Cobalt on Fear the Walking Dead.


Used in the comics by the Saviors.


Used in issue 91 of the comics, by Jesus.


Used in issue 64 of the comics by the Hunters (who are the comic book analogues of the Terminites). Sam says it in the episode Indifference. Andrew St. John uses the term in the Telltale story game (season one).


Used in the comics by Tyreese, and in the Telltale story game by Carley (season one).


Used on the show by Nicholas in S5E12, Remember.


Used by Jenner at the CDC in S1E6 T.S. 19, as well as by the military and civilians in the first season of Fear the Walking Dead.


Yes, it is used in the comics, but only very rarely. The images below come from Volume 1: Days Gone Bye and Volume 2: Miles Behind Us, respectively. There may be more instances of the word "zombie", but I haven't been able to find them. It is also used in the Telltale story games.

enter image description here enter image description here


In several instances, people have referred to zombies whom they had known in life by their actual names:

  • Greene family members and neighbors. When Maggie tells Glenn to stop calling zombies "walkers", he asks her what she calls them. She replies:

"Mom, Shawn, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, Lacey, Duncan."
- The Walking Dead, S2E6, Secrets

  • Louise "Lou" Bush - Herschel's former neighbor (Herschel, S2E7, Pretty Much Dead Already)

  • Sophia - Carol's daughter (Carol, Pretty Much Dead Already)

  • Amy - Andrea's sister (Andrea, S1E5, Wildfire; Shane, S2E6, Secrets)

  • Wayne Dunlap - Zombie disemboweled to camouflage Rick and Glenn:

RICK: Wayne Dunlap, Georgia licence. Born 1979. He had $28 in his pocket when he died. And a picture of a pretty girl. 'With love, from Rachel.' He used to be like us – worrying about bills or the rent or the Super Bowl. If I ever find my family, I’m gonna tell them about Wayne."

GLENN: One more thing - he was an organ donor.
- The Walking Dead, S1E2, Guts

  • Penny - The Governor's "daughter" (The Governor, S3E5, Say the Word)

  • Susan - Madison and Trevor's neighbor (Madison, Fear the Walking Dead, S1E3, The Dog)

  • Leon Basset - Rick's colleague at the Sheriff's Department. Rick is with Morgan and Duane at the precinct when they spot a zombie in a deputy's uniform behind a chain link fence. Rick says:

Rick: Leon Basset? I didn’t think much of him – careless and dumb... but I can’t leave him like this.
- The Walking Dead, S1E1, Days Gone Bye


http://mentalfloss.com/article/62572/13-ways-saying-zombie-walking-dead http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Zombies

  • 1
    That's more than I expected! Needs more upvotes.
    – user31178
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 4:19
  • @CreationEdge - I'm not done yet.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 4:21
  • This is kind of off-topic, but Robert Kirkman also provided a lengthy list of apocryphal terms not actually used in the comics in a recent episode of Comedy Bang Bang: youtube.com/watch?v=_7cXqVSzgYw
    – recognizer
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 19:10
  • In S6E6, the people Daryl runs into seem to also use "walkers", or at least show zero surprise at his usage of the term. Any info on who, outside of Rick's group, use "walker" and whether they came up with that independently? Edit: This is on-topic here and would improve the answer, as the question included and by which group(s) are those terms used?
    – Junuxx
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 0:13
  • 1
    @Junuxx - According to the scripts I found, the only people who say the word in that episode are Sasha and Daryl, but the strangers know - or immediately figure out - what Daryl is referring to when he asks "How many walkers have you killed?". Edited anyway. Good catch.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 0:22

In The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon (2023), which is set in France, the zombies are called “les affamés,” or “the hungry ones” in French. Daryl also used the term “dead ones.” The show also introduces a new type of zombie that is called “brûlant” or “burners” due to their acidic touch and blood.

In The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (2024), the Civic Republic Military (CRM) uses the term “delts” for the zombies. In Season 1, Episode 2, “Gone,” the Nomads refer to them as the “Wailing.” In Episode 3, “Bye,” Cleo, one of the Civic Republic consignees, used the term “stiffs.


In The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, zombies are referred to as "muertos".

  • "muertos" is castillan for Dead People or the dead ones.
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 8:13

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