While the iconic creatures of the Alien franchise have become known as Xenomorphs, that isn’t actually the name of their species, and their true denomination has never been uncovered throughout the course of the franchise–that is, until now.
Fans were introduced to the Xenomorph creature in the 1979 film Alien, though the monster wouldn’t be called a ‘Xenomorph’ for the first time until the 1986 sequel, Aliens. In the sequel, a horde of Xenomorphs has taken over the off-world settlement of Hadley’s Hope, and a team of Colonial Marines has been tasked with clearing them out. When the marines were given information about what they were going up against by their commanding officer, the man running the meeting referred to the aliens as ‘xenomorphs’, which is essentially just another word for ‘alien’. While the term ‘xenomorph’ wasn’t ever meant to be a name for the creatures, but rather a way to describe the unknown nature of the aliens, the name stuck, and these monsters have been called Xenomorphs ever since. However, now that their proper name has been revealed, that status quo could change.
In Aliens vs Predator vs The Terminator #1 by Mark Schultz and Mel Rubi, readers are thrown into a desolate world following the events of Alien Resurrection as Ripley8 is seen sitting alone on the dilapidated and crime-ridden streets of what remains of Planet Earth before she is approached by her old teammates: Call and the rest of the Betty crew. Just as Call was a revolutionary in Alien Resurrection who worked to extinguish Xenomorph life across the cosmos wherever it reared its ugly head, the Synthetic was continuing that mission in this story, and she needed Ripley8’s help. On a space station within the regions of unregulated space, there was a scientific operation that consisted of merging Xenomorphs with high-tech androids (which would be revealed to be Terminators) to create the deadliest monster the galaxy had ever seen. As Call describes what they’re up against, readers are given a glimpse into this sinister lab to see a doctor operating on Xenomorph samples–and during his experimentation, this scientist refers to the creatures as “Linguafoeda Acheronsis”.
Alien’s Xenomorphs Have Been Called by Many Names, but This One is Official
This isn’t the first time Alien’s Xenomorphs have received a name-change, given the fact that they technically don’t have a name at all. In one comic that told the story of a Xenomorph on Earth terrorizing Viking-era humans, Aliens: Stalker, the creature was referred to as a ‘Crawler’. In the most recent Alien comic series by Marvel Comics, the Xenomorph is simply referred to as ‘the Organism’ in reference to the fact that it is believed to be the perfect organism. While these alternative names succeed in capturing the essence of the creature, both in terms of mystery and horror, they aren’t official names for the species itself, just nicknames given to the creature. Just as humans are Homo sapiens, Xenomorphs are Linguafoeda Acheronsis, which means fans can stop basically just referring to them as ‘aliens’ and everyone can get used to addressing them by their real title–except, that’s never going to happen.
Technically correct or not, the monsters in Alien will always be known as Xenomorphs no matter what the ‘actual’ name of their species really is. The main reason behind this is that the scientific name itself is simply too complicated and cumbersome to say–but it’s not just that. The other attempted Xenomorph name-changes–like the Organism or Crawler–were just as easy to say as Xenomorph, but even those didn’t stick. Alien’s iconic monster is known as a Xenomorph, and there is just nothing anyone can do about it at this point in the franchise. However, while its widely-used name likely won’t change, it is still interesting to know that the official name for Alien’s Xenomorph is actually Linguafoeda Acheronsis.