How did Howlin' Wolf get his name?

Howlin' Wolf was born Chester Arthur Burnett.

His physique garnered him the nicknames "Big Foot Chester" and "Bull Cow" as a young man: he was tall and often weighed close to . He explained the origin of the name Howlin' Wolf: "I got that from my grandfather", who would tell him stories about wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved the "howling wolves" would get him. The blues historian Paul Oliver wrote that Burnett once claimed to have been given his nickname by his idol Jimmie Rodgers.