SS1,10.16I was going to start this post by telling you about my recent trip to the American Name Society conference. But it just ended today, and honestly? I need to think about it a little more! There was just so much, from meeting Cleveland Kent Evans – #fangirl! – to hearing researchers from the Holocaust museum talk about how they use their knowledge of personal names to help survivors and their descendants research the fates of their family members.

Instead, let’s talk about something much easier: the devil.


What I mean is this: let’s talk about Lucifer as a baby name. Eleven boys were given the name in 2014, and about 70 over the last dozen years or so.

There’s a lively debate about the name in one of the baby name Facebook groups I follow. The vast majority of the responders say no, don’t do it. But a minority say so what? It’s a gorgeous name. And not everyone is Christian. And people are using Jezebel and lots of other names that were once taboo, so what’s wrong with Lucifer?

I submit that the trouble with Lucifer is this: it’s going to cause pretty much everyone to raise an eyebrow at your child’s name. Or maybe drop their jaw.

And while a great many unusual names mellow over time, I don’t think that’s the case with this one. We get used to kids called Blaze or Pilot or Plum, Sophronia or Vladimir or Fredison. But Lucifer? I think that would surprise every teacher, every Starbucks barista, every TSA screener, from now until the end of time.

Still, I’m going to make it Baby Name of the Day later next month. Because the one thing that would make Lucifer wearable is if so many parents use it that the stigma begins to fade. And while I don’t see that happening, well … it’s not unthinkable, either. Especially not if the new television series set to premiere at the end of this month is a hit.

Now, on to the name news:

That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Billie Proudman is a main character in the hugely popular Australian drama series for 30-somethings, “Offspring”. She’s spunky and honest, and clearly Victorians love her to bits! The show is filmed in Melbourne, so that might explain why Victorians are especially fond of this name.

  2. What a great post! Hard to believe anyone would actually have to consider 64 different names – but I love the idea and I’ve printed out a blank. I have a feeling I may just run into someone who could use it.

    I’m going to spend some time on the Top 100 List and tweak it to my taste – how fun!

    I love the Wonder Woman post.