These names come courtesy of the TV show Lucifer (2016-), which was loosely based on Gaiman’s comic book series The Sandman (1989-1996).
- Lucifer: The premise of the show is that the main character, Lucifer (played by Tom Ellis), bored with Hell, has decided to move to Los Angeles and open a night club called “Lux.” (The Latin word lux, meaning “light,” comes directly from Lucifer’s name, meaning “light-bearing.”) In 2017, the baby name Lucifer saw a definitive rise in usage — a fact that would no doubt alarm a large number of Americans.
- Mazikeen (Maze): Lucifer’s right-hand man is a lady: Mazikeen “Maze” Smith (played by Lesley-Ann Brandt). She’s a demon who followed Lucifer to Earth as his sworn protector. At the start of the series, she worked as a bartender at Lux. The baby name Mazikeen debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2016, and Maze debuted for girls specifically the next year.
- Amenadiel: Lucifer’s eldest brother is Amenadiel (played by D. B. Woodside). He’s an archangel (still in God’s good graces) who has a contentious relationship with Lucifer, who he encourages to return to Hell. The baby name Amenadiel debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2017.
How many U.S. babies have been getting these names lately? Here are the numbers…
|2018||26 boys||42 girls||11 boys &|
|2017||24 boys||27 girls||15 boys &|
|2016||13 boys||8 girls*||11 boys||.|
|2015||7 boys||.||14 boys||.|
|2014||11 boys||.||10 boys||.|
Though Mazikeen and Amenadiel both sound biblical, neither one is found in the Bible. Mazikeen is based on the Hebrew word mazzikim, meaning “harmful spirits.” Amenadiel’s explanation has eluded me so far, but, like many Hebrew names, it ends with -el, which refers to “God.”
What are your thoughts on these two new names? How about on the rising usage of Lucifer?
P.S. Also on TV right now is American Gods (2017-), based on the Neil Gaiman book of the same name. I thought the show might give the name Shadow a big boost, but so far this isn’t the case.
Update, 2020: Looks like one of debut names of 2019, Axara, can be traced back to a uniquely named single-episode Lucifer character who appeared on the show in March of 2018.
Update, May 2021: Another Lucifer debut! This time it’s Remiel, which was already in the boys’ data before popping up as a girl name last year. In the show, Remiel is Lucifer’s kid sister.