When a name like Talula Does The Hula from Hawaii gets banned, it makes big news. But there are lots of other names that, now and since the beginning of recorded name time, have quietly been relegated to the forbidden list. No judge may have pounded a gavel, no name-sensitive Napoleon decreed a law against outlandish names as he did in France. But these names have nevertheless been shunned by parents in the Western World – and sometimes even by those who’ve been unlucky enough to be born with them.
Lucifer, Latin for “light bearer,” may be a beautiful-sounding name – part Lucas, part Christopher – but it’s long been a tainted choice as the appellation of the archangel cast into Hell. (Theologians disagree about whether Satan and Lucifer are the same person.) While the name is still banned in New Zealand, some contemporary children in the U.S. are named Lucifer.