In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Lucifer Morningstar gets tired of Hell and comes to Earth, to start a piano bar called "Lux" (best bar in Los Angeles!).

The bar has been thoroughly exploited in Mike Carey's Lucifer series, as his base of operation.

In the 2016 Lucifer comic series (written thus far by Holly Black) Lucifer returns to Earth and opens a new bar, "Ex Lux":

What exactly is the reason for the change of name? I thought the name was a Latin saying, but apparently "ex lux" is not even a valid form. It has been proposed on the Latin SE thread that "Ex Lux" is suppoed to be read in English, as "former Lux", or as somewhat similar to "deluxe".

I can see both of those explanations working (the first one being more likely), but essentially it's guesswork: Lucifer in general is open to interpretation at least as much as all the religious texts and mythology it draws from is.

Therefore, I'll ask the following: why exactly did Holly Black, or whoever was responsible, choose "Ex Lux" as the name for the bar? (I'm specifically looking for commentary by the creators)

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    I think this is from the root, "out of". So the bar would be "Out of [the] Light"
    – Valorum
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:17
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    @Valorum That's what I thought initially, but the people from Latin SE don't think so - "ex lux" doesn't make sense gramatically, it should be "ex lucii" in your case. Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:20
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    I rather suspect that the authors didn't consult Lewis & Short when they chose it. At best, they probably went to Google Translate.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:22
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    It works on a bunch of levels; it's a former Lux (like an ex-wife) and the name is reminiscent of Ex-Lax, a product that helps you to cleanse yourself internally, a form of chemical confession.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:28
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    I also think Latin grammar wasn't at the top of mind when naming the bar, in or out of universe. I immediately thought 'outside the light' when I read it, which is probably exactly​ the effect they wanted ( in and out of universe). It also linked back to the original name, which they probably wanted. Changing the form of the. Latin word to something that was grammatically correct but wouldn't be recognized by most people would defeat the point. Commented May 17, 2017 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


I can't provide sources, but I suspect it's a play on the name of the real-world laxative product "Ex-Lax", combined with "Lucifer" meaning a match, and therefore "light".

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    I can't think of a single reason Devil's bar would be named after a laxative. Commented May 17, 2017 at 17:57
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    Lucifer means a match because it was one of the devil's handles "bringer of light", not the other way around.
    – Paul
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 18:14
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    @TMS -- you have the etymology reversed. Lucifer is from Lux and Fero (or several other conjugations, but all with the same meaning); combining to mean 'bearer of light', and is a very old name. Lucifer matches were from the 1800s, named cleverly to integrate both the name and the fact that they smelled like Brimstone (sulfur) which was associated, in many religions, with the underworld.
    – K-H-W
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 18:20

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