Acronym baby names are officially a thing. Not a major thing, but still a thing. Acronym baby names I’ve come across include Ily, “I love you,” and Lya, “love you always.”
One type of acronym that seems to be trendy these days is the “AB_” acronym, in which the first two words are “always be” and the third is a verb in “-ing” form. They stem from ABC, “always be closing,” made famous by the movie Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). Variations I’ve heard include ABS (“always be shipping” or “always be “selling”), ABL (“always be learning”), a different ABC (“always be charging”), and even ABK (“always be knolling“).
So I wondered: Could we create an “always be” acronym that’s also a good baby name?
For the name to be pronounceable (unlike Abcde) the third letter would have to be a vowel. And I’d say the best vowels for the job — considering both the number of available verbs and the resulting acronym — are E and I. So let’s see what we can come up with for ABE and ABI…
Abe is typically a nickname for of Abraham, but Abe is also used as an independent name. In fact, dozens of U.S. babies have been named Abe (not Abraham) every year for many decades.
Here are my top five acronym possibilities for the name Abe:
ABE: “always be exploring”
ABE: “always be evolving”
ABE: “always be experimenting”
ABE: “always be embarking”
ABE: “always be excelling”
And here are some of the other verbs that could be used: earning, educating, empowering, encouraging, engaging, engineering, enhancing, enjoying, evaluating, examining, exceeding, and experiencing.
Abi, like the more familiar Abby, is a short form of Abigail. Abi isn’t common as an independent name, but usage has picked up a bit recently.
Here are my top five acronym possibilities for the name Abi:
ABI: “always be imagining”
ABI: “always be innovating”
ABI: “always be improving”
ABI: “always be inspiring”
ABI: “always be initiating”
And here are some of the other verbs that could be used: illuminating, implementing, impressing, improvising, increasing, influencing, informing, inspecting, integrating, interacting, interpreting, and investigating.
What are your favorite “always be” acronyms for Abe and Abi?
Do you think anyone out there has used an “always be” acronym as a baby name yet?
If you’ve heard of Hilo Hattie, your first association is likely to be the Hawaiian tourist shop known selling “aloha wear” clothing and souvenirs.
But the name Hilo Hattie originated with a real person. “Hilo Hattie” was the stage name of Clarissa “Clara” Haili, a Hawaiian singer and comedienne who was born in Honolulu in 1901.
Her humorous live rendition of the hapa-haole song “When Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop,” which she first performed in the late 1930s, was such a hit that she began using “Hilo Hattie” in place of her own name. (Hilo, pronounced hee-loh, is a town on the east coast of the Big Island.)
Some sources claim she made Hilo Hattie her legal name in the early ’40s, but the records I’ve seen don’t support this idea. Billboard was still calling her Clara Inter (her first married name) in the late ’40s, and she’s identified as Clara H. Nelson (her second married name) on her headstone.
Clara passed away in 1979. The same year, the Hawaiian fashion company now known as “Hilo Hattie” bought the rights to her name.
In 1953, the Hawaiian name Haunani saw high enough national usage* that it appeared for the first time in the SSA’s baby name data:
1953: 6 baby girls named Haunani [debut]
5 born in Hawaii specifically
The soundtrack to From Here to Eternity — one of the top-grossing movies of not just 1953, but the entire decade — featured a song called “Haunani.” The song was composed by Hawaiian hapa-haole musician Randall Kimeona “Randy” Oness and performed by Danny Stewart and His Islanders.
Randy Oness had a daughter named Haunani (b. 1944) and, according to Honolulu Star-Bulletin entertainment columnist John Berger, the song “Haunani” was written specifically for her. The lyrics were originally in Hawaiian, but here’s an English version of “Haunani” sung by Alfred Apaka:
The Hawaiian name Haunani is composed of two elements: hau, meaning “ruler,” and nani, meaning “beauty” or “glory.” (“Hau” also happens to be a Hawaiian word for snow.)
Do you like the name Haunani? Do you like it more or less than Leimomi?