How popular is the baby name Aba in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Aba and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Aba.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Aba

Number of Babies Named Aba

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Aba

Abe & Abi: “Always Be” Baby Names

always be closing, ABC
“A, always. B, be. C, closing. Always be closing!”

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

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

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?

A Selection of “Names From Africa”

Names from Africa

A few months back, commenter Becca mentioned the book Names From Africa (1972) by Ogonna Chuks-orji. This was one of the first baby name books in the U.S. to focus on African names exclusively.

I haven’t yet read it in full, but Ebony ran an article in 1977 about African-American naming traditions (a few months after Roots first aired) and included a selection of names from the book.

I’ve included the names below, but first here’s a snippet of the article:

Then came the ’60s and ’70s and the rejection of assimilation efforts. Cultural nationalism and separatism replaced integration and Afro-Americans changed their names to reflect their new consciousness. The name of people of African descent as a whole was changed from Negro or colored to Black or Afro-American to reflect an aggressive pride in the African heritage, and an affirmation of the validity of self-defined identity. Africa became a source of names. Very Anglo-Saxon or exotic European names were changed to African names–usually Swahili names with meanings pertinent to the struggle. African leaders, past and present, like Shaka, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure, began to provide the heroic, strong, inspirational names. The eclectic choice of African names reflects the Pan-Africanist orientation of the Afro-American identity.

Here are all the girl names:

Female African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

According to the SSA data, some of the these girl names saw higher usage as baby names thanks to the article:

The names Habibah, Ifetayo, Masani, and Ramla saw no significant movement in the data. The names Abayomi and Ode have only appeared in the data only as a boy names (…though Abayomi did see peak usage in ’77). The other names (Akwokwo, Bayo, Chucki, Dada, Folayan, Hembadoon, Ifama, Ige, Kambo, Mawusi, Oseye, Pasua, Quibilah, Serwa and Sigolwide) have never been in the data at all, as of this writing.

And here are all the boy names:

Male African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

And here are the boy names that saw higher usage as baby names thanks to the article:

The names Ade, Ahmed, Azikiwe, Bobo, Habib, Jabulani, Lukman, Nizam, N’Namdi, N’Nanna, and Oba saw no significant movement in the data.

The other names (Bwerani, Chionesu, Chiumbo, Dingane, Dunsimi, Fudail, Gamba, Gogo, Gowon, Gwandoya, Kamuzu, Lumo, Machupa*, Mbwana, Mongo, Mosegi, Mwamba and Nangwaya) have never been in the data at all.

*I was very curious about the definition of Machupa, “likes to drink.” Turns out it’s not alcohol-related; another book on African names specifies that the root of Machupa is probably chupa, a Kiswahili word meaning “bottle.”

Sources:

  • Stewart, Julia. African Names: Names from the African Continent for Children and Adults. New York: Citadel Press, 1993.
  • Walker, Sheila S. “What’s in a Name?Ebony Jun. 1977: 74+.