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

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 Abcde


Posts that Mention the Name Abcde

The Latest on ABCDE

In late November, the baby name Abcde (pronounced AB-sih-dee) made national headlines after a 5-year-old El Paso girl named Abcde Redford was name-shamed by a Southwest Airlines gate agent at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

My original post on Abcde was written way back in 2010, so now that the name is being highlighted in the news (and on social media), it’s time for an update!

Here’s a graph of what the usage looks like so far:

usage of the baby name Abcde, graph, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, texas, hawaii, usa

And here are the grand totals (1990-2017):

  • Usage in the U.S.: at least 373 baby girls
    • Usage in Texas specifically: at least 225 baby girls
    • Usage in Hawaii specifically: at least 5 baby girls

(The state-specific SSA data, just like the national SSA data, has a five-baby threshold. So if a name is given to four (or fewer) babies in a certain state in a given year, that usage won’t be reported. The total counts, therefore, should be seen as minimums.)

Strangely, several sources (Vocativ, WaPo) keep repeating the claim that the name Abcde is “a primarily Hawaiian phenomenon.” While Hawaii was clearly an early adopter, Texas is where about 60% of all Abcdes have been born.

Oh, and we shouldn’t forget to mention the phonetic variant, Absidy:

usage of the baby name Absidy, graph, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, texas, usa

It’s interesting to note that Abcde is not a purely modern invention. Here’s a 19th-century woman named Abcde, for instance (discovered by It’s an Urban Legend). Abcde is also not the only letter-string personal name we have evidence of. And, going beyond names, there’s the letter-based Latin word abecedarius, “alphabetical,” and derived terms like abecedary and abecedarian (thank you to Frank for reminding me of this).

So now here’s the big question: Abcde’s usage has been petering out over the last few years…but will all this recent exposure, despite the mocking tone, end up giving the name a boost in 2018/2019?

Sources: SSA, OC Southwest gate agent mocks 5-year-old girl’s name, posts boarding pass on social media

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?

Top Blog Posts of 2014; Suggestions for 2015?

Happy New Year!

Wondering which NBN posts got the most traffic last year? Here’s the official list:

  1. Names People Have Given Their Cars
  2. How to Pronounce Popular Irish Names – Aoife, Cian, Niamh, Oisin
  3. The Name Your Car Formula, for Name Your Car Day
  4. Hailey, Haleigh, Haylee… Which Spelling Is Best?
  5. Is ABCDE Really a Baby Name?
  6. Avery – Girl Name or Boy Name?
  7. Car Names as Baby Names
  8. 110+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Girl Names
  9. Baby Name Needed – Botanical Name for Baby Boy
  10. What Are the Most Pretentious Baby Names?

And which NBN posts published in 2014 specifically got the most traffic last year?

  1. Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013
  2. Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2013
  3. Siblings Named Tonsillitis, Meningitis, Appendicitis…
  4. List of Female Names from 1888
  5. Popular Baby Names in Poland, 2013
  6. Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2013
  7. Baby Name Trends in South Korea
  8. 40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins
  9. Names Popular During the Victorian Era
  10. Kilcher Names – Atz, Farenorth, Jewel, Q’orianka

Thanks so much for reading along year after year, everyone. Your comments and emails mean a lot to me. :)

Is there anything in particular you’d like to see a post about in 2015? Please comment below or send me a note.

Alphabet Soup Baby Names – ABC to XYZ

Last year, I asked if ABCDE really was a baby name. It is, but it’s not the only alphabet-based baby name out there. Here are some others…

ABC

I’ve tracked down more than a dozen people named Abc, including Abc Groff (1887-1966) in the SSDI and Abc Dixon on a list of “educable children” in Mississippi from 1878:

abc, name

ABCD

I haven’t found any true cases yet, but plenty of people have had “A.B.C.D.” as initials. I did notice this on the 1940 US Census, though — looks to me like Abcdania or Abcdenia:

abcdania, name

ABCDEF

One-upping the famed Abcde! I’ve seen two, one being Abcdef Riggs on the 1870 US Census:

abcdef, name

If Abcde is pronounced absidy, maybe this one is absidef?

I didn’t spot any letter-string names from the middle of the alphabet, but I did have some luck at the other end…

XYZ

I’ve discovered over a dozen people named Xyz, including Xyz Smith on the 1870 US Census:

xyz, name

Another was Xyz Crenshaw (1906-2002) in the SSDI. Here’s his gravestone:

xyz, name

I wonder how Xyz would be pronounced. Ziz? Eksiz?

I’ve also seen extended versions like Xyza, Xyzen, and Xyzemia. Here’s Xyzrapha Dismuke on the 1940 US Census, for instance:

xyzrapha, name

What are your thoughts on names like these? Are they cool, or over the top?

Types of Bad Baby Names

Nancy Friedman of Fritinancy wrote a great post the other day called What Makes a Bad Name Bad?

It’s about company and product names, but her four “badness patterns” can be found in baby names as well.

Some examples…

Can you think of any other bad baby names that fall into one (or more) of the above categories?