Is “Abcde” really a baby name?

beads with letters

Abcde isn’t an urban legend. It’s a real baby name.

In fact, it’s the official first name of hundreds of females in the United States (especially Texas!).

How many Abcdes have been born in the U.S. so far? Here are the SSA’s numbers:

  • 2013: 16 baby girls named Abcde [9 in Texas]
  • 2012: 18 baby girls named Abcde [13 in Texas]
  • 2011: 21 baby girls named Abcde [14 in Texas]
  • 2010: 25 baby girls named Abcde [19 in Texas]
  • 2009: 32 baby girls named Abcde [20 in Texas]
  • 2008: 28 baby girls named Abcde [21 in Texas]
  • 2007: 24 baby girls named Abcde [14 in Texas]
  • 2006: 26 baby girls named Abcde [15 in Texas]
  • 2005: 22 baby girls named Abcde [16 in Texas]
  • 2004: 15 baby girls named Abcde [10 in Texas]
  • 2003: 22 baby girls named Abcde [13 in Texas]
  • 2002: 17 baby girls named Abcde [11 in Texas]
  • 2001: 16 baby girls named Abcde [11 in Texas]
  • 2000: 12 baby girls named Abcde [10 in Texas]
  • 1999: 13 baby girls named Abcde [5 in Texas]
  • 1998: 5 baby girls named Abcde
  • 1997: 5 baby girls named Abcde
  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: unlisted
  • 1993: unlisted
  • 1992: 6 baby girls named Abcde
  • 1991: unlisted
  • 1990: 5 baby girls named Abcde (debut) [all 5 born in Hawaii]
  • 1989: unlisted

Keep in mind that the SSA only lists names used 5 or more times per year, so there are more Abcdes out there that aren’t accounted for in the SSA data.

Based on the numbers we know, though, at least 328 baby girls in the U.S. have been named Abcde, and 201 (61%) of these baby girls were born in Texas specifically.

What do you think of the name?

Update, Dec. 2018: Here’s a new post with graphs of the Abcde data!

79 thoughts on “Is “Abcde” really a baby name?

  1. It doesn’t have much going for it.

    What’s REALLY crazy though is that the supposed pronuncation of it – Absidy – has become a name in its own right (5 in 2009)!

  2. Oh wow, good catch!

    It’s a little ridiculous that Absidy exists, but…I do appreciate that some parents attempted to turn ABCDE into a functional word.

  3. I try hard not to pass judgments on names (after all there is a child who bears the name and had no choice). But I struggle with this name. I don’t like it at all.

  4. Laurie, I have a hard time with that as well. It’s not easy to be honest about certain baby names. We all know that some people (including a lot of kids) own these names, and we don’t want to offend any of them.

    But I try to keep two things in mind.

    First, we’re never insulting the name owners. Just the names. (If we’re being critical of anyone, it’s the parents who bestowed these names, not the children who received them.)

    Second, some names really are bad. Indisputably bad. I think it’s best to call these names out. If we’re honest about them, and if expectant parents see what we say, they may be dissuaded from using them. And that’s a good thing.

  5. I wonder how many of these girls change their names eventually. My first thought was that this was filler text for parents who didn’t name their children immediately or something like that.


  6. It could be filler text for a few, though “unnamed” and “baby” seem to be a lot more common as fillers.

  7. ABCDE is actually pronounced “Abstity” like Abstinence and Chastity combined. EFGHI? How would that be pronounced? “Effigy”?

  8. ABCDE would not have any “t” sounds in it. “ab-si-dee” makes sense for the pronunciation. Also, EFGHI would rightly be pronounced like the name EFFIE as “GH” make the sound of an “F”. No offence to anyone having either of these names, but as an English teacher considering getting puppies, it seems these would be fun names to give the pups.

  9. When I see names like these, i feel such hatred for the parents…How can people do something like this?

  10. You have no idea what happened! My name is Abcde Tate, I am the first! This is how: I was born in 1999. My mom went on some radio show where u call and they tell u wat ur childs name means, My name meant Hope and good fortune (which so far is correct). After that there were Abcde’s EVERYWHERE! and it make’s me mad to see people judging and copying my name! So thanks alot for your comment.
    ~<3 Abcde Tate~

  11. @Abcde – Interesting. You’re parents were early adopters, but you’re not quite the first. :)

    I’m not sure how your mother came up with “hope and good fortune” as a meaning. “Abcde” has no meaning at all; it’s just a string of letters.

  12. It shows a total lack of creativity on the part of parents. Yes, it kind of sounds pretty, but so does “satan”

  13. How stupid to think Satan sounds pretty..horrible example darling. A name is a name…it’s about who you are as a person..don’t let your name determine your fate..

  14. One time in church I saw Abcde in the baptisms section of the handout. I figured the secretary forgot to change out the placeholder text. Then I heard the pastor say it I nearly burst out laughing. I could tell the others around me were as dumbfounded. I can’t believe parents could be so selfish, projecting their own fucked up ed ness onto the helpless child. I’m sure there is a high rate of Abcdes changing their names. When a kid rejects their given name, its a pretty big sign. Yeesh

  15. My name is Abcde.. I was born 1997.. So im the first Abcde.. LOl. About 6kids name in my school is Abcde. Im not the only one in my area. Is very unique, and different. I love my name..
    — Abcde Kelly

  16. Are you serious right now? For those that are “appreciating that parents TRIED to make this a word or whatever”…you are as retarded as the person who tried to make this a name/word. ITS A BUNCH OF LETTERS. Why not name your freaking child, “xyjdkjag”?! It’s pronounced like ZRING. Stupid people…

  17. I love this name! I plan to name my daughter it, just spelt differently of course to make it easier to pronounce. I think it sounds beautiful, Absidy. I think that you are all very quick to judge just because of how someone has spelt something and dont realise how sweet an unusual names can be, some people do put alot of thought into their childs name,and as simple as it looks or sounds, it actualy took them a long time to come to that conclusion. I read some of the names of the people commenting on this and are more turned off those names then this one!

  18. I really don’t get why this name is such a big deal to people. You keep saying “it’s just the first letters of the alphabet” but if that’s simple, why does it make you so angry? It’s not like they named their child Adolf Satan. The way it’s pronounced does sound pretty. Seeing as their name is in perfect alphabetical order, they would always be the first.

  19. Anna: Actually, Aaron and Aalyzah would still come before Abcde (which is the stupidest of stupid!).

  20. @Abcde, born in 1997. It’s hard to tell from your writing, but you appear to be saying without a trace of irony that your name is great because it’s very unique. Yet there are 6 Abcdes at your school. That means it’s common.

  21. i realize its a made up name.. but i do sorta like it. it sounds pretty when said and it is unique in an interesting way.

    also, i was born in 1987 and in junior high, there was a girl a year older than me with that name and i just ran into a girl last month with the name as well, also in her 20’s. so none of you were the first.

    but i like how the name how been around for sometime and yet it still remains mostly unheard of.

  22. Okay all you abcde name haters, you should all go get a life instead of bashing the name “abcde” and the parents of the named child. It’s a beautiful name and I will name my daughter ABCDE because 1. I don’t give a f*** about your opinions 2. It’s a beautiful name 3. Who cares if it’s common? So is John, Mary, Christian, Bob, Emily, Etc…… 4. Don’t judge the parents because of their decision they can choose to name their baby tree or grass if they want too (which I don’t think they should but it’s just an example). 5. My baby girl will love her name, and she’ll be able to spell it before other children because YEAH IT IS THE FIRST FIVE LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET! Hence, she’ll be ahead of her class.
    In conclusion,
    Go suck a d*** you abcde name haters because Abcde sounds way better than your lame a** names. Hahahahahaha! Haters.

    [Note from Nancy: Edited for strong language.]

  23. I usually delete comments like the one above, but I let this one through because the “she’ll be ahead of her class” line cracked me up.

  24. ABCDE is pure idiocy! Tradition is so much a part of naming your child, why go against it so much. Maybe part of the problem is very common last names: Black, White, green, Jones, Smith, etc. Maybe change your last name to go with a more “normal” first name…

  25. I think people ^ should worry about what they’ll be naming their kids and not what others are naming their kids. It isn’t your child, it isn’t your name, so it isn’t your problem. ABCDE is not idiocy. Just because it’s the first five letters it doesn’t mean it’s stupid. It could be spelt another way and still sound the same. I can already tell most people who don’t like the name are the type to judge a book by its cover. Good job people, good job.

  26. What if we put an actual vowel between the “c” and the “d?”: Abcyde, Abcidy, Absyde, Or Abside, even Abcede, Absede? IDK, thr more i look at it/think about it i like it. Hmm

  27. Actually the name Abcde is really pretty. I love it. I actually think of naming my daughter that but with a different spelling. It’s the spelling that make people hate it! Absidy sounds nice and the nickname could be Ab or Abby etc. The name is extremely pretty but the spelling could use some work.

  28. Ha! He won’t be ahead of her class, she’ll be the laugh of her class! The name is hilarious, I heard about it from a friend that’s a teacher and she has a student with the name. It’s just too funny, this name is such a joke

  29. Okay, so everyone seems to be missing this one point. THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS PAST THE AGE OF TWENTY! Imagine a seventy year old or even a forty year old named abcde. How will anyone take them seriously?

  30. It’s RIDICULOUS~ very laughable! First off the alphabet “name” parents give their child doesn’t sound out Abcidy or Absidy !!! If you google translation it sounds like the letters “ABD” all put together said very fast!! I just want to know what drug these parents who give their children an alphabet for a name, what drug are they on? It is not a name, nor a word! It is sad and selfish for a parent to do this to a child!!! Out right STUPID!!!!!!

  31. I laugh because most of the people who like Abcde as a name also think “spelt” is how you spell ” spelled”. Clearly we are having issues with the English language here!

  32. I like abcde it’s beautiful. And I’m naming my daughter abcde and if anyone has any problem with me doing so you can [DELETED].

    [Hi Jeffie! No death threats, k? -Nancy]

  33. It’s not a name I’d name my daughter but I wouldn’t say its a horrible name, because it’s not. I’ve seen a LOT worse names than that. Abcde is not a bad name.

  34. [DELETED].

    It’s not unique. It’s not clever. It’s not special. It’s beyond stupid.

    [Hi Danny boy — had to take out the insults. We try not to do that here. -Nancy]

  35. am having a baby in December and i plan to name her Abcde Nicole and for all yall that dont like it o well its my baby not yalls !!!! Most of this People on here have ugly name to but i dont go around telling everybody yall make me sick

  36. I heard/saw this name for the first time yesterday. My daughter (named Luna) has a teammate named Abcde. They call her “Abby” and also literally “A-B-C-D-E”!
    At first I thought the name in the program was a typo. Then when my daughter told me it wasn’t and that her name was pronounced Abstity. I was like “WOW!” What a cool, DIFFERENT name.
    I like it!!!
    Expand your mind folks. It’s okay to be different.
    And for the record this child is beautiful, strong and talented. She’s not “suffering” because her name is Abcde.
    And for people that are judging and condemning the parents…..don’t be so judgmental. How hurtful. You wouldn’t like someone calling you a sh*t head for naming your child John. That IS another name for a toilet after all!!!

  37. Parents should name their children whatever they like. I’m a data integrity specialist. It’s my job to sort out duplicate electronic medical records and potentially overlaid records (when 2 different patients have mistakenly had their records merged into one chart). Significant patient safety issues can result from simple mistakes in demographic information. The trouble I can see with a name like Abcde is that it looks very much like what we see in healthcare when a “default” name is entered because the name is not known or can’t be determined (patient comes into ER unconscious, new baby is not named yet, patient data form does not print legibly, etc.). My advice would be this: If you love the name and plan to use it, you may want to consider a middle name that is gender-specific and spelled the traditional way. Additionally, if you have twins, this is one of the most tricky areas in medical records. Please take caution to fill out all forms completely and clearly. Confirm all info with the front desk. Never guess at a “person to notify” phone number or SSN. If Abcde is allergic to penicillin but her twin sister is not, you do not want their medical records getting mixed up. There is a possibility that someone evaluating their records may think they are the same person, interpreting Abcde as a default first name rather than a different first name. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the name, only that naming a child has some implications that most people don’t think about, and there is so much for new parents to consider. I thought I would share this in case it helps anyone.

  38. I think “Absidy” is pretty. I love the way it’s pronounced. HOWEVER I do not like Abcde. People are not going to know how to say it, how to write it, and it won’t be taken seriously. I always think it’s best to spell names as phonetically as possible (and I know as “Everleigh” I really can’t be talking with all those silent letters at the end of my name) but I do think “Abcde” is a ridiculous spelling.

  39. Why do this to a child? Sure it sounds nice as Absidy, but most people will not say it this way. This child will grow up with people around them struggling to say her name. It is not a name, it is a string of letters.

  40. Y’all obviously have no life. Who really debates on a child’s name. Not your child but someone else’s. That’s the problem in society, bringing attention to irrelevant things instead of things that actually matter. Want to debate on something? Debate on the economy. Debate on privacy issues. Debate on foreign affairs. Debate on the collapsing dollar. Voice your opinion to relevant things instead of continuing endless disagreements over a child’s name. PLEASE

  41. My name is Abcde. My close friend was named Abcde. It’s not a stupid name. I love it and I’m not made fun of. I also have a lot going for me(:

  42. This is what’s wrong with this world. People leaving mean comments about a simple name. If you don’t like it don’t name your child it. But try teaching your child and yourself respect for others. Children are a reflection of their parents. This is why have BULLIES school because parents don’t teach their children respect.

  43. There are 2 people above, Lia and Emily, who love this ridiculous name obviously because of the easy spelling. FYI, in American English, spelt primarily refers to the hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe, and the verb spell makes spelled in the past tense and as a past participle.

  44. As an Abby (not short for anything) I like the sound Absidy, probably due to the similarity to my own name. I don’t like the overly made-up spelling of Abcde though. Then again to be fair, all names were made up at one point. I’d just prefer it to have a real meaning.

  45. Thank you to all of the Abcde’s who commented. It gives me relief to know that you do not hate your names. In 2003 I named my daughter Abcde. I honestly thought she was the only one. I had a sense of relief and sadness at the same time. I was glad she wasn’t the only one with the name, but a little saddened that it wasn’t as original as I thought. I “came up” with it after Big Bird sang the alphabet song. Abcde sounded so pretty when I heard it and still does. My 2 younger daughters are Lily and Sunshine. Sunshine gets picked on more about her name than Abcde. There’s some food for thought.

  46. What a beautiful name, I love the spelling Abcidy. I think it’s sad so many people are a rude, nasty, and hateful and those comments because they hate the name and people who have it their and the OP’s words don’t get edited. However, if someone comments in support those comments get edit. Interesting where the OP clearly is very biased.

  47. Thinking of Abcde: Were there ever girls named Alphabet or Alphabeth? The name must be rare, it was never in the SSA stats.

  48. Yes, I’ve found records for dozens of people (both male and female) named “Alphabet.” And other people with the first-middle combos “Alpha Beta” and “Alpha Betta.”

    I do see a handful of people named “Alphabeth” — looks like most of them were born in the Philippines, so these could just be cases of parents adding an H (e.g., Janeth, Julieth) and not necessarily the influence of, say, Elizabeth.

  49. And this is the not at all unexpected consequence.

    The airline employees were 100% wrong, but is disingenuous for the mother to be surprised that it happened. When you deliberately name your child something “unusual” so that they will be “unique” you don’t get to be surprised when that “uniqueness” isn’t universally & politely appreciated.

  50. Yes Laurie and others, for you it is hard to understand the name used, remember when we told your ancestor our name was Kunta Kunite and you said I don’t like that and I don’t want to say it and you then told us we will call you Tobie. All us especially blacks took on the Anglicized version of naming to please your distorted minds- that was a bad idea.

  51. It may sound nice when sounded out like “absidy” but its a trainwreck spelled “abcde” because people don’t sound out the letters of the alphabet like a word. They read them off as “Ay bee see dee ee”. This is a name these kids will have to explain and tell people how to pronounce for their entire life. It’s selfish for a parent to strap that kind of burden on a kid, especially in this age of bullying.

  52. Absidy or Ab-city? Sounds like a stage name. There’s more to a name than the way it sounds. Names speak of your social status. They say something about your family’s values. Your background. Names are not just given because they “sound nice.” That’s simple minded. Naming your daughter “abcde” is telling the world she comes from a simple-minded background where intelligence is not a strong point and education is not deemed important. Ironically. Do better for your child and put more thought into it.

  53. I think another blog post is in order now that this name is back in the news.

    I would also point out that the Latin word for alphabetical was “abecedarius”, formed out of ABCDE, which gave rise to “abecedarian” in English, referring to a child who is learning the alphabet. So there is a several-thousand year old tradition of making use of the first five letters of the alphabet to signify things.

  54. If this were a foreign name, I would understand choosing it despite the unusual spelling of the name. But, I don’t think that made up names are okay if they don’t follow the general phonetic rules of the speaker’s language. So, “Absidy” or “Abcidy” or even “Abcedee” would be perfectly fine (albeit weird) as a made up name — but “abcde” is just a string of letters. There is no meaning to it. Words were not combined to create a new word. It is simply the first five letters of the English alphabet. That isn’t creativity or daring or anything positive. It is basically a label that you put on your child that shows that their parents were probably uneducated and definitely pretentious. Sure, a kid with this name can OVERCOME it and still have a great life, especially if they are pretty or have a great personality. If they aren’t, maybe it will help them develop a thick skin (like that character in the song “A Boy Named Sue”). But, most adults who hear that name will immediately think that the child is going to be below average intelligence because they will judge the parents to be below average intelligence for naming their child that. In a perfect world, those types of judgments wouldn’t happen, but we all know we don’t live in a perfect world. We are human beings who make snap judgments about one another on a daily basis. Unless there is a family tradition or a great meaning behind the name, please don’t saddle your child with something just to be “different”. Those middle school years when every child desperately wants to fit in are going to be tough with a name like that. And if your child isn’t particularly pretty or popular, that name will just be fodder for all those mean kids out there. I would never make fun of someone for having a name, but I would feel sorry for them. And sometimes being pitied can feel worse than be ridiculed.

  55. @Frank B. – Good point about the pre-existing words. Also, good idea about writing a new post. I’ll try to get one up w/in the next week or two.

  56. This name (and specific other names) has (have) been the punchline on the comedy circuit for years. I don’t recall which famous comedian, but it was in a popular tour or tv special. The joke was that someone forgot to fill out the form and left the placeholder, or was high or drunk and filled in whatever came to mind, or just didn’t know any better, then either they or the child had to cover up the mistake years later by claiming a unique pronunciation came first, and the spelling was intended to be unique.

    Even with this making the news and one parent claiming their reasoning, I think the comedian was right about the origin of the name.

  57. As people we need attention. You have guaranteed attention to your offspring with a name like Abcde. (Pronounced abcity/abcidy/abcidee of just plain A B C D E) just Brilliant minds way ahead of the rest?

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