Mom accuses Southwest Airlines staff of mocking her daughter's name: "Abcde"

To cleanse the palate. In 20+ years of online news-reading, this may be the first case I’ve run across of a parent being shamed by a corporation for anything involving her child where Internet consensus seems to be, “Yeah, she deserved it.”

Not the little girl, of course. Her mother’s right to be mad if what she says is true, that her daughter could hear the staff making fun. But the mom, who leafed through the great book of baby names and somehow settled on “Abcde”?

Said one YouTube commenter, “Her brother is 12345.” I would have guessed “Fghij” but comic minds can differ on this point.

The reaction online is so bad, in fact, that it’s actually part of the news segment below. “What the hell was she thinking?” is a bona fide news angle here.

Redford said the incident occurred several weeks ago when she and her daughter were preparing to board a flight from Santa Ana, Calif., home to El Paso, Tex. Redford told the station that a gate agent at California’s John Wayne Airport saw Abcde’s name and started pointing, laughing and talking to other employees about Redford and her child…

Although Abcde is an unusual name, it’s not unheard of. In 2014, Vocativ reported that over the past three decades, 328 baby girls have been given that name, 32 of whom were born in 2009. But when the name is entered into the Social Security Administration’s database of popular baby names, it states that “Abcde is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth beginning with 2000.”

Nicknames include Ce-Ce, Sidy, Abby, Xyzzie, Aebi and Seedy, according to

You know it’s bad when even the nicknames — “Seedy”? — are bad. Although I like “Xyzzie.” At least there’s some playfulness in that.

Southwest has apologized because it was, after all, both highly dickish and stupid of a staffer to post a photo of the girl’s boarding pass to social media. The company is right to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on publicizing passengers’ personal information, even though no doubt there was lots of snickering during the disciplinary hearing for this particular infraction.

Now that this has been cleared up, little Abcde will probably never again hear a disapproving comment about her name.

By the way, here’s the list of top ten most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2017 from the Social Security Administration. Lotta dreck on there, starting with numero uno among the boys. God help us if twee British monikers become trendy. In 20 years, we’ll be surrounded by Nigels and Percys. Exit question: How did a retro tag like Evelyn land on the girls’ list? When I was young, that was an old-lady name. Is it the name of a “Twilight” character or Oprah’s dog or something?

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David Strom 8:31 AM on October 05, 2022