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Social Security Administration

Debate: The Parent who Named Her child, ‘ABCDE’ v. Airline Employee

 Abcde Redford and Traci Redford Southwest Airlines

In America, 328 parents have decided to name their child, “ABCDE”, pronounced, AB-si-dee”, according to the  Social Security Administration database which has existed only since 2014.

One said child and her mom Traci Redford were pre-boarding a Southwest Airlines flight in Orange County going home to El Paso, Texas when Redford overheard an airline employee mocking her daughter’s name. 

According to news affiliate ABC7 in Los Angeles. The Redfords were preboarding — as they usually do because Abcde is epileptic — when the Southwest Airlines gate agent started laughing and pointing at the child and making fun of her unique name to fellow airline employees. “I turned around and said, ‘Hey, if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop,’” Redford told ABC7.

Redford said her daughter asked her, “‘Mom, why is she laughing at my name?’” then replied. “‘You know, honey, not everybody is nice. And not everyone’s gonna be nice, and it’s unfortunate,’”

The employee took a photo of the girl’s boarding pass and posted in on Facebook. That’s when a social media user told the mom of the posting after reporting it to Southwest. The airlines issued an apoloyg ot the mom after she filed a formal complaint but failed to get a response for two weeks.

The Airline’s statement reads:

“We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers, which includes living by the Golden Rule and treating every individual with respect, in person or online. The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees. We have followed up with the Employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasize our expectations for all Employees.”

She took it to ABC7 which got nationwide attention, but most people online are blaming the mom for giving her daughter that name. Click to read the commentary:

What do you think?

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REPORT: ‘Game of Thrones’ influenced parents to name their babies Khaleesi and other characters



Update in light of recent news that Khaleesi was number 2 of Nameberry’s top 100 baby names of 2014! I’m reposting this piece we shared in April 2014. ENJOY!

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With 6.6 million viewers tuning into the first episode of Game of Thrones last Sunday, is there any wonder that 146 babies in 2012 were named after Thrones character Khaleesi?
That’s what Social Security Administration data recently analyzed by the website Vox.com showed. Another character Daenerys made the list of baby names that year too.  But only 21 baby girls will have to live their lives with that name made up by Thrones author George R.R. Martin.  A few other hundred baby girls are named after Thrones character Arya, an Entertainment Weekly piece pointed out
It’s not uncommon for parents to name their children after characters in popular TV shows and movies. Hunger Games protagonist “Katniss” influenced of dozens of baby girls to be given them that name. The name “Bella” jumped from 2,780 uses to 5,104 uses within two years of release of the Twilight series, Yahoo Shine noted.
The names “Phoebe” and “Piper” rose to popularity during the years the show Charmed was on TV as did names “Willow” and “Zander” during the Buffy the Vampire slayer years, the Shine piece noted.  Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard,” told Shine that as far back as the 80s, women who enjoyed Daryl Hannah‘s character in the movie Splash name herself Madison after seeing it on a NYC sign grew up to name their kids that. SSA data showed that 42 baby girls had that name in 1984, the year the movie came out. But the following year 298 babies were named Madison, eventually growing in popularity to 20,612 in 2004. That’s a lot of influence and no one would imagine that the name originated from a New York City street. 
And the phenomenon goes back even further than that. Wattenberg told Shine “Samantha”on the show Bewitched helped that name grow in popularity following its run from 1964 to 1972 on TV. 
It’s interesting how pop culture cinema and TV shows have that effect on lives for years after they are no longer in regular circulation. It would be interesting to see if the future Game of Throne-named children will get any negative reaction to the names over years especially from people who are not aware of the book or series years after it has its course too or if the names will continue on.
Time will tell. 

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