LP reports that “HAGS”, meaning “Have a great summer,” was a popular thing to write in yearbooks while in school.


LP is an adult, male college graduate who was raised in Beverly Hills, CA, attending the public schools in the area.

When asked which things were popular to write inside a yearbook while growing up, LP said that “HAGS” was the typical go-to for most students. He states that his relationship with this practice is that he would only use this for those he wasn’t particularly close with or didn’t have any shared anecdotes. To “fill out the space of the yearbook,” he said that he and others would write “HAGS” in big letters. LP says that he first learned of the usage of “HAGS” around the first time he was of age to receive a yearbook, roughly around first grade.


LP’s mention that “HAGS” is typically used for those classmates that one is not particularly close with hints at its usage as a relaltionship signifier. The choice of language in yearbook messages can be a subtle way to convey the level of closeness and familarity between two individuals. By employing “HAGS,” a student has the ability to maintain warm, but distant relations with a fellow classmate. The yearbook itself is a sort of folk object, one that may be distrubuted by an official authority, the school and yearbook staff, but malleable in the hands of students. LP’s view on the usage of “HAGS,” particularly that one might write it in bigger letters to fill out the blank space of a yearbook, demonstrates the function of yearbooks as a means of affirming the social standing of others with more “filled out” space representing a greater social position among peers.