Abigail Name Meaning & Origin

Abigail

Pronunciation: A-bi-gayl (key)

Origin of the name Abigail:

From the Hebrew Avigayil, which is derived from avigayil (father of exaltation, father is rejoicing). The name was borne in the Bible by one of the wives of King David. Tha name also took on the meaning of "a lady's maid," due in part to its use as the name of a maid in the play The Scornful Lady, by Beaumont and Fletcher, in 1616.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Abigail Over Time

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Nicknames for Abigail

Abby
Aby
Abbi
Abi
Abbey
Gail
Gayle
BIGGY

Meanings and history of the name Abigail

The name Abigail means "father's joy" in Hebrew--or, more accurately, "the Father is joyful," referring to the Judeo-Christian God and his joyful nature. Most Hebrew names reference the Father in heaven. The Father's joy is demonstrated in His creation of a child.

This is the name of two women in the Bible, featured in the book of Samuel and the books of Chronicles. The more famous Abigail was one of the wives of King David, renowned for her wisdom and courage--but also known for referring to herself as King David's handmaid.

In the mid 17th century, the word abigail came into use as a synonym for a lady's maid, after a character from Beaumont & Fletcher's play The Scornful Lady. Due to the association with servants, the name fell out of favor and remained rare for centuries before gradually gaining in popularity starting in the 70s and shooting upwards during the 90s. It peaked in 2003 at #6 on the US charts.

Famous real-life people named Abigail

Abigail Adams, First Lady, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams
Abigail Breslin, actress
Abigail Rich, International Glamour model, Actress and Playboy Bunny
Abigail May Alcott, mother of Louisa May Alcott and model for "Marmee" in the novel Little Women.
Abigail Powers Fillmore, First Lady and wife of Millard Fillmore
Abigail van Buren, writer of Dear Abby column in newspapers
Abigail Williams, accuser in the Salem Witch Trials
Abigail and Brittany Hensel, conjoined twins
Abigail, third wife of King David (2 Samuel 3, The Bible)
Abbie Cobb, American actress

Abigail is a traditional name in the Hawaiian royal House of Kawananakoa. Among others, it has been borne by Princess Abigail Kapiolani, Princess Abigail Wahiikaahuula, High Chiefess Abigail Kuaihelani Maipinepine Kalaikini Campbell Parker, and the current heir to the throne, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike III Kawānanakoa.

Abigail in song, story & screen

"Abigail" song by Motionless In White
Abigail Wendover is the name of the heroine in "The Black Sheep" by Georgette Heyer
"Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony," poem by Shel Silverstein
"Abigail," song by the Broken West
Abby Sciuto, character on the TV show NCIS
Abby Lockheart, character on the TV show ER
Abigail "Abby" Morgan, character on the TV series Dawson's Creek
Abby Cadabby, Fairy godmonster on Sesame Street
Abigail Bartlett, character on the TV series "The West Wing"
Abigail "Abby" Hayes, title character in Anne Mazer's "The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes" children's series
Abigail "Abby" Stevenson, character in "The Baby-Sitters Club"
Abigail "Abby" Goyer, character in Jill Williamson's "Replication: The Jason Experiment"
Abigail Williams, character in The Crucible
Abigail "Abby" Cameron, a character in Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls book series
Abigail Brand, a character from Marvel comics.
Abigail ‘Abby’ Boyle, Cloud 9 from Marvel’s Avengers comics
"Abigail" song by Ryan Montbleau

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Smart?

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Sexy?

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Friendly?

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Creative?

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Strong?

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Young?

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Sophisticated?