"my father is joyful"

Abigail Origin and Meaning

The name Abigail is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "my father is joyful".

Abigail comes from the Hebrew name Avigail and is derived from the Hebrew elements ab, meaning "father," and g-y-l, meaning "to rejoice." In the Old Testament, Abigail was the wife of David, said to be beautiful, wise, and prophetic. In the early nineteenth century, Abigail became a term for a maid.

Abigail’s maid associations led to a fall from favor. Now, Abigail's back in a big way—it's been among the Top 10 girls' names for several years and one of the most popular girls' names starting with A —favored for its slightly proper vintage charm.

One of the most classic Hebrew names for girls, Abigail has been the name of two of our First Ladies—three, if you count the character on The West Wing—and Abby has been the name of a host of television and movie characters—she has been seen on screen in everything from Mad Men to The Lovely Bones.

Abigail's biblical roots and her sensible image combined with cute, accessible nickname Abby make her popularity understandable.

If you like Abigail but want something fresher, you may consider such other biblical choices as Lydia and Priscilla or names popular in Revolutionary Era America that have been neglected in recent years, such as Susannah and Eliza.

# 24 in the US

Abigail Rank in US Top 1000

# 149 on Nameberry

Abigail Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Abigail Popularity

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Famous People Named Abigail

  • Abigailsister of King David (1 Chr. 2:16)
  • Abigail AdamsU.S. First Lady as wife of 2nd President John Adams
  • Abigail "Nabby" Adams Smithdaughter of Abigail and John Adams
  • Abigail Powers FillmoreU.S. First Lady as wife of President Millard Fillmore
  • Abigail Van Burenpen name of Pauline and Jeanne Phillips, American advice columnists of "Dear Abby"
  • Abigail Kathleen BreslinAmerican actress
  • Abigail SavageAmerican actress
  • Abigail RichAmerican model and actress
  • Abigail Michal SpearsAmerican tennis player
  • Abigail Anne FolgerAmerican socialite and volunteer
  • Abigail LaneEnglish visual artist
  • Abigail Leigh SpencerAmerican actress
  • Abigail Williamsaccuser in the 1692 Salem witch trials
  • Abigail "Gayle" ZsigaEnglish electronic musician
  • Mary Abigail "Abby" WambachAmerican soccer player
  • Abigail Lynn "Abby" DahlkemperAmerican soccer player
  • Abigail Nellie "Abby" WanerAmerican basketball player
  • Abigail Loraine "Abby" HenselAmerican conjoined twin and reality TV personality; twin Brittany Hensel
  • Abigail Susan "Abby" EcksteinAmerican child model
  • Abigail Mawae (b. 2000)daughter of NFL player Kevin Mawae
  • Abigail Grace Fisher (b. 2008)daughter of singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Matt Fisher
  • Abigail O'kalani Bowlsbey (b. 2014)daughter of U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
  • Abigail Severino (b. 2015)daughter of baseball player Luis Severino

Abigail in Pop Culture

  • Abigail Johanna Deverauxcharacter on American soap "Days of Our Lives"
  • Abigail Rachel "Abby" Carlton Newmancharacter on American soap "The Young and the Restless"
  • Abigail "Abby" Scuitocharacter on TV's 'NCIS'
  • Abigail Armstrongcharacter on Australian TV's "Dance Academy"
  • Abigail "Abbie" Carmichaelcharacter on TV's "Law & Order"
  • Abigail Hobbscharacter on TV's 'Hannibal'
  • Dr. Abigail Chasemain character in National Treasure movies
  • Abigail Nixoncharacter on British TV's "The Bill"
  • Abigail Whitmancharacter on TV's "Mad Men"
  • Abigail Kennercharacter in novel "The Lifeboat Clique"
  • Abigail "Abby" Whelancharacter on TV's 'Scandal'
  • Abigail Lytarcharacter on TV's "Psych"
  • Abigail "Abby" Millscharacter on TV's "Sleepy Hollow"
  • Sister Abigailcharacter in movie 'Orphan'
  • Abigail "Abby" Daviescharacter on British soap "Hollyoaks"
  • Abigail Salmoncharacter in book/movie "The Lovely Bones"
  • Abigail "Abby" Lincoln (a.k.a. Numbah 5)one of the main characters on Codename: Kids Next Door
  • Abigail Merriweathercharacter in "This golden land" by Barbara Wood
  • "Abigail" song and concept album by King Diamond
  • Abigail "Abby" Griffina character in the TV show The 100
  • Abigail "Abbie" Rossocharacter in the children's novel '10 Kids, No Pets', by Ann M Martin
  • Abigail "Abby" Williamscharacter in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible
  • Abigail "Abby" Bennett Wilsoncharacter on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
  • Abigail "Abbey" Bartletcharacter in the TV show The West Wing
  • Abigail Williamscharacter in the movie "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
  • "Abigail"song by Motionless in White
  • Abigail Kirkcharacter in book and movie "Playing Beatie Bow"
  • Abigaila character in the game "Stardew Valley"
  • Abigail “Abby” Maitlandcharacter in ITV Series “Primeval”

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