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Abigail Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Abigail including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Abigail Overview

  • Meaning: The name “Abigail” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “cause of joy” or “father’s joy.”
  • Gender: Abigail is a name mainly given to girls. There are male equivalents, such as “Abbot,” “Abel,” or “Abelardo,” though they are less common.
  • Origin: Abigail comes from the Hebrew word and name “ אֲבִיגַיִל / אֲבִיגָיִל” or “Avigail.”
  • Pronunciation: Abigail is most commonly pronounced as “AB-ih-gayl,” with a soft “i” in the middle. The other way to say it is with a longer “e” sound in the middle syllable, such as “AB-ee-gayl.”
  • Popularity: Abigail is a very popular name.
  • Nicknames: Abbey, Abby, Abbi, Abbie, Abi, Abs, Aby, Gail, Gayle.
  • Variations: Abagael, Abagail, Abagale, Abageal, Abagil, Abaigael, Abbegail, Abbegale, Abbigael, Abbigail, Abbigale, Abigel, Abigil, Abigael, Abigal, Abigale, Abigall, Abigayl, Abigayle, Avigail, Abbigayle, Abbygael, Abbygail, Abbygale, Abegail, Abegale, Abgail.
  • Namesakes: Abigail Adams, wife and primary advisor to President John Adams.

What Does Abigail Mean?

The name “Abigail” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “cause of joy” or “father’s joy.” The Hebrew Bible described the biblical figure Abigail as an attractive, sharp, and loyal person.

Abigail nowadays is typically a girl’s name, as well as a popular last name that many people still take on to this day (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Abigail?

Abigail comes from the Hebrew girl’s name and word, “Avigail” or “ אֲבִיגַיִל / אֲבִיגָיִל.” Abigail was the beloved spouse of King David in the Book of Samuel.

Since then, it has been passed on and was popular during puritanical times. It has also moved in and out of popularity, but today it is a common first and last name.

How Popular Is the Name Abigail?

The name Abigail is very popular. For babies born in 2020, it was in the top 15 names given to girls. That same year, close to 8000 baby girls were given the name Abigail—that’s 1 in every 224 infant female babies.

How Do I Pronounce Abigail?

Abigail is most commonly pronounced as “AB-ih-gayl,” with a soft “i” in the middle. The other way to say it is with a longer “e” sound in the middle syllable, such as “AB-ee-gayl.”

Is Abigail a Boy or Girl Name?

Abigail is most commonly a name given to girls. The male equivalent of Abigail is “Abbot,” “Abel” or “Abelardo,” though far less common.

Variations of Abigail

For being a name with such a long history and cultural roots, there are only a few variations on the name Abigail. Some of them include:

  • Abagael
  • Abagail
  • Abagale
  • Abageal
  • Abagil
  • Abaigael
  • Abbegail
  • Abbegale
  • Abbigael
  • Abbigail
  • Abbigale
  • Abbigayle
  • Abbygael
  • Abbygail
  • Abbygale
  • Abegail
  • Abegale
  • Abgail
  • Abigael
  • Abigal
  • Abigale
  • Abigall
  • Abigayl
  • Abigayle
  • Abigel
  • Abigil
  • Avigail

Nicknames for Abigail

For how many variations the name Abigail has, there are plenty of known nicknames to go along with it. Some of those nicknames include:

  • Abbey
  • Abby
  • Abbi
  • Abbie
  • Abi
  • Abs
  • Aby
  • Gail
  • Gayle

Similar Names to Abigail

There are also a handful of names similar to Abigail. The following are some of those similar names:

Middle Names for Abigail

Abigail is a strong name, and the middle name can pair with some great secondary names. Some options include:

Sibling Names for Abigail

Many names go great alongside Abigail for a sibling, whether boy or girl. Some of them include:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Abigail

There are also many famous people named Abigail. Some of the most prominent include:

  • Abigail Adams: Spouse and primary advisor to President John Adams.
  • Abigail Breslin: American actress and musician.
  • Abigail Disney: American documentary filmmaker, philanthropist, and social activist
  • Abigail Spears: American tennis star.
  • Abigail Spencer: American actress.
  • Francis Abigail: Australian politician.
  • Peter Abigail: FamousAustralian army officer.
  • Robert Abigail: Dutch DJ.

Abigail in Popular Culture

Many characters in pop culture have taken the name Abigail over the years. From books to movies and video games, here are some of the most notable characters you might recognize:

  • Abigaëlle: A character from the 2014 film Abigaëlle.
  • Abigail: A antagonist character in the Final Fight series, as well as a character in the Street Fighter videogame series.
  • Abby: A young vampire character in the movie Let Me In.
  • Abigaille: A character in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco.
  • Dark Priest Abigail: Character in Japanese manga/anime series.
  • Mother Abagail: A protagonist character in Stephen King’s novel/film The Stand.
  • Abigail Anderson: A character in the videogame The Last of Us Part II.

Abigail FAQs

There might be some other questions on your mind about the name Abigail. Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions and interesting tidbits concerning the name Abigail.

Is Abigail a Pretty Name?

Abigail is a name that has withstood the test of time and meaning. It has a wholesome feel with deep roots connected and can adapt to many personalities. Its meanings, “cause of joy” or “father’s joy,” say enough, and it usually represents smart, beautiful women.

What Does Abigail Mean in French?

In France, Abigail is a male’s name. It keeps the same meaning as the girl version, which also goes for Irish and Greek.

What Does Abigail Mean in Spanish?

In Spanish, Abigail refers to the maid side of the name and is often used for characters who are maids. The ties between maids and the name Abigail started in the early 17th century.

At the time, wealthy families used the name “Abigail” to refer to their maids. This came from the nature of David’s relationship with his wife in the Bible, where she was his loyal “handmaid.”

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