Origin and Meaning of the Name Abigail

Abigail is a name of Hebrew origin and its meaning is interpreted as "daddy's girl". Undoubtedly, it's a good choice for your daughter.
Origin and Meaning of the Name Abigail
Samanta Ruiz

Written and verified by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Last update: 16 December, 2022

One of the first things to choose when a pregnancy is confirmed is what to name the baby. This can be quite a difficult task because of the number of options out there, but it’s easier if you start looking now. Check out the information we’ll share below on the origin and meaning of the name Abigail. Maybe this will be the one you end up choosing!

The name Abigail is very popular in the United States. According to data from Social Security USA, it’s ranked number 79 on the list of the 100 most used names in the last 100 years. Also, it’s a very chosen name for girls in Canada, Australia, and in the countries of the United Kingdom.

Learn all about the name Abigail!

What does the name Abigail mean and where does it come from?

Abigail is a name of Hebrew origin, whose original version in that language is אֲבִיגָיל – Abhigayil. This ancient word is formed from the elements abh, meaning “parents” and gil, which refers to “joy”, “gladness” or “rejoicing”. The literal translation is believed to be “a father’s joy”, but the spirit of the word is interpreted to refer to “daddy’s little girl”.

Variations of Abigail in other languages

The name Abigail is very old and, thanks to this, we find it in several languages. In some languages, it appears with slight variations:

  • English, German and French: Abigail
  • Danish: Abigael
  • Italian: Abigaille
  • Hungarian: Abigél

In addition, there are shorter versions that are used as names or nicknames. The best known are Abba, Abi, Abbie, Aby, Gail, and Gayle.

Famous women and people named Abigail

Actress Abigail Breslin.
Abigail Breslin is an American actress who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in the comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine.

This name has been known since biblical times and is always in use. Therefore, we’ll find it in women and fictional characters of all times. Here are some examples:

  • Abigail Adams: The name of the wife of John Adams, second president of the United States, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the 6th president of the same country.
  • Abigail May Alcott Nieriker: American painter. She was the younger sister of Louisa May Alcott and was the inspiration for the character Amy in the 1868 novel Little Women.
  • Abigail Kathleen Breslin: American actress, nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Little Miss Sunshine.

“- Grandpa, do you think I’m pretty?
– You’re the prettiest girl in the world.
– You’re just saying that.
– No. I’m madly in love with you. And it’s not because of your brains or your personality.”

-Little Miss Sunshine-

More Famous People with the Name Abigail

  • Abby Cadabby: A fictional character in the children’s program Sesame Street.
  • Abigail Edna Disney: A gun control activist in the United States and documentary film producer. She’s one of the heirs to the Disney empire.
  • Abigail Eaton: A car racer who participates in East Riding of Yorkshire races in England.
  • Abigail Glines: The American writer of bestselling romantic fiction books.
  • Abigail Heyman: An American photographer and feminist whose 1974 book, Growing Up Female, became a guide for the women’s movement.
  • Abigail Sciuto: The name of the character in the series NCIS. She is a forensic scientist with a gothic style.
  • Abigail Van Buren: A pseudonym of Pauline Esther “Popo” Phillips, advice columnist since 1956 with Dear Abby. That was the name of her publications that ran for more than 40 years.
  • Abby Whelan: The name of the character of the White House chief of staff in the series Scandal.

Abigail, the biblical story of a courageous woman

For Jews, Abigail is one of their seven prophetesses, along with Hannah, Esther, Huldah, Deborah, Miriam, and Sarah. In the Old Testament, Abigail starred in a story that made her transcend as an intelligent, courageous, and prudent woman.

Married to Nabal, a foolish man, she saved her husband from being killed by David. The young woman had a quick reaction when her husband refused a request for collaboration, and she herself took provisions to the soldiers. By doing this, she prevented David from killing Nabal. When her husband died, David heard about it and remembered the bravery of that beautiful woman. So he sought her out and asked her to marry him. Thus, Abigail became David’s wife.

A scene from the old testament.
In the Old Testament, Abigail became King David’s wife, after the death of her husband, Nabal.

Other girl names to choose from: Which one do you prefer?

The number of girl names you can find on our site is very large, so we recommend you start looking in advance. The most important thing is that you have a rough idea of what you want, so you’ll save a lot of time that you can spend preparing her room, clothes, and other important issues.

For example, if you’ve already decided that your girl’s name will start with the letter A, go straight to this list that we have available, which offers you many possibilities. Then, there’s the search for specific names, such as Hannah, Emily, or Arya. Three options with personality and each with a special story.

If none of this works, we suggest you explore names by theme, which can be very interesting. For example, names of queens and goddesses, famous people, and much more!

Start looking for the perfect name for your little girl today!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.