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All About Abigail, Baby Name Information

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Updated July 28, 2012

Abigail Name Meaning:

Abigail is derived from the Hebrew name 'Avigayil which means "my father is joy." In the Old Testament, Abigail was a wise, shrewd woman who defied her husband in order to protect their household. Following her husband's death, Abigail became King David's third wife.

Abigail grew in popularity following the Protestant Reformation in Europe. However, in 1616 the play "The Scornful Lady" was published. In it "Abigail" was used as a slang term for servant. It would seem that its use affected the popularity of the name.

Popularity of Abigail:

The Social Security Administation has compiled data on popular baby names that go back to 1880. Over that period of time, you can see that Abigial really was not an exceptionally popular name like it is today.

In fact from 1907 to 1937, the name did not even making the top 1000 baby girl names for those year. From 1949 to the present, the name started consistently appearing on the name charts. But Abigail did not crack the Top 50 Name List until 1994. In 2001 she cracked the top 10 list and has remained there ever since. Her highest point in popularity was in 2005, when she hit the number 4 ranking.

Despite what might seem like a very popular name today, in the grand scheme of looking at the popularity of the name overtime, she is not all that popular. Abigail does not make the list of Top 100 Names of the Past Century.

Pronunciation:

In English, Abigail is pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable and the short i sound on the second syllable, AB-i-gayl.

Nicknames and Alternate Spellings of Abigail:

Potential nicknames for Abigail include Abby and Gail.

When it comes to alternate spellings, in recent years changing the traditional spelling of names has become increasingly popular. In the past decade variant spellings that have made the top 1000 lists include Abagail, Abbigail, Abigayle, Abagail, and Abigale. However, in 2011 their was only one vairant of Abigail to make the charts, Abbigail.

Middle Names for Abigail:

Whether you are looking for a traditional or contemporary sounding middle name, you'll likely find a wonderful combination. Here are some potential ideas for middle names:

  • Abigail Bryn
  • Abigail Diane
  • Abigail Elizabeth
  • Abigail Grace
  • Abigail Jade
  • Abigail Mae
  • Abigail Marie
  • Abigail Rayne
  • Abigail Rose
  • Abigail Selene
  • Abigail Tamryn

Share your suggestions for middle names at the "Write a Review" link below.

Sibling Name Suggestions:

If you are having trouble deciding on a sibling name to go with Abigail, you can get inspiration from many places. Whether you look for another name that starts with a, a three syllable name, a biblical name, or a name with a classic sound, you'll find something that works. Alternatively, you could simply pick a name that you love with out worrying about how it sounds with Abigail. Here are some ideas:

  • For girls: Amanda, Anna, Elizabeth, Emma, Hannah, Mary, Olivia, Rebecca, Sarah,
  • For boys: Aaron, Adam, Andrew, Benjamin, Daniel, James, Joseph, William

Baby Name Trends:

Name trends refer to current commonalities in popular baby names. Abigail could fall under the resurgence of older, classic names that have come to dominate the charts in recent years. It also could be considered a biblical name.

Famous People Named Abigail:

Wondering who were some famous Abigails? Check out this list.

  • Abigail Adams, U.S. First Lady in the 18th Century
  • Abigail Fillmore, U.S. First Lady in the 19th Century
  • Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist
  • Abigail Breslin, actress
  • Abigail Eliot, published author
  • Abigail Lane, British artist
  • Abigail Mavity, actress
  • Abigail Padgett, writer
  • Abigail Spears, tennis player
  • Abigail Thernstrom, published author

Celebrity Babies Named Abigail:

Despite Abigail's recent popularity, it has not been nearly as popular with celebrities. Here are some children of celebrities who bear the name Abigail.

  • Abigail Esme, (2003) daughter of Kelly Willis and twin sister of Benjamin James
  • Abigail Michelle, (2002) daughter of Marie Osmond
  • Abigail, (1968) daughter of Anthony Hopkins
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