Abigail Name Meaning

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If you're looking for a name that is both wholesome and can adaptable for a variety of tastes, Abigail might be the right choice.

Abigail means "cause of joy" or "father's joy" in Hebrew. In the Bible, Abigail is described as a beautiful and intelligent woman. When her foolish husband offended King David and was about to bring disaster on their household, Abigail took action to prevent bloodshed by approaching King David with sound judgment and diplomacy. She was praised for her intelligence and loyalty.

  • Origin: Abigail is a Hebrew name meaning "cause of joy."
  • Gender: Abigail is most commonly used as a girl name.
  • Pronunciation: ah-buh-geyl

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Abigail?

The name Abigail entered the Social Security List of top 1,000 names in 1901 at number 918. It fell off the list shortly after and didn't make its way back on until 1939. Starting in the 1970s, the name really began to trend. By 2005 it had peaked in popularity, ranking at number four. In 2020 it was ranked number 13.

There were several famous Abigails in the 1970s that may have contributed to the growing popularity of the name at that time. With its sensible overtone and its endearing and accessible nicknames, it's no wonder that the name Abigail has been favored for so many decades.

Name Variations

The following are variations of the name Abigail:

  • Abigael (Danish)
  • Abigaeli (Swahili)
  • Abigaille (Italian)
  • Abigél (Hungarian)
  • Apikalia, ʻApikaʻila (Hawaiian)

Similar Names

Other Biblical girl names:

  • Claudia
  • Damaris
  • Deborah
  • Hannah
  • Lydia
  • Miriam
  • Priscilla
  • Rebecca
  • Sarah

Other girl names starting with A:

  • Addyson
  • Adelynn
  • Allison
  • Amanda
  • Amelia
  • Annabel
  • Aria
  • Avery

Common Nicknames

There are several nicknames that can be derived from the name Abigail:

  • Abbey
  • Abbi
  • Abbie
  • Abby
  • Abs
  • Gail
  • Gaye
  • Gayle

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Abigail? Here are some popular options:

  • Anthony
  • Benjamin
  • Eleanor
  • Eliza
  • Elizabeth
  • Jonathan
  • Margaret
  • Phillip
  • Samuel
  • Susannah
  • Theodore

Famous People Named Abigail

Notable Abigails have ranged in personalities, embodying the steadfastness of the biblical Abigail to the liveliness of one of "Sesame Street's" most popular characters.

Famous Abigails:

  • Abigail Adams, The first Vice Presidential wife of the United States and the second First Lady
  • Abigail Breslin, Singer and actress who rose to fame as the girl in "Little Miss Sunshine" for which she was an Academy Award nominee
  • Abigail Fillmore, The 13th First Lady of the United States, wife of President Millard Fillmore
  • Abigail Heyman, American photographer and feminist of the 1970s
  • Abigail Van Buren, Pen name of American advice columnist who began her column "Dear Abby" in 1956

Fictional Abigails:

  • Abigail Salmon, The mother in the novel "The Lovely Bones," which was later made into a movie
  • Abigail Sciuto, The dependable and quirky forensic scientist on the television show "NCIS" who is known for her Gothic style and high-energy personality
  • Abby Cadabby, A purple-haired Muppet fairy character on the children's show "Sesame Street" who uses magic with her wand to help solve problems
  • Abby Whelan, Chief of Staff at The White House on the television series "Scandal" who is known to be outspoken and always willing to stand her ground

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of Name.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).