All About The Baby Girl Name Abigail

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The popularity of the girls' name Abigail is in keeping with the trend of millennials finding favor with older, traditional-sounding names. In the Old Testament, Abigail was a wise, shrewd woman who defied her husband in order to protect their household.

The Abigail of the Bible

The Biblical story of Abigail is actually pretty interesting. Unlike many stereotypes about "Biblical" women, Abigail was very wealthy and involved in many political decisions that affected her husband and his land.

In the Bible, the name "Abigail" was actually spelled like "Abigal" and she was considered one of the seven prophets. She has been dubbed the original "beauty with brains," since she was an educated and beautiful woman who ruled her household wisely. 

Basically, the story of Abigail of the Bible goes like this: her husband, Nabal was not a good guy and when King David and his men at camp started running out of food and supplies and asked Nabal for help, he basically threw a fit. King David was so upset he started plotting to slaughter Nabal and his people.

Abigail realized that not sending provisions was a bad move, so behind her husband's back, met Davis and his army of 400, smoothed things over, and gave them the provisions anyway. Or in other words, she totally saved the day. 

The Name Abigail For Baby Girls

Abigail grew in popularity following the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In 1616 the play The Scornful Lady was published, which used "Abigail" as interchangeable with "maid." And three First Ladies were named Abigail, two real and one fictional.

Starting in about 1949, Abigail started appearing regularly on the top name charts.  In 2001 she cracked the top 10 list and has remained there ever since. Her highest point in popularity so far was in 2005, when she hit the number 4 ranking.

Abigail is derived from the Hebrew name "Avigayil" which means "my father's joy," a lovely sentiment to bestow on a new baby daughter.

Nicknames and Alternate Spellings of Abigail

Potential nicknames for Abigail include Abby, Abbie, and Gail.

Some alternate spellings of Abigail include Abagail, Abbigail, Abigayle, Abagail, and Abigale. However, in 2011 there was only one different spelling of Abigail to make the charts, Abbigail.

Middle Names for Abigail

With three syllables and a very traditional sound, it will be important to choose a good match for Abigail's middle name. The more classic the name, the better the fit. A few options include Abigail Marie, Abigail Grace, Abigail Rose and Abigail Elizabeth.

Sibling Name Suggestions for Abigail

For a sibling of Abigail, parents have several themes they may consider. There's the option to go with another "A" name, a Biblical name, or a classic-sounding name.

For a sister, some suggestions are Amanda, Elizabeth, Victoria, Sarah or Rebecca; for a brother, Adam, Benjamin, Noah, Daniel, and William are good choices.

Famous Women Named Abigail

Abigail has been the first name of three First Ladies, which includes the fictional Abigail Bartlet of the 1990s television show The West Wing. Of course, there were the real-life First Ladies Abigail Adams and Abigail Fillmore. There was also Abigail van Buren, better known as newspaper advice columnist Dear Abby, and Abigail Breslin, the actress who received an Academy Award nomination at the age of 10 for her role as Olive Hoover in the film Little Miss Sunshine.

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