Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Abigail is a traditionally feminine name. It comes from Hebrew and the Bible and means "brings joy" or "father's joy." In the Old Testament, Abigail was King David's third wife (the text refers to her as 'good in discretion and beautiful in form'). The character of Abigail in the 1916 play 'The Scornful Lady' is a lady's maid; in Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible,' Abigail Williams is accused of witchcraft. In the TV series 'The West Wing,' Abigail Bartlet is the character of the First Lady, played by Stockard Channing.

But Abigail isn't only in famous texts and TV. Celebrated Abigails throughout history include political figures such as the U.S.'s second First Lady, Abigail Adams, as well as Princess of Hawaii Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa and her daughter, Abigail Helen Kapiʻolani Kawānanakoa. More famous Abigails in contemporary culture include actor Abigail Breslin and soccer star Abby Wambach.

While the nickname Abby peaked in popularity in 2003, Abigail itself has stayed strong among the top favorite names for girls in the U.S. In 2019, it was just shy of the top 10 at #11. Love Abigail, but looking for an alternative? Channel Abigail Adams with more Revolutionary War favorites such as Elizabeth, Eleanor, Susannah, Hannah, Felicity, Emma, and Mary. Or stick with A- names like Ada, Adeline, Adelaide, Anna, Amelia, Annabelle, and Audrey.

Abigail in quotes:

"There be no blush about my name." — Abigail Williams in 'The Crucible'

"If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women." — Abigail Adams


Biblical Names Meaning:

In Biblical Names the meaning of the name Abigail is: The father's joy.

Hebrew Baby Names Meaning:

In Hebrew Baby Names the meaning of the name Abigail is: Father rejoiced, or father's joy. Gives joy. The intelligent, beautiful Abigail was Old Testament King David's third wife, described as 'good in discretion and beautiful in form.' In the 1916 play The Scornful Lady, Abigail was a lady's maid.

American Baby Names Meaning:

In American Baby Names the meaning of the name Abigail is: The father's joy.

Search by a specific category

Or search by baby name