Abigail Name Meaning

A strong feminine name with deep biblical and historical ties, Abigail is a solid choice for parents-to-be. Famous Abigails include first ladies Abigail Adams and Abigail Fillmore and actress Abigail Breslin. With a meaning as joyous as ‘the father is rejoicing,’ there’s no doubt you’ll jump for joy with the arrival of a little Abigail.

Abigail’s history spans back centuries, appearing in the Bible as the wife of Nabal and David as well as frequently being used among the Puritans during the 16th century. She went dormant for several decades but made a resurgence in the U.S. Top 100 during the late 1980s and 1990s. She went on to crack into the Top 10 in 2001 where she remained as of 2017. For parents worried about her popularity, Abigail is trending down on the charts and will likely fall out of the Top 10 in coming years.

Abigail carries the maturity of names like Margaret or Edith but somehow manages to avoid the stuffy air often associated with the others. She remains fresh, winning over parents with her stoic strength and precious built-in nickname of Abby. Parents can also opt for the stronger Gail or cutesy Bibi.

Alternative names that are similar to Abigail include Hannah, Bethany, and Josephine.

Infographic of Abigail name meaning, which is Abigail hails from the Hebrew Abigayil, meaning the father is rejoicing.
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Abigail Name Popularity

How popular is the name Abigail? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 0 0%
1913 0 0%
1914 0 0%
1915 1,359 6 0.0007%
1916 1,222 10 0.001%
1917 1,246 9 0.0009%
1918 0 0%
1919 0 0%
1920 0 0%
1921 0 0%
1922 0 0%
1923 1,301 11 0.001%
1924 0 0%
1925 1,125 17 0.0015%
1926 1,546 5 0.0005%
1927 0 0%
1928 1,227 12 0.0011%
1929 1,403 6 0.0006%
1930 1,551 5 0.0005%
1931 0 0%
1932 1,515 5 0.0005%
1933 1,484 5 0.0005%
1934 0 0%
1935 1,156 11 0.0011%
1936 1,077 14 0.0015%
1937 0 0%
1938 946 23 0.0022%
1939 1,029 18 0.0018%
1940 1,041 18 0.0017%
1941 1,212 11 0.001%
1942 1,233 13 0.001%
1943 1,062 22 0.0017%
1944 939 29 0.0023%
1945 1,183 14 0.0011%
1946 1,097 24 0.0016%
1947 1,058 32 0.0019%
1948 1,375 14 0.0009%
1949 817 72 0.0045%
1950 913 53 0.0033%
1951 764 88 0.0052%
1952 739 98 0.0056%
1953 794 90 0.0051%
1954 751 106 0.0058%
1955 709 130 0.0071%
1956 746 122 0.0065%
1957 725 141 0.0073%
1958 723 138 0.0073%
1959 702 152 0.008%
1960 675 176 0.0093%
1961 667 189 0.01%
1962 610 221 0.012%
1963 624 211 0.0118%
1964 643 205 0.0116%
1965 694 154 0.0094%
1966 703 142 0.0091%
1967 616 191 0.0126%
1968 603 205 0.0137%
1969 596 227 0.0147%
1970 535 308 0.0194%
1971 499 333 0.0222%
1972 471 340 0.025%
1973 412 433 0.0334%
1974 361 550 0.0423%
1975 355 566 0.044%
1976 282 782 0.0607%
1977 298 766 0.0568%
1978 241 984 0.0732%
1979 212 1,207 0.0856%
1980 175 1,568 0.1072%
1981 156 1,800 0.1225%
1982 158 1,870 0.1251%
1983 150 1,903 0.129%
1984 154 1,830 0.123%
1985 154 1,830 0.1206%
1986 143 1,984 0.1314%
1987 137 1,990 0.1304%
1988 118 2,368 0.152%
1989 94 3,397 0.2105%
1990 90 3,710 0.2238%
1991 92 3,795 0.2328%
1992 86 3,986 0.2497%
1993 67 5,184 0.3325%
1994 42 7,240 0.4718%
1995 36 7,821 0.5189%
1996 32 8,604 0.5746%
1997 26 9,626 0.6508%
1998 18 11,099 0.7416%
1999 18 11,681 0.78%
2000 14 13,088 0.8568%
2001 8 14,807 0.9827%
2002 7 15,297 1.0208%
2003 6 15,925 1.0468%
2004 6 15,424 1.012%
2005 4 15,749 1.0301%
2006 6 15,627 0.998%
2007 8 15,468 0.9804%
2008 8 15,081 0.9758%
2009 8 14,387 0.9626%
2010 7 14,243 0.9884%
2011 7 13,247 0.9298%
2012 7 12,697 0.891%
2013 8 12,405 0.8713%
2014 8 12,076 0.8289%
2015 7 12,390 0.8516%
2016 8 11,747 0.8148%
2017 10 10,551 0.756%
2018 11 9,796 0.713%
2019 11 9,106 0.6727%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Abigail

If you like Abigail, you’ll love these other names like Abigail.


What names are diminutives of Abigail?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Abigail sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Abigail, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Abba

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbe

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbee

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbey

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbi

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbie

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abby

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Gael

A Celt

Gaelic

Gail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Gaila

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Gal

Father of exaltation

Hebrew


What names are variants of Abigail?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Abigail.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Abagael

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abagail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abagale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abageal

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abagil

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abaigael

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbatha

Combination of Abby and Tabitha

American

Abbegail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbegale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbigael

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbigail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbigale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbigayle

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbygael

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbygail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abbygale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abegail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abegale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abgail

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigael

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigal

Father of exaltation; exalted father

Hebrew

Abigale

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigall

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigayl

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigayle

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigel

Father of exaltation

Hebrew

Abigil

Father of exaltation

Hebrew


What names sound like Abigail?

If you like how Abigail sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Abigail.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Abebi

She came after asking

African

Abeer

Aroma, scent

Arabic

Abeesha

God is my father

Hebrew

Abellona

Destroyer

Greek

Abia

Great

Arabic

Abiah

God is my father

Hebrew

Abila

Beautiful

Latin


What names are similar to Abigail?

Find a name that’s like Abigail, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Anna

Gracious

Hebrew

Catherine

Pure

Greek

Elizabeth

God is my oath

Hebrew

Hannah

Grace

Hebrew

Judith

From Judea; Jewish

Hebrew

Louise

Famous warrior

German

Olivia

Olive tree

Latin

Rebecca

To join

Hebrew

Ruth

Friend

Hebrew

Theresa

Late summer

Greek


Lists With Abigail

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Abigail.


Siblings of Abigail

Mamas with kids named Abigail also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Minerva

The mind

Latin

Isaiah

God is salvation

Hebrew

Leo

Lion

Latin

Chloe

Green sprout

Greek

Kelsie

Victorious ship

English

Destiny

Determined fate

English

Ezra

Help

Hebrew

28 Comments

  1. Both of us really liked the name and when I read the meaning “father’s joy” it was a meant to be. I also like the nickname Abbie.

  2. I’ve always liked the name Abigail but I choose that name so her nickname could be Abby

  3. Abigail from the Bible was married to a harsh and selfish man. Abigail kept King David from murdering Abigail’s husband and his whole household by bravely and wisely going before David speaking life to him and it softened his heart and he spared their lives. By trusting God and speaking life she was a wise, brave, and thoughtful peacemaker.

  4. My husband was meditating one day, and although he wasn’t trying to think of names for our little girl, the name Abigail just popped into his mind out of the blue. He told me when he came home that night and my heart skipped a beat when I heard the name. We both knew that was her name! Then, I looked it up, and it means ‘Father’s Joy’…her father’s joy about her in our life is unparalleled. So, that’s how it came to be. :0)

  5. The name Abigail was chosed by my husband, when he called our baby Abigail I didn’t like it but I decided to let him call her that, so far he didn’t stop me from calling our baby the native name I gave her, but when I checked the name I fell in love with the name Abigail because it means father’s joy, truly my daughter Abigail is my husband’s joy, Abigail came into our lives after 8 years in marriage. Thanks

  6. We love the classic name. Her father needs smiles brought to his face – he struggles with depression. Abigail means Father’s Joy. She makes both of us smile!

    Only thing I don’t like I just saw on a TV show – prospective parents dismissing the name Abigail because mean kids could use the nickname “Scabby Abby” wouldn’t change our decision though!

    She is very sweet and bright. She sleeps really well too!

  7. We chose Abigail because the diminutive Abby is cute and it was the only name my husband and I agreed on.

  8. We literally decided upon it while I was in early labor. She was born and it fit.

  9. My daughter loves the cartoon series spirit and one of the little girls name is Abigail on the show. You don’t hear that name much and I knew in my heart it was a perfect fit for my baby

  10. Abigail is an Irish name, and my husband’s heritage is Irish. It means “a father’s joy,” which felt very appropriate. St. Abigail is the patron saint of beekeepers, and my husband hopes to eventually keep bees one day. The anglicized version of Abigail is Deborah, which was my aunt’s name (she recently passed away from leukemia, so we partially named our Abby in her honor when we learned this). The baby’s middle name is Evelyn, which means “longed for child,” and was also my great-grandmother’s name.

  11. Me and my husband picked the name
    Abigail because we wanted a name from the Bible and also because it means father’s Joy her nickname is Rose I picked Rose because it’s unique not alot of people have it and it also goes with her first name.

  12. Abigail is my fourth child, but my first daughter. Her name means ‘The Father’s joy’ and she definitely has brought her daddy joy.
    I always pray over what I should name my children. I believe a child’s name should have impact and meaning.
    I love the name Abigail because in the Bible it suggests that she was a woman who stood for what was righ no matter what and won a kings heart. ?

  13. My daughter was born on my birthday. And my grandmother used to call me Abigail when i was younger. My middle name is Abbey. When we found out i was pregnant with a girl Abigail pop in my head as if someone said it. My grandmother passed away 3 years ago. And i felt it was perfect for her.

  14. None

  15. It means joy if my Father. In Bible she was a very wise woman.

    I want to call her Abi/ Abby but an unsure about best way to spell it

  16. We went with the name Abigail because it means fathers joy.. and I really liked that my husband has always wanted a family and it has been 4 years to finally get pregnant so fathers joy just stuck with me so we named her Abigail

  17. My husband and I chose Abigail for two reasons. One was because it was biblical two since Abigail is our first daughter I wanted it to be strong and special for my husband. Abigail means ‘Father’s Joy’ ,and she truly is her father’s joy!

  18. She is a sweet girl

  19. We struggled with infertility for 10+ years. A little over 3 years ago, one night I was crying & asking God why when I very clearly felt the Lord whisper to my soul- ‘you will be a mom, you will have a little girl & give her the name Abigail.’ It wasn’t a name I’d typically pick (didn’t help I had a not-so-nice classmate in grade school with this name), but I looked up the meaning & I immediately knew- this would be my daughter’s name, a promise & gift from God. Fast forward 3 years to just a week ago, I was 41+ weeks pregnant waiting for my sweet girl to decide to make her debut. When I finally went into labor, we were anxious to meet her, but we had no idea it would be 27 more long hours before that happened, but God knew. He set aside Father’s Day 2019 as our sweet Abigail’s birthday & in that moment, her name held even more meaning- “Father’s joy.” What a true joy she is- an answer to so many prayers, tears & questions on a really long journey. We couldn’t be more blessed with our sweet little Abby.

  20. I have always liked the name Abigail. But came across St Abigail about a year or two before our daughter was in the picture. I fell in love with the saint. And then invoked her intercession for the weather to be good on our wedding day (it was supposed to be gloomy and rain, but ended up being a beautiful sunny and not too hot day!!). The when our daughter cane into the picture I learned that Abigail is Hebrew for “The Father is Happy” and sadly I did not know that there is an Abigail in the Old Testament! So all things added up.. and then she was born on St Patrick’s Day, an Irish saint, like St Abigail!
    The only thing I dislike about the name is it’s popularity. I have a unique name and have always loved being the only one in my circle with it. Abigail tends to be popular, especially as Abby.

  21. Abigail means fathers joy or fathers rejoice.
    She is our last baby and my husband wanted a girl.

  22. About 5 years before Abigail was even born, God have me a dream that I had a baby girl. This was before I was even married or even thought I wanted kids. In the dream, I remember that she nursed well instantly and that three times I was prompted to name her “Abigail”. I wasn’t sure why I was told to name her that, because it’s not a name I would have chosen on my own. When I looked up that her name meant “father’s joy; fountain of joy; brings joy”, and that Abigail in the Bible was a valiant woman, described as “strong, beautiful, intelligent”, I felt such affirmation that if I should ever have a girl, she would have that name. Believe it or not, 5 years later we named our first baby girl this name and she has nursed well from the start and brings more joy than I could have ever imagined!

    • We are naming our baby girl Abigail Rose. I will mostly call her Abbie. I liked Isabelle, Arielle, Abigail and Amelia. My husband instantly picked Abigail from my list. Now I know, it means father’s joy. I like how it’s a strong women’s name and that Abigail from the Bible was strong, intelligent and beautiful.

  23. My husband always loved two girls’ names since he was very young: Emily and Abigail. He married me (Emily) and then we had a baby girl and named her Abigail. I know the name means a lot to my husband, especially since he was hoping for a little girl. I had learned that Abigail means “the Father’s joy,” so I figured there was no better name to give our little girl.

  24. We made a list of classic names of strong women (Abigail Adams) and then waited until baby was born to see which name fit the best. 🙂

  25. Always loved the name

  26. Abigail means ‘the Father’s joy’. We wanted a name with a meaning cos it’s part of her identity. We believe God is super happy with his little daughter. Then when she was born and I saw how much a joy she was to my hubby, it was just perfect, and still is. Even to non-believers it might be a beautiful meaningful name:)

  27. My husband chose the name because it means ‘fathers joy or delight’!


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