User comments for Abigail (Meaning / History Only)

Although some sites list the meaning as "father of joy" (which seems odd for a commonly female name), others also list "father's joy" or "joy of the father".
― Anonymous User  6/17/2005
I have always understood this name to mean 'housekeeper' or 'maid/servant'. 'Abi' is the name of a black maid-of-all-work in Emma Donoghue's historical novel 'Slammerkin', and Abigail Williams is the principal character in Arthur Miller's play 'The Crucible'.
Arrows  11/22/2005
This is not the meaning, but rather the connotation it took on as the result of 17th century literature.
― Anonymous User  6/3/2007
I have understood that the meaning of "father of joy" could be "source of joy."
breakofday  1/2/2006
I read somewhere that it meant "source of joy".
― Anonymous User  5/19/2006
Actually the meaning of the name is "the father of joy" and not "my father is joy" as written here.
GalGr  2/14/2007
Abigail is derived from the hyphenation of the word "Abba" (father) and "Gail" which is an action word denoting (perpetual swirling in the sense of springing forth, like a fountain). The word "Joy" is interconnected with "Gail" in that "Joy" wells up (springs forth) from the emotions in the belly, to burst forth with radiance on the face and an audible strong Wind of happiness expressed as it passes the vocal cords.
― Anonymous User  5/13/2008
Again you had been mistaken in translating the name. In the bible you cannot read anything about that name's meaning, so it is not that important what the meaning of the name is, just who the first with this name was.
The first Avigail that we can read about in the bible is the wife of David that had been taken from Naval from The Carmel (a place in Israel), who was her first husband.
Another one is: Avigal (it's the same name). She is the daughter of NaHash (Samuel 2, 17, 25).
And about the meaning: Avi gil = the father of joy OR my father is joy. But the name is written AvigAIl. So your translation is wrong.
talramati  12/23/2008
Abigail became a term for a waiting woman (and was used as such in literature) because in the Old Testament Abigail refers to herself as "thy handmaid" when speaking to her future husband, David (later King David).

I think this should be added on the page for Abigail, as otherwise it makes it seem as if its use was an original idea by the author of "The Scornful Lady", rather than a biblical allusion. I'm sure it wouldn't have been so long-lasting without biblical backing. [noted -ed]
AustraLiana  9/1/2014
The name Abigail is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew 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.
― Anonymous User  11/4/2014

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