Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
abigail (plural abigails)
- (obsolete) A lady’s waiting maid. [Mid 17th century.]
1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, page 415:
- It was therefore concluded that the Abigails should, by turns, relieve each other on one of his lordship’s horses, which was presently equipped with a side-saddle for that purpose.
1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre:
- In the servants’ hall two coachmen and three gentlemen’s gentlemen stood or sat round the fire; the abigails, I suppose, were upstairs with their mistresses; the new servants, that had been hired from Millcote, were bustling about everywhere.
- ^ Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0198605751), page 4
- abigail in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- abigail in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- Barrère, Albert; Leland, Charles Godfrey (1889) A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant, volume 1, pages 4–5
- Farmer, John Stephen (1890) Slang and Its Analogues, volume 1, page 5–6