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.
- ^ “abigail” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 4.
- abigail in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- abigail in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- “abigail” in Albert Barrère and Charles G[odfrey] Leland, compilers and editors, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant, volume I (A–K), Edinburgh: The Ballantyne Press, 1889–1890, pages 4–5.
- Farmer, John Stephen (1890) Slang and Its Analogues, volume 1, page 5–6