abigail (plural abigails)
- (obsolete) A lady's maid. [mid 17th-19th c.]
- 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 The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 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