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A.Word.A.Day--abigail

Pronunciation RealAudio

abigail (AB-i-gayl) noun

A lady's maid.

[After Abigail, an attendant in The Scornful Lady (1610), a play by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. She was probably named after the Biblical character Abigail the Carmelitess, who often called herself a handmaid. The name Abigail derives from Hebrew Avigayil meaning "father's joy".]

"Now haste ye, Mab's sweet abigails,
And dress your queen for day!"
William Rose Benet (1886-1950).

Eponyms are little capsules of history. They capture a bundle of stories in just a word or two. These terms, derived from the names of people, summarize their characters and the qualities that made them stand out.

As we explore eponyms this week, we'll meet five people, men and women, real and fictional, from the world of medicine, finance, art and literature.

-Anu Garg

X-Bonus

It is kindness immediately to refuse what you intend to deny. -Publilius Syrus, writer (c. 1st century BCE)

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