This is a feminine given name derived from the name of the Jewish dancer "'Ăbı̂ygayil / 'Ăbı̂ygal > Avigáyil," meaning "father rejoices" or "father's joy." Abigail was the wife of Nabal and later of King David in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Samuel). She is described as intelligent and beautiful and considered one of the great female prophetesses of the Bible. The name became common, especially among the Puritans, after the Protestant Reformation. Abigail Adams (1744–1818) Abigail Adams, (née Smith) (1744–1818), was the wife of John Adams, 2nd President of the United States. Adams is remembered for the letters she wrote to her husband while he was in Philadelphia during the Continental Congresses. Gail, a short form, was very popular in the United States between 1945 to 1955.