Abba
Recorded in many spelling forms including the French and English Abba, Abbay, Abbe, Abbate, Abbatt, Labbe, Labbey, Labey, Abade, the Scottish Abbie and Abbe, and the Italian Abbattini, Dell'Abate or Degli Abbati, this most interesting and unusual surname is of Olde French pre 10th century origins. It derives from the word "abet" which usually means a priest, but may have also, particularly in Italy, have referrred to a local chief or an official master of ceremonies. This indicates that several origins are possible, including a nickname for one who was thought to be rather "priestly" in his characteristics, or an occupational or status name for a local chief or official, or that it may be theatrical and a "casting" name for an actor, one who played the part of a priest in the famous travelling theatres of the medieval period. Despite the first recording shown below the name is unlikely, as a hereditary surname, to have originated from an actual abbe or priest. These members of the clergy since the 11th century, have been expected to be unmarried and celibate. Whether they were or not is open to some discussion, particulary as occasionally this surname is recorded as a patronymic or diminutive, indicating the "son of the abbe!". The surname is first recorded in any form anywhere in the world in England in 1177, when Ralph Le Abbe appears in the charters of London during the reign of King Henry 11 (1154 - 1189). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • ABBA — (Ba), two amoraim are known by this name. (1) ABBA (late third and early fourth centuries), in his youth probably knew Rav and Samuel, the founders of rabbinic learning in Babylonia. He was, however, primarily a disciple of R. Huna and R. Judah,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abba — • Aramaic word for father Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abba     Abba     † Catholic Encyc …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abba — title of honor, from L. abba, from Gk. abba, from Aramaic abba the father, my father, emphatic of abh father …   Etymology dictionary

  • ABBA — (Heb. אַבָּא), Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew (av, אָב; father ). The term was in common use from the first century onward (cf. Mark 14:36). In the early centuries of the Christian era it was used in both Jewish and Christian sources in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abba — Ab ba ([a^]b b[.a]), n. [Syriac abb[=a] father. See {Abbot}.] Father; religious superior; in the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic churches, a title given to the bishops, and by the bishops to the patriarch. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abba — (syrisch), 1) Vater; 2) so v.w. Abt; 3) in Habesch ein Schriftgelehrter …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Abba — (hebräisch chald., »Vater«), in jüdischen und altchristlichen Gebeten Anrede an Gott (s. Jesus Christus), dann in morgenländischen Kirchen Titel der Bischöfe und Patriarchen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Abba — (aramäisch, »Vater«), altchristl. Anrede an Gott (Röm. 8, 15); in orient. Kirchen Titel der Geistlichen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Abba — Abba, ein Syrisches Wort, welches durch die Übersetzung des neuen Testamentes in die biblische Schreibart gekommen ist, und so viel als Vater bedeutet, aber nur von Gott gebraucht wird. Es ist so wie Aba, Appa, Ba, Baba, Papa, Atta und andere,… …   Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart

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