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:

  • abbay — Abbay, m. acut. Est le japper d un chien, ce qu aucuns escrivent et prononcent par o, abboy, Latratus canis, Et semble que ce mot et sa suite soient derivez de ce verbe deponent Baubor, baubaris, qui signifie abbayer: ou plustost tant ce verbe… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Abbay — Dieser Artikel befaßt sich mit em Blauen Nil, amharisch ዓባይ; Transskription Abay oder Abbai. für das äthiopische Fahrzeug siehe ABAY. Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/DGWK fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/MÜNDUNGSHÖHE fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/EINZUGSGEBIET… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abbay — Nil Bleu Nil Bleu Caractéristiques Longueur 1 606 km Bassin 325 000 km2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Debre Abbay — is a monastery of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church located at the edge of the canyon of the Tekezé River in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The monastery dates from the 14th century, and has important connections with Ethiopian history: the Emperor… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Debre Abbay — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Debre Abbay caption= partof= date=14 February 1831 place=Tigray province, Ethiopia result=Yejju victory combatant1=Tigray combatant2=Yejju Oromo commander1=Dejazmach Sabagadis commander2=Ras Marye of… …   Wikipedia

  • Peter Abbay — Infobox actor name = Peter Abbay birthdate = birth date and age|1966|5|3|mf=n birthplace = New York, New York, USA occupation = Film, television actorPeter Abbay (born May 3, 1966) plays the mysterious unseen Banker on NBC s hit game show, Deal… …   Wikipedia

  • Sirba Abbay — is one of the 21 woredas in the Benishangul Gumuz Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Kamashi Zone, Sirba Abbay is bordered by the Oromia Region on the southwest, by Oda Godere on the west, by the Dabus River on the northwest which separates it from… …   Wikipedia

  • Schlacht von Debre Abbay — Datum 14. Februar 1831 Ort Provinz Tigray, Äthiopien Ausgang Sieg der Yejju Oromo …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sirba Abbay (woreda) — 10°15′N 35°10′E / 10.25, 35.167 Sirba Abbay est un des 21 woredas de la région Benishangul …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lac Tana — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tana (homonymie). Lac Tana Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

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