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.

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  • abbé — abbé …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • ABBÉ — Le mot abbé vient vraisemblablement du syriaque abba , signifiant père, où il traduisait le respect porté à un dignitaire de la société civile ou religieuse. Du syriaque le mot passa, vers le IIIe siècle, dans la langue du monachisme ancien de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Abbe — may refer to:People*Cleveland Abbe (1818 1916), American meteorologist *Cleveland Abbe, Jr. (1872 1934), American geographer *Ernst Karl Abbe (1840 1916), German physicist *James Abbe (1883 1975), American photographer *Kenshiro Abbe (1916 1985) …   Wikipedia

  • Abbe — oder Abbé bezeichnet: Abt im Französischen Abbé, französischer Weltgeistlicher Geografie: Abbe See, ein Salzsee in Äthiopien und Dschibuti Pont l’Abbé, eine Gemeinde im Westen Frankreichs im Département Finistère Ernst Abbe Denkmal, ein Denkmal… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • abbé — s. m. Prelat qui est Superieur d un Monastere d hommes. Abbé de l Ordre de saint Benoist. Abbé regulier. Abbé crossé & mitré. élire un Abbé. benir un Abbé. On appelle, Abbé Commendataire, Un Clerc seculier qui est pourveu en Cour de Rome du titre …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Abbé — nennt man namentlich in Frankreich solche katholische Geistliche, welche noch keinen Amtstitel erlangt haben. Durch ihre Jugend, so wie durch gesellige und seine Bildung hatten sich die Abbé s vor der Revolution einen bedeutenden Einfluß in… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Abbé — • A French word meaning primarily and strictly an abbot or superior of a monastery of men Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abbe     Abbé      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ABBE (E.) — ABBE ERNST (1840 1905) Opticien allemand, professeur à l’université d’Iéna (1870), directeur des observatoires astronomiques et météorologiques (1878), et directeur de recherche de la société Carl Zeiss (1866), Abbe étudie l’amélioration des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • abbé — Abbé, m. acut. Abbas Abbatis, Erasm. Est celuy qui est chef en une Abbaye de Moines, selon ce on dit l Abbé de S. Denys. S. Dionysij coenobiarcha, antistes, Bud. et vient de Abba diction Syriaque, qui vaut autant que Pere. L Abbé mange en convent …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Abbé — (from Latin abbas, in turn from Greek αββας = abbas father, from Aramaic abba ) is the French word for abbot . It is the title for lower ranking Catholic clergymen in France.A concordat passed between Pope Leo X and Francis I of France (between… …   Wikipedia

  • Abbé — Abbé, franz., Abt. 2. Inhaber einer Pfründe ohne geistliche Amtsverrichtung, abbé commendataire; 3. seit Ludwig XIV. der Titel jedes, der das priesterliche Gewand trägt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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