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Surname Abott - Meaning and Origin

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Abott: What does the surname Abott mean?

The last name Abott has both English and Scottish origins. In English, it is derived from the word "abbod", which is an occupational surname for a person who serves as an abbot, a spiritual leader or head of an abbey. It is also linked to an Old English personal name "Abbod", used before the Norman Conquest.

In Scottish, it is considered to be a variant of "Abbot," mostly found in the eastern part of Scotland. Derived from the Aramaic word "Aba" meaning "father", it was seen as a term of respect and honour in the early Christian church.

So, Abott can be seen as a patronymic name, representing ancestors who were respected figures in religious or public life. It reflects the occupational or authoritative status of the family's patriarch in ancient society. Today, there are many different spellings for this name, including Abbott, Abbot, Abott, Abet, and Abad, among others.

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Abott: Where does the name Abott come from?

The surname Abbott has its roots in Old English, deriving from the word “abbod” or “abbot” which originally meant abbess or priest. It was typically used to denote an individual who was an abbot or worked for one. Despite its religious connotation, this surname wasn't only for people connected to the church. In fact, during the Middle Ages it was common to give this surname to children named after famous religious figures even if there was no family connection.

Today, Abbott is most widespread in the United States, followed by England and Australia. It's notable in the political sphere, with Tony Abbott being a former Prime Minister of Australia. The name is also notable in business due to Abbott Laboratories, a global healthcare company based in the United States. Despite a high occurrence in these countries, the name is relatively rare and dispersed, with no country having it as a particularly common surname.

Variations of the surname Abott

The surname Abott is believed to have come from an occupational name of a person serving in a religious capacity, as an abbot. The spelling variations for Abott include Abbott, Abbot, Abbotts, Abott, Abbett, Abbet, Abbotson and more.

These differences are primarily caused by spelling errors and regional variations in pronunciation over time. For example, the double 't' in Abbott might have been lost in certain regions, resulting in the variant 'Abbot', or a mistaken 'e' instead of 'o' could have led to 'Abbet.'

The addition of "son" to form 'Abbotson' denotes a son of Abbot, a common practice in many cultures to indicate patrilineal descent.

Surnames with similar etymologies, relating to religious occupations, include Father, Deacon, Bishop and Priest. While not directly variant forms, these surnames share a similar origin.

In terms of geographical distribution, variants of the surname 'Abott' are found in higher concentrations in English-speaking regions, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, reflecting the English origin of the surname.

Famous people with the name Abott

  • Tony Abbott: Former Prime Minister of Australia.
  • Diane Abbott: A British politician and a member of the Labour Party.
  • Bud Abbott: Half of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello.
  • Greg Abbott: An American attorney and politician currently serving as the Governor of Texas.
  • George Abbott: A prominent American theatre producer and director.
  • Berenice Abbott: An American photographer known for her black-and-white photography of New York City architecture.
  • Jessica Abbott: An Australian politician.
  • Jim Abbott: An American former professional baseball player.
  • Eleni Glouftsis (née Abbott): The first female Australian Football League field umpire.
  • Christopher Abbott: An American actor.
  • Tracy Abbott: A fictional character on the American soap opera The Young and the Restless.
  • Edwin Abbott Abbott: An English schoolmaster and theologian, most known for his mathematical novella Flatland. Please note, some of these may have slightly different spellings (e.g. Abbott vs. Abott).

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