English and Scottish: from Middle English abbott ‘abbot’ (Old English abbod) or Old French abet ‘priest’. Both the Old English and the Old French term are derived from Late Latin abbas ‘priest’ (genitive abbatis), from Greek abbas, from Aramaic aba ‘father’. This was an occupational name for someone employed in the household of or on the lands of an abbot, and perhaps also a nickname for a sanctimonious person thought to resemble an abbot. In the U.S. this name is also sometimes a translation of a cognate or equivalent European name, e.g. Italian Abate, Spanish Abad, or German Abt.