Abel is a Hebrew male name possibly derived from Hebrew hevel (הֶבֶל) meaning “breath, vapor; vanity” or from Akkadian ablu meaning “son”. Another possible meaning I’ve seen for the name is that it may be related to a word meaning “herdsman”, in reference to Abel’s role as a shepherd while his brother Cain was a farmer. Abel is also a surname derived from the given name. Spelled Able, it’s an English word, a homonym with Abel, used to refer to someone who had the necessary skills, resources, or intelligence to do something; or someone who is capable. The origin of the word comes from Latin habilis (apt, skillful; suitable, fit, proper; nimble, swift; manageable) which derives from PIE *gʰeh₁bʰ- or *ǵʰeh₁bʰ- (to grab, take).

Origin: Hebrew, Akkadian



  • Able (English)
  • Hevel (Biblical Hebrew)
  • Hebel (Hebrew)
  • Aapeli (Finnish)
  • Ábel (Hungarian)
  • Abele (Italian)


Female forms:

  • Abelia (English)
  • Abélia (French)
  • Abélie (French)
  • Abelie (French, English)
  • Abella (English)
  • Abelina (English)
  • Abellina (English)


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