This name has been used in Scotland since at least the 12th century, where it was probably coined as a form of Amabel. Amabel is an Old French name coming from the Latin amabilis meaning "loveable." Mabel is another name that comes from Amabel.

Annabel didn't start becoming popular in England and the USA until the 20th century, when it became popular with other names beginning with Ann/Anna. Edgar Allan Poe has a tragic poem called "Annabel Lee," which adds a literary element to this name.
See Also: Annebelle, Anabelle, Annabelle

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