surname with a meaning and pronunciation lost in translation.
The name became familiar with the movie 'The Commitments' by Alan Parker. In the film the name has the pronunciation 'rabbit' which is the most popular way of saying it in Ireland and Britain.
As it is originally a French name meaning: ‘messenger of Roberts' the letter ‘i’ phonetically is ‘e’ therefore "rab – eat" is the spot on way of saying it!
If it was rabbit and one was just trying to be posh, then the French translation would be lapin. In the British comedy 'Keeping up Appearances' the character Mrs Bucket pronounces her name Mrs Boo Kay, just to be posh and not at all common darling!
Famous Rabbittes include Irish Minister Pat Rabbitte and an Amercian country singer Eddie. Variations of the spelling which i have come across include: Rabitte, Rabbette and Rabette.