Colleen: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Colleen

Colleen

Pronunciation: kah-LEEN (key)

Origin of the name Colleen:

A name derived from the Irish colleen (a girl, a lass). The name seems to have originated in the U.S. Var: Collene, Kolleen, Kollene.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman. Buy the book

Related Names:

Coleen

NameVoyager

US Popularity of Colleen Over Time

Sister & Brother Names

Know a Colleen? What are her siblings named?

Contribute your knowledge to the name Colleen

Comments and insights on the name Colleen: | Edit

People think of this as a quintessentially Irish name, but it is NEVER found in Ireland. It originated in the U.S., and is used mainly there, in Canada, and in Australia. The same is true for the names Erin and Shannon.

With a name like Colleen, someone is bound to mess up the pronounciation. I too, am called many different variations. A former co-worker referred to me as Colette, even though it's plainly on my nametag as "Colleen." In the end, I didn't care. I love having a unique name, since I went to school with Ashley's, Jennifer's, and Heather's. Most people will ask me how to pronounce my name so that they don't insult me, and I was one of two Colleens in school. The whole time I was growing up, I was the only Colleen I knew. I hate when people pronounce it KOE-leen. Led to some hilarious situations when I went to Ireland, since I'm clearly well out of my girlhood! I get mad when people misspell the name. It has a double L, people!

Just adding to this, my name is Colleen and I live in Dublin, Ireland. Although the name is far more common in America (I've visited numerous times) you do meet a Colleen occasionally here too.

Personal experiences with the name Colleen: | Edit

I am a thirty-something Colleen, pronounced C-ah-leen, but most people in the Midwest where I live call me C-oh-leen, not matter how often I correct them, so that's annoying, but otherwise I like my name. I never had to go by "Colleen Initial" in school because there was only one time that I went to school with another Colleen!

Colleen is a good name to have. It's not very pretty or glamorous, but it is unique without being unusual, classic-sounding without being old. I never had any trouble with teasing when I was a kid, and I only know one other Colleen personally, and that isn't even her real name. I generally have to repeat myself a few times before people get the pronunciation right. The most common mistake is Carleen. Also, some people will drop one of the l's when spelling my name.

Colleen as stated above is spoke and pronouced in so many ways. I am 49 and have been called nearly all that is above but one that I have yet seen is Pauline that is for people who don't pay attention when I say my name. I hate when I am called Coleen and I make sure I let people know how to say my name.

I'm Colleen too, & I'm 18 years old, & I just graduated high school. Throughout my high school expierience I have been called Colin at least 3 times by substitute teachers! So I got to the point where I just wouldn't answer them & the kids in my classes would have to tell them it was Colleen. And it's hard sometimes because I talk fast so people can't understand my name when I say it so that's confusing, but other than that, I kind of like my name, but sometimes I wish it was different.

Definitely agree with the multiple 'interpretations' of Colleen, like C-oh-leen, Connie, Corrine, Kelly, etc especially when speaking to someone on the phone. However, I am 31 and every memory I have of people asking my name as a child would include a comment about how pretty it was. It made me feel special and unique. I never had another Colleen in my class (I think there was one other in the entire school) and I still feel the name is lovely without being trendy. And I take exception to the comment about "its not very pretty or glamorous"- I think its both! Ive always loved being named Colleen.

Nicknames for Colleen: | Edit

Leeny; Co; Eenie; Coll; Leen; Coco; Colleeny; Beany; Bean; Beaner; Colly; Nonnie; Col; Cleen; Lena; Neen; Connie; Coke

Meanings and history of the name Colleen: | Edit

The name Colleen means girl in Irish

Famous real-life people named Colleen: | Edit

Actress Colleen Dewhurst
Thorn Birds author Colleen McCullough
Colleen Moore, an actress from the silent film era

Colleen in song, story & screen: | Edit

Colleen Gavin, character and daughter of firefighter Tommy Gavin in the series "Rescue Me."
In the movie "Marley & Me" the youngest girl is named Colleen.

No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
No Way
Definitely
76
No Way
Definitely

Smart?

71
No Way
Definitely

Sexy?

77
No Way
Definitely

Friendly?

72
No Way
Definitely

Creative?

69
No Way
Definitely

Strong?

65
No Way
Definitely

Young?

69
No Way
Definitely

Sophisticated?