Kathleen: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Kathleen
Origin of the name Kathleen:
Anglicized form of the Irish Caitlín, which is a Gaelic form of Katherine (pure, unsullied), derived via the Old French Catheline.
From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.
Looking for the perfect name? Try the Name MatchMaker to find the perfect baby name for you!
Sister & Brother Names
Know a Kathleen? What are her siblings named?
Contribute your knowledge to the name Kathleen
- Comments and insights on the name Kathleen: | Edit
I was born in 1988 and have never met another Kathleen that is around my age. All the Kathleen's I know are older irish women, including my boyfriend's mother. Kathleen doesn't seem like quite the dazzling name. I don't anticipate it making the most popular names list any time soon, but I sort of like that aspect of it. I grew up with so many girls named Sarah, Amanda, and Melanie in my class rooms. Guess those were popular 90s names.
My friends usually refer to me either by my full name, NEVER Kathy, and acceptable alternatives have always been Kat, and Leen.
There are two girls in my high school named Kathleen and both of them rather dislike the name, choosing to go by Kate and Kacy instead. Coming from a fellow bearer of an "old lady name," I must say that at least they have the benfit of nicknames that are semi-trendy with a solid, classic fall back. Personally, I don't think Kathleen is too bad.
- Personal experiences with the name Kathleen: | Edit
Born in 1964, I am named after my grandmother. My twin sister is Sarah after our other grandmother. Growing up, she had the old lady name. There were five Kathleens in our class of about 70 in Grammar School. There were no Catherines at all.
Incidently, my 3 of my first cousins have named their daughters Kathleen. They are between the ages of 11 and 21. Also 3 of my first cousins are also named Kathleen. I go by Kitty and I love the name Kathleen.
Born in 1969. My mother named me after a friend of hers (born in the 1940s) who later became a nun. I love my name partly because it's old-fashioned, it's very Irish (as am I), and it just has a lovely, musical quality that "Katherine" lacks. And it's unusual, especially if you don't live in Boston, New York, or Chicago. I hate the nickname "Kathy," which makes me think of a middle-aged 1950s housewife--I tolerate it from my family but always, ALWAYS speak up when someone I barely know presumes to address me with it. (Why do people do that?) My husband calls me Kathleen, partly because he knows I prefer it, partly just because he loves to say the name. He collects songs about women named Kathleen, although they tend to be rather melancholy.
This is my name. I was born in 1979 and now it seems a little dated. I was always called "Kathy" as a nickname, but as I got older people started calling me "Kat". I really don't care for my name, but at the same time, I don't hate it.
This is my name also. I was born in 1983, and have always been called "Katie". As a child I thought Kathleen was a name for "old ladies", but now that I am older I love that my real name is NOT Katherine. I know so many Katherines, and I am so glad to have a different name! I also love my nickname.
My name is Kathleen, as well. I was born in 1989 and have only met one other Kathleen who is around my age. Like the other bloggers here, the majority of Kathleens that I meet are at least 50 years old and typically go by Kathy or Kathi. While growing up, I have always hated being called Kathi, and preferred to have people call me Kathleen, Kate, or KT (which is what my parents have always called me, unless I was in trouble for some reason). I like my name for the most part. I don't think it sounds prestigious or outrageous or really cool for that matter, but I do think its unique for this time. However, I think it will become even less popular in the future.
My name is Kathleen, I was born in 1995 so I'm still young. I have never liked my name. No one could ever spell it or say it. The older im getting the more im starting to like it. I like going by Kath, It sounds weird but for me I like it and it fits me perfectly! :)
My name is Kathleen, and I was born in 1959. I was called "Kathy". There were always 3-4 "Kathy's" in every class, so when I was in junior high, I decided to change the spelling of my name. I left out the "l" and the "n" and now spell it "Kathee". I wish I would have decided to used "Kathleen" instead. My mom has always called me that, my dad calls me "Kath" and so does my husband. Now that I'm older, I like "Kathleen" better.
i was born in 1980, named after my aunt Kathleen. I have been Kathleen most of my life, although I started going by Kat after high school and I totally loved it. Now I know a lot of Kats so I have started using Kathleen more often again (and as I grow up). I hate when people say Kathy or Katie or Katherine though.
I was born in 1989, and my name is Kathleen. I was named after my great grandmother, and I absolutely love my name. It's a great name for a strong Irish girl- which fits me perfectly. It is a bit outdated- most of the Kathleens I know are older women, but that doesn't really bother me. I like having a name that nobody else in my class has- it sets me apart from all of the Jennifers and Jasons- in a good way.
My sister's name is Kathleen. In first grade, there were 2 Kathleens, so they drew straws to call one of them Kathy, which was my sister. Like the rest of you, she grew to hate that nickname, and when an adult, insisted that everyone call her Kathleen. I call her Kaffy or Katty, and my mother often called her Kate. I liked her name much more than my own (Shannon) which was considered a boy's name at the time. Kathleen has a classy elegant feminine feel to me, and it is not trendy. Be glad you're not Jessica or Agnes.
- Nicknames for Kathleen: | Edit
Kat, Kate, Kath, Kathie, Kathy, Kay, Kitty, Lena, Katie, Kitkat, KT, Kacy, Katty
- Meanings and history of the name Kathleen: | Edit
My name is Kathleen. I have always liked my name, and never thought of myself as anything but Kathleen. I was born in 1957, and always knew several Kathys, and when I was an adolescent I tried to get everyone to call me Kate but it never caught on. When I was young, the name Kathy was associated with being a bit of an airhead, but I have always been proud of my name, and its root meaning "pure little one" in Gaelic.
- Famous real-life people named Kathleen: | Edit
Kathleen "Kathy" Mary Griffin, American comedienne, writer and actress
Kathleen Hanna, American musician and activist
Kathleen Turner, American actress
Kathleen "Kathy" Ireland, American model/actress
Kathleen Winsor, American author
Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, American politician and member of the Kennedy family
Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, sister of American president John F. Kennedy
Kathleen Battle, operatic soprano
Kathleen Raine, Scots-English poet
Kathleen Edwards, Canadian singer-songwriter
Kathleen Ferrier, Contralto
- Kathleen in song, story & screen: | Edit
"Kathleen" - song by Townes Van Zandt
"Kathleen" - By David Gray
"I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen", Irish and American song
"Kathleen Mavourneen", Irish traditional song
"Hook" song by PJ Harvey features a Kathleen
"Kathleen," love song by Josh Ritter
Kathleen Kelly, lead character in 1998's You've Got Mail played by Meg Ryan
Kathleen Mead, character on '80s teen series Degrassi Junior High
"Kathy's Song"- Simon and Garfunkel
"Kathleen (Catholicism Made Easier)" by Randy Newman