Although there are several Irish names for boys that are in contention on my list I had troubles thinking of similar ideas for girls. One that popped in my head though (and has been growing on me) is Kathleen. The name's mid-century vibe may be a turn-off to some, but from someone who likes names such as Nancy and Susan I like Kathleen's retro feel coupled with its Irish roots. I also think that after all the butcherings of Caitlin and variants (which ironically was the original form) Kathleen now sounds fresher and more respectable/mature. WDYT?


December 21, 2012 3:52 PM

I like it. If you love it, go ahead and use it. It's unique, but as far as I know, not unheard of.

Do you mean that Caitlin was originally Kathleen, or the other way around?

December 21, 2012 4:26 PM

Kathleen is the Anglicized form of Caitlin.

December 22, 2012 4:49 AM

KellyXY, I may be wrong, but isn't Caitlin in Irish indeed pronounced the same as Kathleen? So the Kate-Lynn pronunciation is incorrect or, if you prefer, an innovation.  Is that what you mean by Anglicization?

September 14, 2013 9:43 AM

Caitlin in Gaelic is pronounced koit-leen. Cathleen is pronounced the same as Kathleen. But you're correct in saying that the kate-lin pronounciation is incorrect, at least in Ireland.

December 21, 2012 4:40 PM

NQ, Kathleen is hardly unique.  There are countless Kathleens around.

December 21, 2012 4:11 PM

I think it's a great pick! My sister-in-law's brother's daughter is Kathleen (only Kathleen, not Kat/Kathy/Katie, etc.) -- she's 12-ish and it fits her fine. I do agree that, compared with Caitlin et al, Kathleen does sound fresher and more mature, in the sense that I expect a Caitlin to be quite young while Kathleens tend to be older.

December 21, 2012 5:13 PM

I think it's great.  It will definitely stand out among all the Kalyn's too.

Another similar one I love is Colleen.  I think it fell out of the top 1000 within the last few years which is astounding to me, it's on my list if we have another girl in the future.  I think I know probably 5 Colleens but they are all in the 25 to 35 age range.  You've probably considered these but there's also Maureen and Noreen.  My little Nora is named after her g-grandmother Noreen.


December 21, 2012 5:27 PM

I grew up with a lot of girls named Kathleen (and Kathy, Cathy, Katie, Kathie, Christine, Kristine, etc.), so it doesn't seem fresh to me. My freshman hall had a Kathie, Kathleen, and a Kathy (and two Melindas, out of 20 girls). That being said, I would consider it an unexpected choice on a new baby. I'd rather see a young Colleen or Maureen, but that's just a matter of personal preference. Go for it! And name her twin Nancy. That would be awesome. :)

December 21, 2012 5:40 PM

To me, this name is not quite old enough to be a revival. It sounds like the name of one of my mom's friends which means it sounds like grandma territory- I'd class it with Shirley and Beverley. I think it needs another decade or two to sound fresh again.

December 21, 2012 6:14 PM

I've also liked the name Kathleen & don't find it dated at all. I say go for it!

December 21, 2012 9:04 PM

Kathleen was on our short list (its a family name). I too think it's sweet, ages well, and I really like its early to mid-century vibe! I like it with Kit or Kate as a nn. 

December 22, 2012 1:07 PM

I like it!  But then again, my best friend is a Kathleen, so I'm biased.  She's 30, so I don't think it's necessarily owned by the mid-century generation.  I agree with a previous poster that it would be an unexpected choice, but I don't have the stats on hand to say how unique/not unique it actually is.  

By mk
December 22, 2012 2:30 PM

I like Kathleen a lot. I know several Kathleens of various ages, from 10 to 60, so I don't see it tied to any one era. I don't really consider it unique though (and calling a name "fresh" bothers me or some reason), if that's something you care about.

It's simply a very pretty name.

None of the -een names seem tied to any era to me. Maybe I am just in an -een heavy area.

December 23, 2012 1:09 AM

I love Kathleen.

The quintessential Irish lass in my mind, but very fresh and pretty.

I know quite a few Kathys, who are really Kathleens, and they are middle aged and slightly older, but none of them have ever gone by Kathleen-just Kathy.

I suppose if they had, I'd feel differently about it.



December 23, 2012 11:36 AM

If you like Nancy, it's not surprising you like Kathleen.  To me they still feel dated, not fresh for a couple more decades.  I picture someone in her late 50s or 60s.  Colleen seems more fresh and suitable for a baby for me. 

But you love it, and everyone would get used to the name on your cute little girl.  And in several more years if Kathleen comes back in style, you'll be ahead of the curve.

December 23, 2012 5:57 PM

Sorry, I still don't like it. It's probably just my personal feelings towards it, but it just seems kind of odious to me, and I don't even have a personal connection to sway my feelings in that direction. Maybe I need a decade or two to warm up to it for it to feel fresh again (or a parent to name their child that!).
So, for people like me who don't like it, I'm going in the Use It camp just to have a baby out there to put a new spin on it.

December 23, 2012 8:03 PM

I have always preferred Kathleen over Katherine. I'm probably the only person who does, but i say, go with Kathleen!

December 24, 2012 2:34 AM

You know, it's a name that I feel like I should dislike because of its contemporaries that I really am not a fan of and because I greatly dislike the name Kathy; however, Kathleen still feels sweet to me. I can easily picture an adorable little girls named Kathleen, but perhaps that's because I don't personally know anyone named that. To me, it feels more in the classic category than dated.

December 26, 2012 3:10 AM

I'm not a huge fan of it. I find it dated and I don't find the sounds particularly pleasing. I actually quite like Nancy and  Susan so I don't dislike all similar era names. I don't think it's horrid though so I could certainly get behind someone using it.

September 14, 2013 8:13 AM

I actually quite like the name. It is similar to Katherine but more unusal. If you like the name than go for it.