Kathleen Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: kath-LEEN (key)

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.

Related Names:

Kat, Kathy, Cathleen

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US Popularity of Kathleen Over Time

Sister & Brother Names

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Comments and insights on the name Kathleen

I named my eldest Kathleene. She was born in 1988. She was named due to the fact that my mother wanted to name her daughter by that name unfortunately she was unable to bear kids, I was adopted so I already had a name. So to allow my mother a chance to have someone in the family that name, I gave my eldest that name. She is also partly Irish so it fits.
She has been called a variety of nicks. A Sr. High pastor called her Kitt as she was always eating kitt Kats n then some kid in her class at same church started calling her kitt kat.
She has had Kat, Katie (FB), kitt Kat, however she prefers Kat n is still called that n she is 30.

My name is Kathleen I was born in 1962 was named after my aunt Kathleen we all called aunt kitty growing up hated my name none of th kids I grew up with had the name And my teachers never used Kathleen they all called me kathy I hated that name even more. As I got older my family and friends started calling me kat I grew to love that name through the years people have given me different nick names a few called me Leena. I'm 56 now and prefer Kathleen.

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.

My middle daughters name is Kathleen Lynn-Anne. we call her Katie. She was born in 2011. Kathleen is a family name. My great aunt also my great great grandmothers names where also kathleen. Her middle name comes from my fathers middle name (Lynn) and my mother who passed aways middle name (Anne). Alot of people say its too long of a name. I say its pretty and shes my kid. Lol

Personal experiences with the name Kathleen

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.Y

My name is Kathleen and I was born in 1951. My mother's family was Irish. I have always been Katie, whereas most of my peers were Kathy (which I dislike for me). I hated being called Kathy. I like my name. I only knew one other girl named Katie when I was growing up and she moved into my school in 12th grade. I knew a shirt-tail relative named 'Aunt Kate' when I was young, she was 92 and smelled funny and always pinched my cheeks. I always feared growing up to be her...LOL... I like my name now, but didn't as a kid. When my kids were young 80's and 90's mother's were always calling for Katie and I was always straining my neck.

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.

I have a little cousin named Kathleen. She was just born. I love her name. I think Kathleen is vary beautiful, and I love how it's so uncommon and old-fashioned.

My name is Kathleen and I go by Kate, named after my great grandma. I was born in 2003. I love my name but I don't like it when people call me Katy or Kathy. My mom has called me Katween since I turned about 10 and has never spotted. I usually never go by my full name but I wouldn’t mind. I also like my name because it is old-fashioned and not many people name there kids Kathleen in this day in age, so I feel different in a good way. I think it’s very eligent and kind of posh especially with my full name but that’s alright I guess lol.

My name is Kathleen and I go by K or Kp. I was born in 2002 (making me 15) I've always been the only person named Kathleen in my schools. Unfortunately my schoolmates have gone to calling me Kathy. Which sounds like an older persons name, rather then a teenagers, so I shut that down. My name was chosen to honour my very prominent Irish roots and inspirated by my mothers middle name. I don't mind that my name is "old". What I do mind is that no one can spell my name correctly! "Kathelenye"??? Are you joking lady at Starbucks?! And shout out to my 3rd grade teacher who called my Katherine for the whole year. Anyways despite my complaining I do love my name.

My name is Kathleen (obviously) and I was born in 1993. My dad wanted to name me Kathleen because he watched a movie in the 80's that had the actress Kathleen Turner in it. He loved her in the film so he wanted to name me after her. I was always called Kathleen, up until high school when I wanted to be called Kat, which I loved. As I am getting into the work field and getting older I come to really appreciate the beauty of my name. It has that classic, old fashioned feel to it and I don't know very many Kathleen's that are my age so I do feel unique in that way. I also started meeting a crap ton of Kats in college so I really really wanted to go back to Kathleen. Ultimately, I love the name Kathleen because it's so feminine, classy, elegant, and timeless.

There's a girl in my grade named Kathleen. I've known her since kindergarten. I'd say we're more than acquaintances but less than friends. We kinda bond over the fact that our birthdays are back-to-back(I was born April 3, she was born April 4). She can be dramatic and rude at times, but she's an overall good person. She's also very chaotic lol.

Nicknames for Kathleen

Kat, Kate, Kath, Kathie, Kathy, Kay, Kitty, Lena, Katie, Kitkat, KT, Kacy, Katty, K, Kk, Kathl

Meanings and history of the name Kathleen

An Irish name that is a form of Katherine - It means "pure".

It is often used in a Gaelic heritage.

Its root meaning "pure little one" in Gaelic.

Famous real-life people named Kathleen

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 Sims, Catholic school math teacher

Kathleen in song, story & screen

"Kathleen"- song by Catfish and The Bottlemen
"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
Kathleen Sims, Gethca Planna out (redneck style)

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