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Eileen is an elegant baby name for girls. Replete with a proud Irish heritage, this name has ranked highly within popular culture for centuries. Eileen Mildred Summers was the name of a main character in the Kathy Rain series, and Eileen Prince was the beautiful witch-mother of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. Keep reading to learn more about this name.

Meaning of the name Eileen:

Old Irish, Gaelic: Desired, island, bird
Ancient Greek: Bright, shining light, torch, moon

Origin of the name Eileen:

Eileen is an anglicized variation of Eibhlín. This Gaelic name is the Old Irish translation of Aveline. Although linguists continue to unravel the origins of Aveline, most believe that it derives from either the Old Germanic element avi (meaning “desired” or “island”) or from the Old Latin term avis (meaning “bird”). Aveline can also serve as a diminutive of Ava (meaning “life”) or as a direct translation of the French word for “hazelnut tree” (making it a cognate of the English name Hazel).

Alternatively, names like Eileen, Aileen, and Ilene may also descend directly from the Old Gaelic names Gaelic names Éibhleann and Aibhilín. These names derive from the Old Celtic root óiph (meaning “radiant beauty”). And for many families, names like Eileen and Ilene are Irish variations of the Greek name Helen. This name originates from the ancient element ēlē (meaning “bright,” “torch,” or “moon”).

Symbolism of the name Eileen:

Eileen is the anglicized version of Eibhlín. This name is the subject of the traditional Irish ballad “Eibhlín a Rúin.” In this saga, the symbol of Eileen was the harp of romance and beauty.

Style of the name Eileen:


Gender of the name Eileen:

Eileen is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Eileen:


Number of syllables in the name Eileen:


Emotion evoked from the name Eileen:

The name Eileen evokes feelings of energy and exuberance.

Alternative spellings for the name Eileen:

  • Eyleen
  • Eilene
  • Aileen
  • Ileen
  • Ilene 
  • Eiléan

Nicknames for the name Eileen:

Popularity of the name Eileen:

According to the Social Security Administration index, Eileen was the 673rd most popular baby name for girls in 2021.

Related names for the name Eileen:

Great middle names for Eileen and their meanings:

  • Alora (God is my light)
  • Bethany (house of figs)
  • Cheyenne (red speakers)
  • Gabriele (God is my strength)
  • Harper (harp player)
  • Karen (pure)
  • Melody (song, tune, rhythm)
  • Priscilla (ancient, venerable)
  • Roisin (little rose)
  • Saoirse (freedom, liberty)
  • Summer (warmest season)
  • Viola (violet flower)

Famous people with the name Eileen:

  • Eileen June Atkins (actress)
  • Eileen Bell (politician)
  • Eileen April Boylan (actress)
  • Eileen Marie Collins (astronaut)
  • Eileen Mary Theresa Daly (actress)
  • Eileen Regina Edwards (birth name of singer Shania Twain)
  • Eileen Cecile Ford (modeling agency executive)
  • Eileen Alannah Joyce (pianist)
  • Eileen Montgomery (voice actress)
  • Eileen Shields (footwear designer)

Eileen in popular culture:

  • Eileen the Crow (character in the Bloodborne series)
  • Eileen Grimshaw (character in the Coronation Street series)
  • Eileen Prince (mother of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series)
  • Eileen Mildred Summers (character in the Kathy Rain series)
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