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Kathleen isn't as popular as it was during the first half of the 20th century, but it remains a top 1,000 name for baby girls in the United States. It's an Irish moniker with Greek roots that many people associate with a popular saint and Irish legend. It comes with a variety of common nicknames and sounds great with traditional one-syllable middle names, like “Rose,” “Belle” and “Claire.”

Meaning of the name Kathleen:

Irish: Pure

Origin of the name Kathleen:

Kathleen is an Irish name derived from the Gaelic name Caitlín, which is a derivative of the Greek name Aikaterinë. In some languages, it may be a pet name for Katharine.

Symbolism of the name Kathleen:

Many people associate the name Catherine (and its derivatives, like Kathleen) with Saint Catherine. She is often associated with purity and innocence.

Baby name Kathleen

Style of the name Kathleen:

Traditional

Gender of the name Kathleen:

Kathleen is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Kathleen:

kath-LEEN

Number of syllables in the name Kathleen:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Kathleen:

The name Kathleen evokes images of someone who is organized and patient, as well as a hard worker.

Alternative spellings for the name Kathleen:

  • Cathleen

Nicknames for the name Kathleen:

Popularity of the name Kathleen:

Though it's falling out of popularity, Kathleen has been a top 1,000 name since at least 1900. It even made the top 10 during the 1940s and 1950s. As of 2020, it ranks at number 940, according to the Social Security Administration.

Related names for the name Kathleen:

Great middle names for Kathleen and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Kathleen:

Kathleens in popular culture:

  • Kathleen Kelly (character in the movie “You've Got Mail”)
  • Kathleen Duquesneli (character in the DC Comics universe)
  • Kathleen Harvey (character in the movie “Casper the Friendly Ghost”)
  • Kathleen Gregory (character in the “St Clare” book series)
  • Kathleen Walsh (character on the TV show “Medium”)