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Gender: F Meaning of Kathleen: "pure" Origin of Kathleen: Anglicized form of Irish Caitlin Kathleen's Popularity in 2013: #664

Popularity: this week.

Kathleen is the early Irish import version that came between Katherine and Kaitlin, and which hasn't been used in so long it's almost beginning to sound fresh again. It was a surprise pick by one of the hip Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire. But on the popularity list, it's in free fall, plummeting nearly 50 places a year. Kathleen was a Top 10 name from 1948 to 1951, and is the subject of several old sentimental songs, such as 'I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.'

From the eighteenth century, Kathleen Ni Houlihan appears in Irish songs as a symbol of Ireland, representing its struggle for independence.

Kathy Griffin and Kate Walsh were born Kathleen, and it's J.K. Rowling's middle name. JFK's sister Kathleen was known as Kick.

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Famous People Named Kathleen

Kathleen Hanna, American musician and activist
Kathleen Turner, American actress
Kathleen "Kathy" Ireland, American model/actress
Kathleen Winsor, American author
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, American politician
Kathleen Mary "Kathy" Griffin, American actress/comedian
Dame Kathleen Kenyon (1906-78), British archaeologist
Kathleen Noone, American actress
Kathleen Denise Quinlan, American actress
Kathleen York, American actress & songwriter
Archduchess Kathleen of Austria
Kathleen Munroe, Canadian actress

Pop Culture References for the Name Kathleen

Kathleen Kelly, Meg Ryan's character in "You've Got Mail"
Kathleen, character in "Fall on Your Knees" (Anne-Marie MacDonald)
Kathleen, Elliot Stabler's daughter on "Law and Order: SVU"
Kathleen "Kat" Harvey, from the movie "Casper the Friendly Ghost"
Kathleen, one of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in the Barbie version
Kathleen Ni Houlihan, personification of Ireland
Kathleen Walsh, character on "Medium"

Katheleen, Kathelene, Kathi, Kathileen, Kathlean, Kathleena, Kathleene, Kathlene, Kathlin, Kathlina, Kathlyn, Kathlyne, Kathlynn, Kathy, Katleen, Katline, Katlyn