kath-LEEN; kat-LEEN
Anglicized form of Irish Caitlin

Kathleen Origin and Meaning

The name Kathleen is a girl's name of Irish origin meaning "pure".

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. Kathleen was a Top 10 name from 1948 to 1951, and it 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 adopted middle name, after her paternal grandmother. JFK's sister Kathleen was known as Kick.

# 984 in the US

Kathleen Rank in US Top 1000

# 677 on Nameberry

Kathleen Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Kathleen Popularity

Famous People Named Kathleen

  • Kathleen SebeliusU.S. health secretary and former governor of Kansas
  • Kathleen Babineaux BlancoAmerican politician, former governor of Louisiana
  • Kathleen HannaAmerican musician and activist
  • Kathleen O'Day WynneCanadian politician, premier of Ontario
  • (Mary) Kathleen TurnerAmerican actress
  • Kathleen "Kathy" IrelandAmerican model/actress
  • Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" BatesAmerican actress
  • Kathleen Mary "Kathy" GriffinAmerican actress/comedian
  • Kathleen Erin "Kate" WalshAmerican actress
  • Kathleen WinsorAmerican author
  • Kathleen Kennedy TownsendAmerican politician; daughter of politician Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel
  • Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Kennedy Cavendishsister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy
  • Kathleen KenyonBritish archaeologist
  • Kathleen NooneAmerican actress
  • Kathleen Deanna BattleAmerican operatic soprano
  • Kathleen "Kitty" McKane GodfreeEnglish tennis player
  • Kathleen Denise QuinlanAmerican actress
  • Kathleen BarrCanadian voice actress
  • Kathleen YorkAmerican actress & songwriter
  • KathleenArchduchess of Austria
  • Kathleen MunroeCanadian actress
  • Kathleen BoyleScottish musician of group Cherish The Ladies
  • Kathleen FuentesYouTuber
  • Kathleen Genevieve "Katie" LedeckyAmerican swimmer
  • Kathleen DeLeon JonesFilipino,Australian singer and children's performer, former member of Australian children's group Hi,5
  • Kathleen Rose PerkinsAmerican actress
  • Kathleen Bidenestranged wife of Hunter Biden, son of former US VP Joe Biden
  • Kathleen Margaret EdwardsCanadian singer,songwriter
  • (Erica) Kathleen "Kathy" HorvathAmerican tennis player
  • Joanne Kathleen "J.K." RowlingBritish novelist
  • Kathleen Rose Parkdaughter of Michael Park
  • Kathleen "Katie" Camille NaughtonAmerican soccer player
  • Kathleen Emilie Maguire (b. 2004)daughter of Gareth Maguire
  • Aquinnah Kathleen Foxdaughter of Machael J. Fox
  • Gabrielle Kathleen McCarthy (b. 2008)daughter of Mike McCarthy
  • Paulina Kathleen Myers (b. 2015)daughter of Mike Myers
  • Ava Rose Kathleen McBride (b. 2005)daughter of Martina McBride

Kathleen in Pop Culture

  • Kathleen KellyMeg Ryan's character in "You've Got Mail"
  • Kathleen "Kathy" Duquesnecharacter in DC Universe
  • Kathleencharacter in "Fall on Your Knees" (Anne,Marie MacDonald)
  • KathleenElliot Stabler's daughter on "Law and Order: SVU"
  • Kathleen "Kat" Harveyfrom the movie "Casper the Friendly Ghost"
  • Kathleenone of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in the Barbie version
  • Kathleen Ni Houlihanpersonification of Ireland
  • Kathleen Walshcharacter on "Medium"
  • Kathleen Gregorycharacter in the "St Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
  • "Kathleen" song by Catfish and the Bottlemen
  • Kathleen1941 film starring Shirley Temple
  • Kathleencharacter on TV's Call the midwife, Mary's baby daughter
  • Kathleen Meadcharacter in the Degrassi franchise