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Gender: F Pronunciation: kath-LEEN; kat-LEEN Meaning of Kathleen: "pure" Origin of Kathleen: Anglicized form of Irish Caitlin Kathleen's Popularity in 2016: #841

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 US popularity list, it's in decline, plummeting more than 200 places since 2010. 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 middle name. JFK's sister Kathleen was known as Kick.

Find other names based on Kathleen using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Kathleen

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. health secretary and former governor of Kansas
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, American politician, former governor of Louisiana
Kathleen Hanna, American musician and activist
Kathleen O'Day Wynne, Canadian politician, premier of Ontario
― (Mary) Kathleen Turner, American actress
Kathleen "Kathy" Ireland, American model/actress
Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" Bates, American actress
Kathleen Mary "Kathy" Griffin, American actress/comedian
Kathleen Erin "Kate" Walsh, American actress
Kathleen Winsor, American author
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, American politician; daughter of politician Robert F. Kennedy
Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Kennedy Cavendish, sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy
Kathleen Kenyon, British archaeologist
Kathleen Noone, American actress
Kathleen Deanna Battle, American operatic soprano
Kathleen "Kitty" McKane Godfree, English tennis player
Kathleen Denise Quinlan, American actress
Kathleen Barr, Canadian voice actress
― (Erica) Kathleen "Kathy" Horvath, American tennis player
Kathleen York, American actress & songwriter
Kathleen, Archduchess of Austria
Kathleen Munroe, Canadian actress
Kathleen Boyle, Scottish musician of group Cherish The Ladies
Kathleen Fuentes, YouTuber
Kathleen Genevieve "Katie" Ledecky, American swimmer
Kathleen Rose Perkins, American actress
Kathleen Biden, estranged wife of Hunter Biden, son of former US VP Joe Biden
Kathleen Margaret Edwards, Canadian singer-songwriter
Joanne Kathleen "J.K." Rowling, British novelist
Kathleen Rose Park (b. 2000), daughter of Michael Park
Kathleen Emilie Maguire (b. 2004), daughter of Gareth Maguire
Aquinnah Kathleen Fox (b. 1995), daughter of Machael J. Fox
Ava Rose Kathleen McBride (b. 2005), daughter of Martina McBride
Gabrielle Kathleen McCarthy (b. 2008), daughter of Mike McCarthy
Paulina Kathleen Myers (b. 2015), daughter of Mike Myers

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"
Kathleen Gregory, character in the "St Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
"Kathleen," song by Catfish and the Bottlemen
Kathleen, 1941 film starring Shirley Temple
Kathleen, character on TV's Call the midwife, Mary's baby daughter