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Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Kathleen

This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Kathleen in the U.S. since 1880.

A few facts about the girl's name Kathleen:

  • Records indicate that 709,464 girls in the United States have been named Kathleen since 1880.

  • The greatest number of people were given this name in 1951, when 26,673 people in the U.S. were given the name Kathleen. Those people are now 69 years old.

    So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.


    Comments about the name Kathleen

    98% Approval Rating
    Based on the comments submitted below
      47 Positive Comments

  • "I was born in 1987 and always disliked my name. It wasn't until a few years ago that I began to appreciate it although, I always go by Kat. My dentist once recognized "Kathleen is an Irish name" and when I think of it that way, I have a lot more pleasant feelings towards it." Aug. 28, 2020: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am a 1960 Kathleen who has always gone by Kathy with everyone except my dad who called me Kate. As a child, I did not like my name very much. Strangely enough people either had trouble pronouncing it or worse yet, they called me Catherine with a ?C? gasp! As all Kathleens know, one must never use a K or a C incorrectly! I began to like my name better as I got older. It is my more formal name or business name. Whereas Kathy is my everyday name. I like having a versatile name. I still feel a bit annoyed when people insist on spelling my name with a C or insist on calling me Catherine. I am Kathy or Kathleen, spelled with a K of course. My maiden name is McGinty so in that respect my name is not only my name, it is also my heritage." Mar. 15, 2020: Report as inappropriate

  • "I simply love my name Kathleen. If not in a gas station, doctor's office, grocery store etc nametag Kathy or Kathleen...very popular!" Mar. 12, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love my name Kathleen.....most call me Kathy. I was named after my Grandmother Katherine. Today's movie use this name quite a lot. I even got to thank my parents way before they passed that I loved my name!" Dec. 11, 2018: Report as inappropriate

  • "I named my daughter Kathleen Elizabeth born 2003 because I'd always liked the name thought it was a very pretty name for a girl and luckily my husband's grandma was a Kathleen too so we were able to agree on this name though I had to fight for the middle name because he didn't like it. My daughter has a good friend born the same year who is also named Kathleen & they met at church. My husband is half Irish so the name worked great for us & I also love that it means pure/chaste. I would have loved to have been given this name myself!" Aug. 21, 2018: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen Elizabeth (first and middle). I was born in 1998. I was named after my grandmother who passed just months before I was born of cancer. She was born in 1951, when the name Kathleen was most popular. I have always loved my name. Because it has sentimental meaning and because I have only met one other person my age with the same name, and it was just passing by, not someone I saw regularly. In school teachers constantly got my name wrong, calling me things like Katherine or Kataline. But it always confused me because it?s not that hard to read and pronounce. Classmates always spoke up and corrected them because I?ve always been very shy. Since I was 12 though my friends have called me Kat, but mainly because I love cats. I prefer to be called Kathleen though. My family (mainly my mother, whose mother I was named after) hates any nicknames and will only call me by my name. I?m glad I have my name though." Aug. 17, 2018: Report as inappropriate

  • "I like my name, Kathleen, except... 99% of people incorrectly call me 'Kathryn", even minutes after introducing myself as Kathleen. It is completely mystifying why so many get this wrong and so frustrating, I am considering changing my name to Kathryn. I could go by a nickname, "Kat" or whatever, but I like my name. Still on the fence about changing it to what everyone calls me anyway, or just going by Kat. Frustrating.." Nov. 30, 2017: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm Kathleen Machelle ( first and middle) born in 1997. I have always absolutely loved my name.!!!" Oct. 25, 2017: Report as inappropriate

  • "Born 1995 My name is spelled Kathlene my dad name me after my great grandma and my dads mom which is my grandma. He formed Katharine and Aleen and he made it Kathlene. He didn't want it to be with the "leen" so he made it "lene" to make it more unquie. I love my name and everyone always says it a very pretty name. I was the only girl in middle school and high school with that name. I'm very proud of my name. I don't go by any nicknames only Kathlene. But a lot of people pronounce my name as Kaitlyn or Katharine. Which I don't understand why. I have blonde hair and blue eyes." Aug. 3, 2016: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1988 Kathleen and I love it! I have never met another person with my name! I have never shortened my name or had a nickname! I have always been very proud to be a Kathleen... It's a great classic name! :)" Jun. 10, 2016: Report as inappropriate

  • "Love my name Cathleen Isabella. Thank you mom! People often add a syllable when spelling Cathleen. Often add an "a" between the h and l. Haven't met one person in 59 years with the same name." Dec. 23, 2015: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1947 Kathleen. I come from Irish American stock but was actually named after a nurse at the Catholic hospital where I was born. I knew a couple other girls named Kathleen growing up but all of us went by Kathy or Kathie. I was a Kathie. I didn't much care for my name when I was younger (probably because my mother called me Kath-a-leen which I hated!) but I've come to like my name very much now." Jun. 12, 2015: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen, I was born in 1962. I am Irish, I love my name." Dec. 11, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "I disliked my name as a child but as an adult I really like it. I'm a 1964 Kathleen and I can tell you, there were tons of Katherines. And they were all called Kathy. It was the era of everyone having an IE-Y nickname and that was why I didn't like it when I was a kid. I was the only Kathleen I knew. And I still hardly ever meet people named Kathleen. My father as adamant that I was NOT to be called Kathy and I never was. Stupid people call me Kath-a-leen. I generally go by Kat. Only my husband and mother call me Kathleen. But I love either." Oct. 9, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm named Betty Kathleen, but have alway gone by Kathie. My parents wanted Kathleen but couldn't find a middle name they liked with it so one night Dad was reading a murder mystery and said," how about Betty Kathleen?" I haven't always been happy with Kathy, but do think Kathleen is a beautiful name. I wanted to give my daughter my middle name but was afraid my mother-in-law would call her 'little Kathie' so decided on Jolene." Mar. 19, 2013: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1994 Kathleen and I love my name. Initially, my dad wanted to name me Kathy. Just Kathy, not Kathleen or Katherine. My mom however wanted me to have a formal name. So they compromised: we will give her a formal name but she will always be called Kathy. Once that had been settled, my mom was trying to decide between Katherine and Kathleen. My dad did not like Katherine because of how much more popular it was than Kathleen and thus, Kathleen was born. I love being a Kathleen but I also love my nickname Kathy. I usually don't mind when people call me Kathleen, I'm just not used to it. I love the fact that all of the Katherines/Kathryns I know insist on going by Kate, Katie, or Kat but never Kathy, it just makes my nickname all the more unique! Don't be fooled by those who say that the names Kathleen and Kathy are dated because they're not, they're timeless. Katherine, Kathleen and Kathy go through all the generations. Going back to Kathleen: of the few other Kathleens I know that are my age, most tend to get called Kath. I don't like Kath so I just stick with Kathy. I suppose the -thl- might throw people off, but I have yet to experience that problem. All in all, Kathleen is a wonderful name!" Jul. 26, 2012: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1998 Kathleen and I absolutely love my name! It's so special and unique, and nowadays, it's hard to find someone with such a classic name." Jun. 29, 2012: Report as inappropriate

  • "Grandma insisted on Kathleen, Mam had plans for Pamela, up till I finished school I was Kathleen, then became Kathy for 10 years then chose to be called Kath, answering telephone callers they thought I said Pat! so I became once more Kathleen and have ben for the past 12 year, I do get Kath from hubby and old friends, I found out many years later that Grandma had known a young woman who she liked very much whose surname was the same as ours Foulds and she was Kathleen, so mystery solved." Aug. 16, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "When i was younger i hated my name, but now i love it. not a ton of people have the name and i think it is kinda pretty. When i was younger kids would add an extra syllable and say Kath-A-leen. i even said that because i had trouble saying it. i only know two other kathleens. I usually go by kathleen, kat, or kath. I absolutely hate it when people call me Kathy and i will tell them not to call me that, but i am fine with being called kath. i prefer kat or kathleen though. i just think that kathy sounds ugly." Apr. 25, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "I prefer Kathleen but Kathy is just as nice....thanks mom and Dad I love the name Kathleen.....awesome" Apr. 10, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "I obvious have the name Kathleen and I could not be happier with it! I would have liked to be called that but over the years (up in age) had to settle for Kathy which I do like as well........thumbs up the the name" Apr. 8, 2011: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1949 Kathleen and have never allowed people to address me as Kathy. These days I'll put up with the Katherines and the (shudder) Kath-a-leens, but only because I have mellowed with the years and no longer get quite as militant about it as I did. Except for Kathy. No Kathy, ever." Dec. 13, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1991 Kathleen and I've pretty much given up correcting people who nearly always call me Kathryn. I love the name because it's so Irish (like me) and has been in the family for a long time (on both sides). Aside from my family I don't know anybody else with the name, so I'm distinctive. I think I would die if someone tried to call me Kat. If I wanted a nickname, wouldn't "Panther" have a little more dash?" Oct. 28, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "amazing name, perfect sound, i know only four others with the name kathleen, but they are all perfect in every way.I only wish everyone were called kathleen" Jun. 25, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1994 Kathleen. I was named because my dad liked it and it isn't a very popular name. I absolutely refuse for people to call me Kathy or Katie, but some of my friends call me Kat or Kath, and I think that's fine. When people meet me, they repeat my name and most of the time say Katherine, which is so annoying because I always have to correct them. Sometimes people pronounce my name Kath-a-leen, but I don't really mind if they say it that way." Jun. 14, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am a 1956 Kathleen, nickname Beannie. I was called Kathleen at school and by people who didn't know me. Beannie was for family and friends. When I became an Aunt I decided to go by Kathleen because it was more grownup and respectable but now I am 53 and am going back to Beannie with family and friends for the informality and friendliness of it.I still use Kathleen in the workplace. I like it and always have." Feb. 7, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I have always been called Kathleen, my mother wouldn't let anyone call me Kathy as a child. I rarely meet other women with the name and my family is not Irish. Some friends call me Kat which is fine." Nov. 19, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1974 Kathleen. Growing up I didn't particularly like it because Catherine and Katherine were the norm at the time, but now I truly see it's beauty. Over the years I transitioned to Kathy and now want to revert back to the full Kathleen as an adult." Oct. 13, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love my name and its Irish meaning. I am a 1951 Kathleen. First my parents, and then I,have spent a lifetime informing folks that my full name is preferred; not Kathy , Katie or some other shortened version. I have not had any problems with mispronunciation of my name." Oct. 5, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "My sister was a 1939 Kathleen. Even when we were children, she would correct anyone who mispronounced or misspelled her name. If called on the schoolyard by anything else, she would ignore it. She never accepted a nickname." Aug. 23, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "Kathleen is also my name. Although it's not one of a kind, I appreciate it. :D" May. 27, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen Elizabeth and i didnt really like it until just reacently. My teachers would always call me Kathleen and I would tell them it was Katie. now i dont even try to change it, im starting to like it." Mar. 24, 2009: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1959 Kathleen and I love my name. I have always insisted that I be called by my full name and I don't have a middle name. When someone called me Kathy, I was sure to correct them right away. Out of the 4000 kids in my high school, there were only 2 Kathleens that went by Kathleen; there were too many Kathy's to count but I think a lot of them were actually Kathryn's. My nickname is Katz." Jul. 30, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "A ton of the friends that I've had, do not seem to know how to pronounce it. They know it's Kathleen Elizabeth, but they don't pronounce it like that. It always tends to be along the lines of, "Kath-a-leen El-(long i)-zabeth". I can not tell you how many times I've had to correct people on that! My parents thought it was a great family name and sounded right with my last name to, syllable, or something similar, wise. I tried to go by Kate, but I ended up as Katie, then Katy (k-t). When I went by Katy people would call me cat-ie. FYI: I'm not a cat!" Jul. 24, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am only 14 years old, so I havn't had as much "experience" with the name, but I truly do Love my name being Kathleen. I was named after a combination of 3 of my aunts' names -my aunt KATHy, and my aunt charLEEN and combined to make Kathleen. and my middle name renee. people say that it's to hard to pronouce so they try to call me Kitkat or Kat, but i prefer to be called Kathleen. I am VERY Irish so i adore the name." Jul. 10, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am only 14 years old, so I havn't had as much "experience" with the name, but I truly do Love my name being Kathleen. I was named after a combination of 3 of my aunts' names -my aunt KATHy, and my aunt charLEEN and combined to make Kathleen. and my middle name renee. people say that it's to hard to pronouce so they try to call me Kitkat or Kat, but i prefer to be called Kathleen. I am VERY Irish so i adore the name." Jul. 10, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am only 14 years old, so I havn't had as much "experience" with the name, but I truly do Love my name being Kathleen. I was named after a combination of 3 of my aunts' names -my aunt KATHy, and my aunt charLEEN and combined to make Kathleen. and my middle name renee. people say that it's to hard to pronouce so they try to call me Kitkat or Kat, but i prefer to be called Kathleen. I am VERY Irish so i adore the name." Jul. 10, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen. But my parent never called me Kathleen. I was always called by my middle name, and it stuck. At age 46, in a new job in a new state I am introducing my self as Kathleen. Kathleen has a whole new vibe and I get a totally different reception. Kathleen is a respectable name, people are more formal with me now. I'm not sure if it like or not..." Jul. 7, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am a true Irish Kathleen. I go by Kat or Kathy because I was only called Kathleen when I was in trouble." May. 7, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love my name and wouldn't change it for the world. I got the name because I was born with a head full of red hair and my mom thought I should be given an Irish name, even though we're not Irish! :)" Nov. 25, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm with the others in this group, I love having the name Kathleen! I like that it's a classic name without being too common or sounding old-fashioned. The only downside with having this name is that it's easily misspelled and I'm always asked, "is that spelled with a 'c' or a 'k'??"" Nov. 21, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I looove this name sooo much!!! If i ever have a daughter i am soooo nameing her Kathleen!" Jul. 13, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen, and I was named after my grandma. I go by "Katie", my grandmas idea since Kathleen is such a long name for a little girl. As I get older, I go by Kathleen more and more. Its a classy name that has tradition to it. Extrenely proud of it." Jul. 12, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "This is my name and I love it! I have met many people anmes Kathy and Katie but I have been the only Kathleen. It is elegant, classic and sounds smart." Apr. 24, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love the name kathleen my bff name is that and we call her tatty or kat or kit kat!" Jan. 5, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "kathleen is an original i hardley meet anyone with the name kathleen!!!" Feb. 7, 2006: Report as inappropriate

  • "I love my name. I'm 35 and there aren't too many Kathleens around (at least not that I've met). I hate when people misspell it (Kathlene, Katheline Kathline) or try something cute like calling me Kathy or Katie. It's Kathleen and I like it!" Dec. 1, 2005: Report as inappropriate

      1 Negative Comment

  • "My name is Kathleen, I am 42 yearso old and hagve never liked it, I have always discouraged anyone from calling me Kathleen although I hate Kath just as much, I prefer Kat or Kathy." Nov. 10, 2009: Report as inappropriate

      17 Neutral Comments

  • "I'm Kathleen marie...named after someone's favourite aunt.I knew I was in trouble if mum used my full name.Most people over the years have called me Kath or Kathy but my husband started to call me Kate after seeing film Taming of the shrew.Cheek.Ive always tried to live up to its meaning..pure.Am I boring?" Jun. 7, 2020: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a Kathleen and have never liked it a whole lot, it's always felt very old fashioned and as I was born in 1990 it felt like an odd name to have growing up. Most people would just assume my name was Katherine and call me that or try shortening to Kath or Kathy which I didn't like. However my parents nicknamed me Kitty and I have been that my whole life which I absolutely love. So I don't detest Kathleen but I do love Kitty - so it's worked out alright overall!" Sep. 17, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • "I simply love my name Kathleen.....I would prefer that BUT Kathy has seemed to take it's place." Feb. 26, 2019: Report as inappropriate

  • "I an a 1982 Kathleen. My mother named me after a girl she went to school with. I love my name. I have only known one other Kathleen." Sep. 27, 2017: Report as inappropriate

  • "I am a 1957 Kathleen. My father named me. My middle name is Rose. I have always loved my name. All my family has always called me Kathy, but everyone else calls me Kathleen. It is a very feminine name and I feel special that it isn't popular. I like having a unique name. The baristas at Starbucks call me Kat and it is OK as I am a cat lover. I have only met a Kathleen who was much older than I. I am so happy that my parents named me Kathleen. I feel special." Jan. 13, 2017: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen but I have always been called Kathy or Kath." May. 9, 2015: Report as inappropriate

  • "I named my daughter, Kathleen. It's beautiful, feminine, and Irish, too! My daughter likes it, too!" May. 28, 2014: Report as inappropriate

  • "Im a 1950s Kathleen and pretty much go with nothing shorter, When my first grandchild was born she calls me Mama and people call be Mama." Oct. 12, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1997 Kathleen, I really like my name because no one i know has it. I am called Kat.I hate how some people pronounce my name wrong they call me Kathrine or Katilyn. i always correct them. I have been called Kath-A-leen. and it gets anoying but i guess thats what you get when you don't have a very common name. Originally my parents were going to name me Kathrine but my grandmother suggested Kathleen and my mom fell in love with it. my name is Kathleen Anne." Aug. 10, 2010: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen and I think it's a pretty good name. As I get older (I'm now 15) I'm starting to like it more and more. Everyone usually spells my name wrong. They spell it with a "C" and sometimes spell it Cathlene or Kathlene. Most people pronounce my name Kath-a-leen. I'm constantly correcting them; I have to at least once everyday and it gets very tiring. I've never had anyone have the same name as me in my school until this year. One girl's name is Kathleen but she goes by Katie so I don't think it really counts. I was named after my grandma Kathy so I can't go by it and there are too many Katie's so I just go by Kathleen and Kat." Oct. 8, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a 1947 Kathleen. I was not called Kathy until 4th grade when we moved to a new school and I thought it sounded more "popular." I was named after grandmothers, Kathleen and Martha (a grandma name if there ever was one). I was born Christmas Eve and wanted to be called "Noel," but when I complained my mother said, "Well, we could have named you Martha Kathleen." I would like to be called Kathleen again, but at age 60, it's a little late. My nickname by family is "Kak."" May. 13, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen Elizabeth. It's very Irish because my family is. I have always gone by Katie. I like Katie a lot better because it sounds younger and more fresh. There is a girl in my class at school named Kathleen, which is what she goes by, so it gets confusing because our last names are extremely similar. So yeah, I love Katie." May. 9, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "I like being called Kathy and have used that name on my business cards for years and years, no matter where I work or what line of business I'm in. Most people seem to automatically decide my name is Cathy and/or Catherine. I don't bother correcting them unless it becomes important (legal matter etc). Kathleen is a priggish name, but I do like Kathy." May. 7, 2008: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen because my father wanted me to have that name. He then promptly started calling me Kelly at it is supposedly a nick-name akin to "lassy". The name is beautiful but I have never felt like a kathleen." Nov. 30, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "two of my aunts name are kathleen(one different sides) i don't call one of them by any name besides auntie, but everyone else calls her kathy and my other aunt everyone pretty much calls her kete, weird i know!" Nov. 20, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "I'm a Kathleen and though I like my name I hate most of the nicknames for it! Kathy is so horrible and I don't like Kate much either. I usually go by Kat, it's much cuter. My best friend always tells me my name sounds too old for me, so he never uses my full name." Sep. 23, 2007: Report as inappropriate

  • "My name is Kathleen,and my parents named me after the song "I'll take you home,Kathleen" Jun. 8, 2007: Report as inappropriate

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