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Gender Female
Language(s) Irish
Meaning Pure
Other names
Alternative spelling see article for variations
Derived Caitlin

Caitlin or Caitlín (anglicized as Kathleen) is an Irish female given name. Along with the many other variants of Katherine, it is generally believed to mean "pure" because of its long association with the Greek adjective καθαρός katharos (pure), though the name did not evolve from this word.[1] The name originated in Ireland as Caitlín [ˈkatʲlʲiːnʲ] and is the Irish variation of the Old French name Cateline [katlin], which was derived from Catherine, which was derived from the Ancient Greek Αἰκατερίνη (Aikaterine). Catherine is attributed to St. Catherine of Alexandria and the Greek goddess Hecate.[2]-


Historically, only the spellings Caitlín, Caitlin, Caitlyn and the (anglicised) form Kathleen were used. In the 1970s, however, people began pronouncing the name as KAYT-lin, which led to numerous variations in spelling, including (in alphabetical order): Caitlan, Caitlun, Caitlynn, Caittlyn, Catelyn, Catlyn, Caytelyn, Caytlin, Kaetlynn, Kaitelyn, Kaitelin, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyne, Kaitlynn, Kaitlynne, Katelin, Katelyn, Kate-Lyn, Katelynn, Katlin, Katlyn, Kaytlyn, Katlynne, Kaytelin, Kaytelinn, Kaytlynn, Kaytlynne, Kateland, Cateland, Keightland, Caetland, and Quatlin.[3][4][5]

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Caitlin in fiction[edit]

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hanks, Patrick and Hodges, Flavia, ed. (2006). A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ "Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Katherine". Retrieved February 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Caitlin - Origin and Meaning of the name Caitlin at". Retrieved March 4, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Irish Names: You say Caitlyn, I say Kaytlynne...". Retrieved March 4, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Origin and Meaning of Caitlin - Baby Girl Name Caitlin". Retrieved March 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ Summer Sisters