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Origin: Germany
Region Origin: Western Europe

Kathleen is a female given name of Irish origin, derived from the Irish name Caitlín, which is the Irish form of Katherine. The name ultimately comes from the Greek name Aikaterine, which means 'pure' or 'clear'. The meaning of Aikaterine is highly debated, as it could be derived from an ancient Greek name, 'Hekaterine,' which is derived from the Greek god Hekateros, meaning 'each of the two'. Alternatively, it could be derived from the name of the goddess Hecate, meaning 'far off'. Kathleen has been associated with honor and idealism, as it interweaves with the legendary Countess of Cathleen, who famously sells her soul to the devil to feed her tenants during the Great Famine. The name also has connections to the mythical figure of Kathleen Ni Houlihan, who personified Ireland and its struggle for independence.

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