Eileen, alternatively spelt Aileen, is an Irish feminine given name with the pronunciation aɪliːn. It is the anglicised spelling of the Irish Gaelic Eibhlín, which derives from the Gaelic version of Aveline, Aibhilín. Aveline, which originally came to Ireland via the Normans, is an Old French version of the Old Germanic name Ava, of which the etymology is disputed. One theory traces it to the Germanic alfi, elf, or to possibly meaning desired.

Eileen is also considered by many to be the Irish version of Ellen, and while this is not the name's original etymology, it is certainly possible that when Aibhilín was rendered as Eibhlín it became conflated with Ellen, which was also imported to Ireland in the Middle Ages. Ellen itself is the Medieval form of Helen, from the Greek Helene, which could be derived from Selene, from the Proto Indo-European "light, brightness". It can be argued that this is a second meaning of the name Eileen.

Television series



Fictional characters