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Aileen

Eilean Donan

Eileen (f) Originally the same name as Aileen, though
the latter is now often pronounced Ay-leen. The two
spellings are almost equally popular in Scotland. In 1958,
264 girls were named Eileen, while 237 became Aileen.
(In 1935 Eileen was used twice as often as Aileen.) Both
forms of the name have been imported from Ireland, where the spelling confusion also exists, Eibhilin or Eibhlin
having the variant Aibhilin. In one sense, Aileen is the
more Scottish form of the name, for although Eileen
became very popular in England and Wales in the 1920’s,
Aileen was almost unknown there. Eileen also appears to
be the more usual modern Irish form. Occasionally found
are the variants Ilean, Ileene and Ilene. The origin of the
name is not clear, though it is often connected with
Helen or Evelyn. Woulfe (Irish Names for Children) has
suggested a derivation from Avelina, ‘hazel nut.’

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