Meaning: “kind, handsome, gentle; birth
Eng (KEV-in); Germ/Fre (keh-VEEN)
The name is an anglicization of the Irish Gaelic Caoimhín, which is derived from the Gaelic elements, cóem, meaning “kind, gentle, handsome” and gein meaning, “birth.”
In Ireland, the name was always popular due to the cult of an Irish Catholic saint of the same name. St. Kevin is attributed to establishing a monastery in Glendalough in the 6th-century and is considered the patron saint of Dublin.
The name was introduced into the English speaking world via Irish immigrants, starting in the 19th-century, however its usage outside the Irish community did not occur until well into the mid 20th-century.
Due to several famous American and British celebrities who have borne the name, it has become extremely popular in other countries. His rankings are as follows:
- # 33 (Mexico, 2010)
- # 35 (Hungary, 2009)
- # 43 (Sweden, 2010)
- # 51 (Chile, 2010)
- # 58 (United States, 2010)
- # 65 (Norway, 2010)
- # 67 (Ireland, 2010)
- # 79 (Catalonia, Spain, 2009)
- # 97 (Canada, BC, 2010)
- # 100 (France, 2009)
- # 115 (the Netherlands, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Caoimhín (Irish-Gaelic)
- Coemgenus (Late Latin)
- Cóemgein (Old Irish)
- Kewin (Polish)
- Cefin (Welsh)
The designated name-day is June 3.
Notable bearers include: American actors, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Kevin Nealon, Kevin Sorbo and Kevin Spacey.
An obscure Scots feminization is Kevina.
- Barrow, Lennox. Glendalough and Saint Kevin. Dundalk: Dundalgan Press, 1972.