Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Aussie parents went crazy for the name Caitlin. The Irish form of Catherine seemed so much more appealing than straight old Catherine itself. A beautiful, traditional Irish name, evoking images of dark-haired girls staring moodily over wild, windswept coastlines.
Well, sort of. Caitlin is Irish, but Irish parents wouldn’t pronounce it “Kate-lyn”, like most Aussie parents would. They’d pronounce it more like “Kat-leen”. (Or perhaps even “Koyt-leen” or “Kotch-leen”, depending on what part of Ireland they’re from.)
“Not the ‘a’ as in Kate, but the Irish ‘a’, which is flatter,” explains Tomas, a spokesperson for Irish cultural organisation The Aisling Society of Sydney.