Caite Means “Used Up” in Irish

It also means “spent”, “wasted”, “squandered”, “passed”, “worn”, “worn out”, “consumed”, “thrown (away from one)”… all that kind of thing, both in Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It’s the past participle of “caith”.

Don’t just fiddle around respelling Irish names. There may be unintended consequences.

Don’t trust baby name books. They lie. A lot.

And if somebody else named you… providing you with mortification opportunities is just part of what parents do. ;)

This has been a Celtic Service Announcement.

UPDATE explaining what brought this on:

It’s a reasonably popular name (a good couple million Google results even when you eliminate the most common stuff), so nobody who holds it is alone. Some people use it as an abbreviated form, while others use it as a hip respelling of Caitlin (Kathleen) or of Kate/Katie. (Celticky spelling being hip right now.) It’s not in the top 1000 baby names in the US yet, though.

It’s an outgrowth of not pronouncing Caitlin the Irish way (Kathleen, more or less). So ultimately, it’s probably Airwolf’s Fault. Or soap operas. Whichever grabbed the name first. :) One of the Amazing Race participants this year spells her abbreviated name that way, and she’s not alone. But garsh, nobody in Ireland or Scotland names their baby “Caite”. (I checked their national stats pages.)

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Caite Means “Used Up” in Irish

  1. *takes a moment*
    Mangling of “Katie”?

  2. Noah D

    …so, what’s ‘Doyle’ really mean, then?

    (he said, with some trepidation…)

    • Well, I’ve certainly heard that Doyle is an Anglicization (Norman-icization?) of Dubhghall (Dougal) for most people. No shame there. That name probably means “dark foreigner”. It’s a fairly old name and Anglicization. (The Anglicization is Dowell or Dougal over in Scotland, which is a nice historical phonetics lesson.) Here’s some info on the basic name: http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/mari/AnnalsIndex/Masculine/Dubgall.shtml

      There’s also an unrelated French name that comes from d’Ouilly (Ouilly is a place in Normandy), thanks to a Norman knight who came over to England with the Conqueror.

      And one house of the Irish congress/parliament is called the Dail, which for various phonetic reasons is pronounced “doil”. :)

      But there’s no Y in Irish, so you don’t have to worry about any bizarre verb forms showing up. :)

  3. Noah D

    I’d heard the ‘dark foreigner’ meaning before, too, but I wasn’t sure. :)

    I’ve also heard that the ‘dark foreigners’ were Scandinavian, which seems…odd.

    • Some Scandinavians are fairhaired and fair complexioned; others tend more toward dark hair and (comparatively) dark complexion. Since the Irish liked to think of themselves as blond….

      However, it’s still possible that another -gal name particle was being used.

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