Short form of Eugene, now used as a boy's given name in its own right, especially in North America. It has been made familiar by film actors such as Gene Autry, Gene Hackman, Gene Kelly, and Gene Wilder. It is also occasionally used as a girl's name, in which case it represents a respelling of Jean.
Irish and Scottish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Néill, a patronymic from the personal name Niall (genitive Néill), thought to mean ‘champion’ (see Neill). In Scotland MacNeills are associated with Barra and Gigha in the Hebrides; some of them went to Antrim and Derry in Ireland.