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.
English, Scottish, and Irish: from Middle English whit ‘white’, hence a nickname for someone with white hair or an unnaturally pale complexion. In some cases it represents a Middle English personal name, from an Old English byname, Hwīt(a), of this origin. As a Scottish and Irish surname it has been widely used as a translation of the many Gaelic names based on bán ‘white’ (see Bain 1) or fionn ‘fair’ (see Finn 1). There has also been some confusion with Wight.