Catherine: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Catherine

Catherine

Pronunciation: KA-thrin, KA-thə-rin (key)

Origin of the name Catherine:

English cognate of the Greek Aikaterinē, which is derived from katharos (pure, unsullied). Catherine has remained a perennially popular name and has been borne by many saints and members of European nobility. Var: Catharine, Cathryn.

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US Popularity of Catherine Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Catherine: | Edit

Three of King Henry VIII's wives were named Catherine. The name has always been somewhat popular, though more so in the middle ages than now, but expect it to gain some in popularity now that Catherine Middleton is the wife of Prince William and will likely be a future queen of England.

Personal experiences with the name Catherine: | Edit

My daughter's name is Catherine (2). We get a ton of compliments on it and call her by the full Catherine. We know a ton of girls that go by Kate or Katie, and we don't know any others that use the "C" spelling. I took some grief with the C because I am Greek, and the Greeks like the "K", but I personally think that the "C" is a much softer, feminine spelling. This is a lovely, timeless name that will take her anywhere she wants to go in life!

However, in Anne of Green Gables, Anne famously supports the "Katherine with a K" spelling over the "Catherine with a C." It's a surprisingly influential opinion and you're sure to meet a number of people who cite her and her logic on this matter.

My name is Catherine, and I have always loved it, and you can get so many nicknames from it! I got Katie as a child, Cat as a teenager and now I am an adult I get Cate.

My name is Catherine and I HATED it for 20 years. I wanted people to call me Kate, but everyone called me Cath or Caff (hate that even more). It's only in the last couple of years that it finally grew on me and I can actually now say that I love the name Catherine. I think it's elegant and royal and I'm even considering passing it onto my future daughter as a first name.

Nicknames for Catherine: | Edit

Kate, Cate, Kat, Cat, Kit, Kitty, Cathi, Kathy, Cathy, Cath, Kath, Kathie, Cathie, Katie, Catie, Caty, Katydid, Kay, Wren/ Rin, Caff, Tift

Meanings and history of the name Catherine: | Edit

CAS is a nickname for Catherine - two relatives use CAS.

Famous real-life people named Catherine: | Edit

Catherine Bell, American actress
Catherine "Cate" Blanchett, Australian actress
Catherine "Kate" Bosworth, American actress
Catherine Deneuve, French actress
Catherine Keener, American actress
Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine Oxenberg, American actress
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Welsh actress
Catherine "Tift" Merritt, American singer

Catherine in song, story & screen: | Edit

Catherine Earnshaw "Cathy", and her daughter Catherine Linton, characters in the classic novel "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë
Catherine Trammell, protagonist of the film "Basic Instinct"
Lady Catherine de Burgh, in Pride & Prejudice
Catherine Chandler, main character in the 1980s TV series "Beauty and the Beast", played by Linda Hamilton
"Catherine", novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
Catherine "Kitty" Bennet, youngest sister of Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice".
"Catherine", a novella written by Jane Austen during her teenaged years.
A Catherine wheel is a type of wheel-shaped firework, named after St. Catherine of Alexandria, who legend says was tortured on a spiked wheel.
Catherine Lightfoot (Richard Hammond's girlfriend in Top Gear)
Catherine, the sister of Myrtle Wilson in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
Catherine Barkley, the love interest of "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway

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