What does Katherine mean?
Katherine \k(a)-theri-ne, kath(e)-rine\ as a girls' name is pronounced KATH-rin, KATH-er-rin. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Katherine is "pure". From the word "katharos". The name may also have come from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of magic. Yet another possible source is Greek "aikia", "torture". All these meanings are likely associated with Saint Aikaterine of Alexandria (fourth century), who was born a pagan but died as a Christian martyr. A name in use since at least the third century AD. The early Latin forms Katerina and Caterina became Katharine and Catherine. The French Cateline and English Catlyn came into wider use during the medieval period, and variant spellings and forms were endless. It has been borne by illustrious women such as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, an early martyr; Empress Catherine the Great of Russia; and three of Henry VIII's six wives. Preference in modern times is for the K- spelling, which is closest to the original Greek versions. Actresses Catherine Oxenburg, Catherine Deneuve, Katharine Hepburn, Catherine Zeta-Jones; skater Katarina Witt.
Katherine has 192 variants: Cait, Caitlin▲, Caitlinn, Caitrin, Caitrine, Caitriona, Caitrionagh, Caity, Caren▼, Cari▼, Carin, Caron, Caronne, Carren, Carri, Carrin, Carron, Caryn▼, Carynn, Cass, Cassey, Cassi, Cassie▼, Cat, Cataleen, Cataleena, Catalin, Catalina▲, Cataline, Catarina, Catarine, Cate, Cateline, Caterina, Cathaleen, Cathaline, Catharin, Catharina, Catharine▼, Catharyna, Catharyne, Cathee, Cathelina, Catherina, Catherine, Catheryn, Cathie▼, Cathirin, Cathiryn, Cathleen▼, Cathline, Cathlyne, Cathrine▼, Cathrinn, Cathryn▼, Cathrynn, Cathy▼, Cathye, Cati, Catie, Catina, Catlaina, Catreen, Catreina, Catrin, Catrina▼, Catrine, Catriona, Catrionagh, Catryna, Caty, Cay, Caye, Ekaterina, Kaatje, Kait, Kaitee, Kaitie, Kaitlin▼, Kaitlinn, Kaitlyn▲, Kaitrin, Kaitrine, Kaitrinn, Kaitrinna, Kaitriona, Kaity, Karen▼, Karena, Kari▼, Karin▼, Karon▼, Karri, Karrin, Karyn▼, Karynn, Kas, Kasia, Kasienka, Kasja, Kaska, Kass, Kassi, Kassia, Kassie▼, Kasya, Kat, Kata, Kataleen, Katalin, Katalina, Katarina▼, Katchen, Kate▲, Katee, Katell, Katelle, Katena, Katenka, Katerina, Katey, Katha, Katharine▼, Katharyn, Kathee, Kathelina, Katheline, Katherin, Katherina, Katheryn▼, Katheryne, Kathi▼, Kathie▼, Kathileen, Kathirin, Kathiryn, Kathirynn, Kathleen▼, Kathlene, Kathleyn, Kathline, Kathlyne, Kathrene, Kathrina, Kathrine▼, Kathrinna, Kathryn▼, Kathryne▼, Kathrynn, Kathy▼, Kathyrine, Kati▼, Katica, Katie▼, Katina, Katinka, Katka, Katla, Katlaina, Katleen, Katline, Katoushka, Katouska, Katrena, Katria, Katriana, Katriane, Katrien, Katrina▼, Katrine, Katriona, Katrionagh, Katrya, Katryna, Katushka, Katy▼, Katya, Kay▼, Kaye▼, Kaylin▲, Kit, Kittey, Kitti, Kittie▼, Kitty▼, Rina, Trina▼, Trinchen, Trine, Trinette, Yekaterin and Yekaterina.
Katherine has 22 more different forms via Cateline, Catherine, Catlyn, Katharine: Catelinn, Caterine, Catheirn, Cathelin, Cathelle, Cathenne, Catheren, Catherin, Catherinn, Cathern, Cathlene, Cathryne, Catline, Catrice, Katelan, Katelijn, Katelin▼, Katelyn▲, Katelynn▲, Katerinka, Katharyne and Katherynn.
Katherine is a very prominent first name for women (#61 out of 4276, Top 1%) but an uncommon last name for all people. (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Katherine for girls. Katherine reached its top rank of #25 in the U.S. in the year 1991, and is currently at #83. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Katherine and affiliated names. Caitlin (#496 the previous year), Caren, Cari, Caron, Carri, Caryn, Cassie, Catalina (#365), Caterina, Catharine, Catherine (#170), Cathie, Cathleen, Cathrine, Cathryn, Cathy, Catina, Catrina, Catriona, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn (#158), Karen (#492), Kari, Karin, Karina (#429), Karon, Karri, Karyn, Kassie, Katalina (#823), Katarina, Kate (#207), Katelin, Katelyn (#172), Katelynn (#567), Katerina, Katharine, Katheryn, Kathi, Kathie, Kathleen (#674), Kathrine, Kathryn (#293), Kathryne, Kathy, Kati, Katie (#280), Katina, Katrina, Katy, Kay, Kaye, Kayla (#102), Kaylin (#547), Kittie, Kitty and Trina are the popular varying forms of Katherine (#83 the previous year). Adoption of these girl names reached its most widespread during the years 1980-1989 and has become much less since, with versions such as Kaitlin, Karen, Kathleen, Katie and Katrina falling out of style. The more fashionable girl names here are Catalina (#365), Kaitlyn (#158), Kate (#207), Katelyn (#172) and Kayla (#102), with Catalina and Kate going through a rebound in usage. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)