Katherine is one of the oldest, most diverse, and all-around best names: it's powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, and adaptable. Katherine also has a profusion of spellings, short forms, and admirable namesakes. The Katherine spelling has been the preferred one in recent years, though Catherine (now associated with the Duchess of Cambridge) has a gentle vintage appeal, while the Katharine spelling relates to actress Kate Hepburn. Sleeker, more modern-feeling Kathryn has in fact been used for centuries and is still popular if not exactly stylish, and the Irish have favored Kathleen.
Katherine has been used for countless literary figures over the centuries, from the spirited heroine of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew to the BFF in Fifty Shades of Grey to characters on TV's Castle and The Vampire Diaries.
Martin Short and Tim Allen have daughters named Katherine.
A profusion of nicknames includes Kate, Katie, Kathy, Kath, Kat, Kitty, Kay, and Kick. Among international variations are Catriona, Catarina, and Katrina. Two literary namesakes are Katherine Anne Porter and Katherine Mansfield.