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Gender: F Meaning of Katherine: "pure" Origin of Katherine: Greek Katherine's Popularity in 2014: #83

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.

Famous People Named Katherine

Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand fiction writer
Katherine McNamara, American Actress
Katherine Anne Porter (born Callie Russell Porter), American novelist
Katherine "Kate" Chopin, American novelist
Katherine Evelyn Anita "Katie" Cassidy, American actress
Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric, American newscaster
Katherine Marie Heigl, American actress
Katherine Jenkins, Welsh operatic mezzo-soprano
Katherine Sian Moennig, American actress
Katherine Elizabeth Webb, American model
Katherine Elizabeth "Kate" Upton, American model
Katherine Ryan, Canadian-British comedienne
Katherine Frances "Katy" Brand, English actress
Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of journalist Maria Shriver and actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger
Katherine Marlea Clark, U.S. Congresswoman from Massachusetts
Katherine Harris, U.S. Congresswoman from Florida
Katherine Esau, German-American botanist
Katherine Mary Dunham, American dancer
Katherine Jane Parkinson, English actress
Katherine "Kate" Ritchie, Australian actress
Katherine, Princess of Greece and Denmark, daughter of Greece's Constantine I
Katherine, Crown Princess of Yugoslavia, wife of Crown Prince Alexander
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt
Katherine Kelly, English Actress
Katherine Howard, the ill-fated Queen, 5th wife of Henry VIII of England

Pop Culture References for the name Katherine

Katherine "Kitty" Freemont, character in Leon Uris' "Exodus"
Katerina Petrova aka Katherine Pierce, character on TV's 'The Vampire Diaries'
Katherine Solomon, character in 'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown
Katherine "Kitty" Forman, character on TV's "That 70s show"
Katherine Mayfair, character on TV's 'Desperate Housewives'
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, character in X-Men comics
Katherine "Kat" Hillard, second Pink Ranger in the Power Rangers series
Katherine "Kate" Beckett, character on TV's 'Castle'
Katherine Glendenning, character on TV's 'The Paradise'
Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh, minor character in '50 Shades of Grey" series
Katherine, daughter in Shakespeare's "Henry V"
Katherine "Kate", character in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"
Katherine 'Kate' Austen, character on TV's "Lost"
"An Abundance of Katherines," novel by John Green
Katherine "Kay" Corleone, character in "The Godfather" series
Katherine "Kate," character in 'Mortal Engines' by Philip Reeve
"Katherine," 1975 movie and main character
Katherine Plumber, character in Disney's Newsies