The name Catherine is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "pure". Catherine is ranked #204 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".
From the experts:
Catherine is one of the oldest and most consistently well-used girls’ names, with endless variations and nicknames. The Catherine form feels more gently old-fashioned and feminine than the more popular K versions. Most stylish nickname for Catherine right now: Kate...or Cate, a la Blanchett.
While the popularity of the Catherine form has been waning in favor of Katherine with a K, we think that might turn around since Catherine Middleton, who reportedly hates the name Kate and never uses it, became the wife of Prince William and put a modern, stylish gloss on her already classy name.
The Catherine spelling was a Top 100 name until the millennium; it reached as high as Number 18 in the 19-teens.
Catherine has been well used throughout history for saints (one of whom, Catherine of Alexandria is the patron saint of philosophers, students, craftsmen, nurses,and librarians), queens, and commoners alike.
Catherine has also been associated with some of the great romantic heroines of literature, including Heathcliff's love in Wuthering Heights and the passionate nurse Catherine Barkley in Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.
And if your're wondering why all those interchangeable C's and K's, it's because when the name was introduced into Anglo-Saxon Britain, Catherine was spelled with a C because the letter K did not yet exist in the English alphabet.
Parents may also want to consider one of the attractive foreign variations, such as Caterina.
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16 names similar to Catherine
These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Catherine. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Catherine, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!