- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Katherine: "pure" Origin of Katherine: Greek Katherine's Popularity in 2017: #105

The name Katherine is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "pure". Katherine is ranked #105 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Classic Girl Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Elimination CAF".

From the experts:

Katherine is one of the oldest, most diverse, and all-around best names: it's powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, and adaptable. Long one of the top girls' names starting with K, Katherine has now been unseated on the popularity list by upstarts Kennedy and Kinsley, but a dip in popularity only adds to its charm.

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.

Find other names based on Katherine using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Katherine

Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt
Katherine, Princess of Greece and Denmark, daughter of Constantine I
Katherine Anne "Katie" Couric, American newscaster
Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand fiction writer
Katherine Grace "Kat" 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 Marie Heigl, American actress
Katherine Jenkins, Welsh operatic mezzo-soprano
Katherine Sian Moennig, American actress
Katherine Elizabeth Webb, American model
Katherine Murray "Kate" Millett, American feminist author
Katherine Kiernan Maria "Kate" Mulgrew, American actress
Katherine Emily "Kate" Hewlett, Canadian actress
Katherine Rundell, British author
Katherine Elizabeth "Kate" Upton, American model
Katherine Ryan, Canadian-British comedienne
Katherine Frances "Katy" Brand, English actress
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 Clairy Batis, Crown Princess of Yugoslavia as wife of Crown Prince Alexander
Katherine Tudor, Princess of England, daughter of King Henry VII
Katherine Kelly, English Actress
Katherine "Katie" Beth Nolan, American sports personality and television host
Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of journalist Maria Shriver and actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger
Katherine Langford, Australian actress
Katherine Ellen "Kath" Soucie, American actress
Katherine Johnson, African-American NASA computer, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
Katherine Swati Kaling (b. 2017), daughter of actress/writer Mindy Kaling
Katherine Bowes-Lyon, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II
Katherine Uchida, Canadian rhythmic gymnast
Katherine Ann Cimorelli, Bass guitarist/singer in the band Cimorelli

Pop Culture References for the name Katherine

Katherine "Kate" Houghton Beckett, main character on TV's "Castle"
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" Anne Pryde, also known as Shadowcat, character in Marvel Universe
Katherine "Kat" Hillard, second Pink Ranger in the Power Rangers series
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
Katherine "kissing Kate" Barlow, character in Louis Sachar's "Holes"
Katherine "Katie" Abbott Newman, daughter of Victoria Newman & Billy Abbott on "The Young and the Restless"
Katherine "Kate" Kane aka Batwoman, DC Comics superhero.
Katherine "Kate" Sanders, character in TV series "Lizzie McGuire"
Katherine Warren, character in the "Resident Evil" video game series


Bella Mia Says:


All I can notice at the moment is Katherine Pierce in The Vampire Diaries. The name states that it means 'pure'. The character, however, is anything but pure. What irony!

ridersienna Says:


Katherine is a name I’m really warming up to recently, especially with the popularity of Katie and Kate it sounds more elegant and just beautifully classic. I would use the nickname Katya/Katia to spice it up a little bit!

I'm a Banana Says:


Now it's 4

Daiseymae Says:


My youngest is named Katherine! I think it is a beautiful name no matter how popular it has become. The name never goes out of style.

bordercollie Says:


You can't go wrong with Katherine, it's such a classic name.

SquirrelKat Says:


I was born in 1988 and I've always appreciated that there were very few people I knew with the name Katherine. Up to around 1st grade people wanted to call me Katie, but I resisted it. It was so common and white/blonde which didn't represent my ethnicity/identity(Mexican). Kat is what I've gone by since elementary school. It's more casual but I love the authority I can present with the name Katherine. I've always noticed Catherine's tend to be blonde and Katherine's are usually brunette with Kathryn in between. It's popularity is booming with adult 20-something characters named Katherine. Not to mention the book, "An Abundance of Katherine's" I've also been fascinated with other names associated with it, like Elizabeth.

Daiseymae Says:


That is the name of my youngest daughter who is now 7. You are right that they are everywhere.

Tillie_Jay Says:


When I here this name I instantly think of Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries.

meaganegibson Says:


I love this name as a middle name. It goes beautifully with so many names

foreverharriet Says:


I absolutely adore this name, both this spelling and the C spelling. It's timelessly elegant and beautiful and versatile. I love the nickname Kit/Kitty as well as Katie and Kate. Any future daughter is highly likely to have this name.

Berry cool names Says:


Make it 3

kpearl8 Says:


Lol, my mom wanted me to be called Kate, but I hate it (I go by Katie or Katherine in full). You can only control nicknames up to a point.

kpearl8 Says:


My name :) I didn't like it as a child because it blended in with all the other super popular Ka- names. I found it boring and common. However now I appreciate it as a classic with more weight and elegance than the endless Kayla's, Kaylee's, and Kaitlyn's, etc. I'll still go with something more unique for my own kids though ^^.

headintheclouds Says:


As a little girl I wished my name was Katherine. I think it's just one of the best names out there. I love the simplicity, elegance and timelessness of it, its richness of great namesakes and meaning in history, and the nickname Kate (I'm not too keen on Kat or Katie though). There's a quote in one of the Anne of Green Gables books where Anne says something to the effect of Katherine with a K sounding so much warmer than the colder, more regal Catherine with a C, and I've always agreed- Catherine is an all-right name to me, while I love Katherine.

That Creepy Stalker Named Tess Says:


Oh I'm sorry, just don't read the comments ;)

Katherine Yeh Says:


I agree with you, Katherine Visgilio.

ThistleThorn Says:


I love this name, I also love the nickname Kit, it's so much more unexpected than Kate and Katie.

PuppyPaw Says:


Me too. It's a lovely name.

Aethelflaed Says:


Victoria, Katherine, and Peter are all beautiful classical names. So is Richard - a name for all seasons.

Katherine Visgilio Says:


its kinda harsh to see al these people saying they hate my name

Katherine Visgilio Says:


but offensive to those named Katherine.. like me :/

Catastroffy Says:


I wouldn't call Victoria or Peter overused or boring. I've never met a single Victoria, and hardly any Peters. I find Peter very fresh and handsome, although I do find Richard rather ugly.

Guest Says:


I know LOTS of young Victorias!

Essa Says:


I know quite a few in their late teens/early 20s but I suppose I don't know any younger than that so you're right, a baby Victoria would probably stand out. I see the strength in this name but none of the beauty you mention, I think the harsh V and ct sounds make it quite ugly and more masculine sounding which I guess is probably why I prefer the masculine Victor over Victoria. I just don't get it!

Guest Says:


Idk why I like the C version more. What's the difference really?

LowSlash Says:


I agree that Richard and Peter are common, but I know very few Victorias, and none under the age of 25. I think it's a strong and beautiful name, and a baby Victoria born today probably won't have many peers with the same name.

Essa Says:


A name I've just never seen the appeal of. There are far too many Katherines (and other various spellings) out there.

I'd definitely place it with Victoria, Peter and Richard. 3 other names which are far too over used for how boring and ugly a name they are.

Sorry to all you Katherines, Victorias, Richards and Peters out there but I just can't cope with how unappealing your names are.

That Creepy Stalker Named Tess Says:


I don't like Kate at all but I do like Kat, Cat, and Katie. Hmmm...

That Creepy Stalker Named Tess Says:



Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Only the first syllable.

clairels Says:


A while back it occurred to me that it sounds like "catheter."

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Katherine is a very fine name, but I hear of and meet so many Katherines. It's everywhere!

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Me too.

Leah3456 Says:


This is my preferred spelling of the name. My favorite nicknames for this name are Kate and Katie.

DearestJules Says:


I am so bored of this name, honestly.

jasminegarden Says:


My favourite spelling of this name, it's the most beautiful in my opinion.

HatGirl Says:


This is my middle name they call me Anna Kate! I spell it like this also! I wanna name my child this and give them the nicname kate. but i don't like kat or katie

AnonymousPerson Says:


I love this name. With a K, it makes me think of a tall, spirited, and spunky girl. It has plenty of nickname possibilities, too. There Kath and Kathy, evidently, as well as more unusual variations. My favourite nickname for this is Kat.