The strong, straightforward Kate (along with her variations) is the most popular nickname for the perennial classic Katherine today, often standing on its own. Some of the world’s most famous women bear the name Kate, which is popular in the US, England, and Ireland. The nickname even has Shakespearean antecedents, in The Taming of the Shrew – “You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst.” How do you get Kate from Katherine, a Greek name meaning pure? One theory is that it’s derived from Hecate, the goddess of magic. The name Kate, ranked in the U.S. Top 200, seems to work magic of its own. Take a look at some of the most famous Kates.
The Australian-born Catherine Élise described herself as “part wallflower” growing up, a far cry from her transformation into Cate, now widely considered one of the greatest actresses in the world, portraying powerful women like QueenElizabeth I. Most recently, she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in WoodyAllen’s BlueJasmine.