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Variations of Katherine

Katherine is one of the most classic names in Western culture. Its variations and nicknames are legion. Here is a collection of choices.
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CatherineHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    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.

KateHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Kate, in the headlines via Catherine Middleton, has been as pervasive as Kathy was in the 1950s and 1960s, both as a nickname for Katherine and Kaitlyn and as a strong, classic stand-alone name. Kate has an image that's independent, smart, and energetic, recalling Kate Hepburn, the heroine of The Taming of the Shrew/Kiss Me Kate, and contemporary Kates Winslet, Hudson, Moss, Spade and Beckinsale. Cate Blanchette has helped popularize that spelling of the name.

KatherineHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    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.

KatieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Friendly mega-popular short form of Katherine that has definitively replaced Kathy, Katie is often given on its own. Going forward, though, Katie is more stylishly clipped itself to the grownup Kate.

KitHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Kit is a crisp, old-time British-accented unisex nickname that sounds fresh and modern today. Kitty is another so-retro-it's-cool nickname.
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KittyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    This endearing nickname name is one Katherine pet form that predates all the Kathys and Katies, having been fairly common in the eighteenth century. With the current mini-craze for animal-related names, Kitty is sounding cute and cuddly again—she's already jumped back onto the U.K. list, at number 199.

KathleenHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized form of Irish Caitlin
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Kathleen is the early Irish import version that came between Katherine and Kaitlin, and which hasn't been used in so long it's almost beginning to sound fresh again. It was a surprise pick by one of the hip Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire. Kathleen was a Top 10 name from 1948 to 1951, and it is the subject of several old sentimental songs, such as "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen."

KatelynHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Caitlin
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    One of the most popular of the trendy Caitlin variations, Katelyn points directly to components Kate and Lyn --making it a bit more traditionally feminine.

CaitlinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    An Irish and Welsh form of Catherine, Caitlin was a boom name of the eighties, rocketing from obscurity (Americans first heard it via the wife of doomed poet Dylan Thomas) to the height of popularity in the space of a decade. The original name was gradually eclipsed by its myriad spelling variations -- Katelyn and Kaitlyn both soon topping it on the popularity lists.

KatrinaHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    The hurricane blew this one out of the realm of possibility.
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KatyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of Ekatarina, Russian variation of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    One of the warm and earthy Russian nickname names now coming into style. Denzel Washington gave his daughter the Katia spelling.

CaitrionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Both Caitriona and Catriona are commonly heard in Scotland and Ireland. The name was brought to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans, and is the source of nicknames Cait, Caitin, Caitlin and Triona. Actress Caitrona Balfe has gained recognition for her role on Outlander. Pronunciation is like Katrina.

KathrynHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Katherine and Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Although the Kathryn spelling feels like a modern streamlining of this ancient royal and saints' name, it is in fact found back through history. At least one of Henry the Eighth's unfortunately wives sometimes spelled her name as Kathryn.

KayHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Description:

    Kay, a cigarette-smoking, nightclubbing name of the 1930's, could be ready for a comeback along with cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae.

KaterinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Macedonian, Czech, Russian, Bulgarian, and Greek form of Katherine
  • Description:

    Katerina and its near-identical twin Katarina have a pleasingly lilting European sound, though for some Americans they may be uncomfortably close to Katrina, which will be linked for a long time to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans.
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CatHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    May be the most modern, stylish Catherine nickname: more unusual than Kate or Cate, with an animal and word name edge. Cat Power is a trendy folksinger.

KatHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive for Katherine, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    We're hearing Kat more and more being used by Katherines who are tired of Kathy, Kate and Katie. Katti or Kattie is another possibility.

CaitHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Caitlin
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Cait, pronounced like more popular sister Kate, is the form used when shortening Caitlin or any of the other Irish and Gaelic Cait-starting variations of Catherine.

CathyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    One of the most popular nicknames of the fifties and sixties -- and who could forget the romantic heroine of "Wuthering Heights"? -- now largely ignored in favor of Cate or Kate.

CateHeart

  • Origin:

    English diminutive of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Time was, even C-starting Catherines who called themselves Kate spelled it with a K, but Cate Blanchett changed all. Cate is now as acceptable as (but not as well used as) Kate. Cait might be short for Caitlin.
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KatharineHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Katherine, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    This is the spelling that old-time film star Katharine Hepburn used, and it's still favored by fans wanting to reference her classic strength and beauty. But in general, it's losing ground to Katherine and even Ms. Hepburn's own favorite short form, Kate.

KathyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Katherine and Kathleen
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    There are lots of Kathy moms and grandmas but very few babies, most of whom are now called Kate or Katie.

KatelynnHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Caitlin
  • Description:

    Caitlin, but with the popular -lynn suffix.

CathleenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kathleen
  • Description:

    Way more unusual, and distinctive, than the now-cliched K version.
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