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International Variations of Katherine

Katherine is one of the most enduring classic baby names for girls. Famous Katherines and Catherines from history include three wives of Henry VIII (Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr), Russian Empress Catherine the Great, and legendary Hollywood actress Katharine Hepburn. Iconic literary Catherines include Catherine "Cathy" Earnshaw from Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Catherine "Kitty" Bennet and Catherine Morland from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, and Catherine Barkley from Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. And Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is a highly influential modern bearer of the classic girl name Catherine.

Along with the truly timeless baby girl names Katherine and Catherine, several other forms of the name rank in the US Top 1000, such as Kate, Kaitlyn or Katelyn, Katie, Katalina and Kathleen.

But there are many beautiful international forms of Katherine that also belong on the list of uncommon and unique baby names for girls. Along with foreign variants like Yekaterina, Catriona and Katrien, there are also plenty of unique nicknames for Katherine to choose from, such as Katya, Kaia and Reina. Discover some of the best international variants of Katherine here.
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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.

KaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    to rejoice
  • Description:

    The new Maia, the next Kayla, Kaia has been on the charts since the year 2000. You might see it as a female form of the also-rising Kai, which means sea in Hawaiian and is sometimes used for girls as well, or as a Kardashianization of the ancient goddess name Caia.

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.

CatalinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    This name of a touristed island in sight of Los Angeles makes an attractive and newly stylish variation on the classic Catherine or overused Caitlin.

KaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    This appealing multi-cultural name, pronounced KYE, is beginning to be used for girls as well as boys. Among its many derivations and meanings: "sea" in Hawaiian, "forgiveness" in Japanese, "willow tree" in Navajo, "food" in Maori, and "earth" in Scandinavian. For girls, it debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2010.
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ReinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, Yiddish or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "queen; pure; wise"
  • Description:

    An appellation for the Virgin Mary, "Queen of the apostles." After three years off the US popularity charts, Reina rejoined the list in 2014, though it lags behind alternate spellings Raina, Rayna, and Reyna. It is also used in Yiddish and in Japanese.

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."

CatrionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic form of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    This Katherine variation, used through Ireland and Scotland, is pronounced like Katrina. The name became popular after the Crusaders brought home stories about the colorful fourth century martyr, Catherine of Alexandria. Its later popularity increased following the success of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1893 Catriona, the sequel to Kidnapped.

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.

KatarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slovak variation of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    The Russian version of Katherine is usually Ekaterina, but this Slovak form is used throughout Eastern Europe and may be more friendly to the American ear.
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KatiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian diminutive of Ekaterina
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    One of the warm and earthy Russian nickname names now coming into style. Denzel Washington is the father of a Katia.

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.

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.

CaterinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Katherine
  • Description:

    If your ancestry is Italian, you may want to consider this elegant twist on a classic.

EkaterinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    This exotic variation was publicized by Olympic skater Ekaterina Gordeeva. Though it's intriguing, it's sure to cause confusion in any English speaking country and in the U.S., all Katrina-sounding names are off the table since the devastating hurricane. Better to go with one of the Katherine variations or another Slavic or Russian name.
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KasiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Polish, diminutive of Katarzyna, form of Katherine
  • Description:

    Attractive but equally exotic alternative to KATYA.

CatarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Portuguese variation of Katherine
  • Description:

    One of the most popular names of all time in Portugal and Brazil, with a romantic, lively sound. The main risk is confusion with other names that sound similar: Catalina, Katrina, and so forth. Caterina, with an "e," is more common in Italy.

KatharinaHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Katherine, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Katherina is an attractive form of Katherine and a great way to update a classic. But English speakers may want to choose the Katerina or Katarina spelling to avoid pronunciation confusion.

CatrinHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh and German
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    The sweet and simple Welsh form of Katherine, long popular in Wales but dropping down the popularity charts now. As a German name, it's a short form of Katharina.
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KatalinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Catalina
  • Description:

    Although we think the Kardashian K here significantly diminishes the connection to the beautiful Southern California island (and makes it less appealing overall), this variation has been catching on since joining the US Top 1000 in 2013.
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CathleenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kathleen
  • Description:

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

KataHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Katariina, Finnish, and Katalin, Hungarian
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    A European nickname for Katherine variations.
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YekaterinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Katherine
  • Description:

    An overly elaborate version for use in this country.
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KatarzynaHeart

  • Origin:

    Polish variation of Catherine
  • Description:

    Countless notable figures from Polish history, and one America's Next Top Model contestant, have used this version of Catherine, made extra spicy by that "zy." Those interested in honoring a relative with the name might want to consider Kasia, Katazyna's lovely (and much more English-friendly) nickname.

KatellHeart

  • Origin:

    Breton variation of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Original twist on this classic.
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KalenahHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish or Hawaiian form of Katherine or Karen
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Kalenah, another form of Kalena, may have a variety of possible derivations, though we see it as one of the many descendants of Katherine.
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