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Katherine is a traditionally feminine name with roots in Latin, Irish/Gaelic, and Greek. Its original form in Latin is Katharina; in Greek, Aikaterina. Variants include Katerina, Ekaterina, Caterina, Catherine, Catherine, Catlyn, Caitlin, Katelyn, Kate, Kathryn, Katrin, Katrina, even the French Cateline. It means "pure" or "clear" — names with similar meanings include Ainsley, Arjuna, Blakely, Bianca, Gwen, Jennifer, and Zuri.

There were multiple Saint Catherines, including Catherine of Alexandria, a martyr in the 300s who was tortured to death on a spiked wheel. Katherine is also the name of French King and Queen Charles and Isabel's daughter in Shakespeare's "King Henry V" as well as the protagonist (aka Kate) in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."

Other famous Katherines in history and pop culture include actors Katharine Hepburn, Kathy Bates, Catherine O'Hara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Catherine Keener, Katherine Moennig, Catherine Deneuve, Katherine Heigl, and Kathy Najimy; as well as comedian Kathy Griffin and musician Katy Perry.

Katherine in quotes:

"For by this light, whereby I see thy beauty—
Thy beauty that doth make me like thee well—
Thou must be married to no man but me,
For I am he am born to tame you, Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.
Here comes your father. Never make denial.
I must and will have Katherine to my wife."
— Petruchio in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew"

“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had." — Shirley Jackson, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle"

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." — Katharine Hepburn


English Baby Names Meaning:

In English Baby Names the meaning of the name Katherine is: Pure. Used since third century A. D. Early Latin forms Katerina and Caterina became Katharine and Catherine. French Cateline and English Catlyn came into wider use during medieval period when variants multiplied.

Greek Baby Names Meaning:

In Greek Baby Names the meaning of the name Katherine is: Form of the Greek Catherine meaning pure.

Irish Baby Names Meaning:

In Irish Baby Names the meaning of the name Katherine is: Pure. Clear. From the Gaelic form Caitlin.

Latin Baby Names Meaning:

In Latin Baby Names the meaning of the name Katherine is: Pure, clear. Form of the Latin 'Katharina', from the Greek 'Aikaterina'. It was borne by a number of saints, including St Catherine of Alexandria, a 4th century martyr who suffered torture on a spiked wheel.

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