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Updated March 13, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

  • Greek : Pure

What does Katherine mean and stand for?

The name Katherine is of Greek origin and means "pure." It could either derive from the Greek name Aikaterine or the goddess Hecate. In the early Christian era, Katherine was associated with the Greek word katharos (meaning "pure"). Later, the Latin spelling was changed Katerina to Katharina to reflect the early Christian era.

Syllables: 3

How Popular Is The Name Katherine

Famous people with this first name


According to Social Security Administration data, Katherine is slowly decreasing in popularity. After remaining in the top 50 from before-2000 to 2008, and the top 100 from 2009 to 2016, Katherine has still managed to secure a spot in the top 150.

However, it is the 21st most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Katherine was at its peak popularity in January 2019.

Katherine is a timeless name, appearing in literature, royalty, and history. Despite its decline, Katherine is still the most popular spelling, beating out Kathryn and Catherine. It invokes images of literary namesakes Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine "Kate" Chopin, and Katherine Mansfield, as well as actresses Katherine Grace "Kat" McNamara, Katherine Evelyn Anita "Katie" Cassidy, Katherine Marie Heigl, and Katherine Ellen "Kath" Soucie. Not to mention, both Tim Allen and Martin Short chose the name for their daughters. Katherine has also been a popular choice for fictional characters, appearing in Castles, The Vampire Diaries, That 70's Show, and Desperate Housewives.

Where is it Popular?

Katherine was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Katherine

  • Kat
  • Kate
  • Kath
  • Kathy
  • Katie
  • Kay
  • Kick
  • Kit
  • Kitty

Pairs well with these middle names


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