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The Meaning of Catherine

Updated on October 24, 2013

Everything about Catherine

Hi! I'm Catherine Taylor, also known as Cat or Othercat or CJ or sometimes even Cath. In fact, I hardly ever get called by my given name. To be honest, I never liked my name. I was a tomboy and Catherine is too girly a name for a tomboy. I've gotten so used to nicknames, I don't even turn my head if someone near me says Catherine. I just assume they're talking to someone else.

Recently, I started delving into my family's history. I found out I come from a long line of Catherine's. If my research is correct, I'm the 6th Catherine in my family, and that's just in the last 100 years!

I figured there had to be a reason so many of had this name so I started researching the name Catherine. I was surprised to find it dates back to the time when Greek Gods ruled. I was also surprised to find that Catherine is a very popular name for royalty. I was surprised by a lot of my research and I think you will be too.

In the US, there are 583,219 people named Catherine.

99% of them are women.

How about you?

See results

The Meaning of Catherine


The Many Origins of Catherine

Nobody really knows the true origin of the name Catherine, but that hasn't stopped people from giving their best guess. We know it's derived from a Greek name, but there are questions as to which one. The most likely names are down below. Feel free to click through and explore their meanings.

What's the origin of your name?

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    • LeCordonDude profile image

      LeCordonDude 5 years ago

      So you could say Nuns are very Catherine? lol, based on the meaning of Catherine :) like I like my sugar to be Catherine Cane Sugar

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 5 years ago

      My name is Eleni.

      She was a very ancient goddess of divine light, of the moon, etc. The legend for Helen of Troy is based on such very-very ancient myths.

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 5 years ago

      My father was in love with Barbara Stanwyck, but my mom hated the name Barbara. So they named me Victoria after Victoria Barkley (Barbara Stanwyck) in Big Valley.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      Lovely page about your name and very interesting. I have created a couple lenses about my names too, it is a fun thing to do. Thank you for sharing :)

    • crystalwriter profile image

      Crystal A Murray 5 years ago from Corydon, Indiana, USA

      Great lens I plan to share with my mom whose name is Catherine, and who goes by Cathay with the spelling like the Isle of Cathay (near China I think). You have inspired me to consider creating a lens on my own name (Crystal) if there's not one out there, or just try to make it different if there is.

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      BeautyBagsEtc 5 years ago

      I like this lens, funny and interesting!! My name is SarahJane. Im English but my Dad liked american names (ie double barrell) so I think thats part of the reason why I ended up with my name. Sarah means princess and Jane means god is gracious I think. Oh and my Nan was a Catherine.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Wow! Can't add to that now can I! Thanks for sharing your story. I think you couldn't have been named in a finer fashion. Good on ya, Catheine, the Pure and Noble squid!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Caught my eye since my Great Grandmother is Catherine and so many others have been named after her in my family. We love the name and of course my Great Grandmother. Most of us carry the name as our middle name. Thanks for a nice lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My name is Katherine Mary (named after my great grandmother Mary Catherine, although my mom liked the K spelling better). Catherine's have been in my family (Welsh) for many generations. As a kid I wouldn't answer to anything but Katherine (nowdays I'm much more flexible!)

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      My grandmother was Catherine, and my sister has Catherine for a middle name. A lovely name clearly held by lovely people :)

    • Shana rios Chavez profile image

      Shana rios Chavez 5 years ago

      great lens I am a shana and i have never looked it up hmmm maybe another lens coming

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      I am just a happy little cat. My parents liked the fact it meant pure.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I'm Nancy, and I just added your lens to my related lenses on the lens about my name. Merry Christmas dear friend, and this lens is blessed!

    • NYtoSCimjustme profile image

      NYtoSCimjustme 5 years ago

      I'm Catherine also, after my maternal grandmother. I always felt it a bit too formal for me too, but as I get older, I like having the 'class & style' I always associated with the name... even if the real person isn't all that classy and stylish :) I was always more of a tomboy too... Loving this page!

    • BelindaBlevins profile image

      BelindaBlevins 5 years ago

      My dad used to date a woman named Linda. So when I was born, he insisted that my name would be Belinda

    Nicknames for Catherine









    As a child, my Grandpa used to lovingly call me his Katydid. I always thought it was a type of flower.

    Nope. It's a bug!

    Catherine Who?

    Famous Women Named Catherine

    Catherine is a historical name dating back many centuries. Famous women named Catherine include members of royalty, saints, actresses, writers, members of government, athletes, astronauts, inventors and even Miss America contestants. I've chosen 9 of those famous women to feature here. Do you recognize them? Click each one for more information.

    Photo Credits can be found here.

    This Catherine has a beautiful voice!

    Catherine Feeney is one of my favorite singers. Her songs are honest and written with feeling. Plus she has an amazing voice. Listen for yourself!

    Even the moon is named Catherine

    Well, maybe not the whole moon.

    And it's a actually a different version of the name Catherine.

    Meet Catharina! A 100km wide crater located on the southern highlands of the moon.

    Fictional Characters named Catherine

    Catherine is such a great name, even authors and screen-play writers can't help but to use it. Many fictional characters in books, movies and tv shows are named Catherine. If you know of one, add it to this list!

    Catherine in Chinese

    Let's go to Catherine, Alabama - Population 22

    A markerCatherine, Alabama -
    Catherine, Alabama
    get directions

    Are you a Catherinette?

    On November 25, all the catherinette's are invited to create a special hat, attend a fancy ball and then place their hat on a St. Catherine of Alexandria statue.

    So what's a catherinette?

    Any woman still unmarried at the age of 25.

    Go ahead! Try it!

    Something happened while writing this lens...

    I fell in love with my name!

    I realized that Catherine is actually a strong beautiful name.

    It's a name to be proud of!

    Photo Credits

    Catherine Zeta-Jones: Artist: John Harrison.

                                        Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

    Catherine The Great: Louis Caravaque

    Catherine of Aragon: Lucas Hornebolte

    Saint Catherine of Siena: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

    Catherine de' Medici: François Clouet

    Katherine Heigl: Artist: Luke Ford

                              Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic

    Catherine Middleton: Artist: Pat Pilon

                                     Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

    Catherine Bell: Linda D. Kozaryn

    Katydid: Ettore Balocchi

    Finger Spelling: Cwterp

    Catharina: EricandHolli

    Names aren't something that parents choose on a whim. Most are pondered and studied and worried about for months before the right one is chosen. Some people name their children after someone famous. Some use a family name. Some choose a name because it's popular at that time.

    I'll start things rolling with my own story. My parents didn't even name me. When my Mom went into labor, absolutely nothing went right. Long story short, my parents and 4 year old sister, Lisa, ended up in an abandoned building somewhere outside Cambridge. My Dad delivered me and then handed me to my sister so he could take care of my Mom. I can just imagine my sister sitting there holding me, feeling awe because she finally got to meet the baby in her Mommy's belly. As she sat there holding me, she must have been thinking of the two people she missed most, our Great Grandma Catherine and our Grandma Joyce (called Grandma JoJo) because when she handed me back to our Dad, she informed him that my name was Catherine Jo.

    So that's my story. What's yours?

    How do you feel about your name? - Would you be willing to write about it?

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      • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

        Happy International Women's Day Catherine.

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        Edutopia 5 years ago

        That is a lot more info about Catherine than I ever thought I'd know. Always been interested in the etymology of names though.

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        Heather Bradford 5 years ago from Canada

        I think it's a beautiful thing that your sister named you so spontaneously. We tossed up on 2 names for our son and after he was born we decided on Tristan. My husband bent to welcome our little blessing into the world and said tenderly "Hello Callum" and as our eyes met we knew that he had just chosen his own name instead! He loves his name, Callum Tristan.

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        Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

        Oh, and we must not forget the beautiful Catherine Deneuve!

      • Frischy profile image

        Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

        My name is Kathryn. I did not like it as a child, but it has grown on me over the years. My favorite spelling is Katherine. You forgot my favorite, Katharine Hepburn!

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        what an interesting facts about your name,Catherine! I think my parents are a genius to give me such a nice&unique name:] but peoples often made fun of my first name-Iffa as FIFA(the football thing)or Emirah is often confused with Amirah-_- btw,it's a good thing to know about your name's origin,everyone should be proud of their own name..Cheers!

      • LouisaDembul profile image

        LouisaDembul 5 years ago

        I think Catherine is a very beautiful name! When I was pregnant I read a lot about names and their meaning, it is really interesting. A name also has to sound right when you say it out loud.

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        steveko 5 years ago

        My wife was named Catherine Mary,

        Other nicknames include: Cass, Cassy

      • KamalaEmbroidery profile image

        KamalaEmbroidery 5 years ago

        I love my name. I first started loving the name Catherine when I visited Siena, Italy and learned about St. Catherine of Siena. She was a warrior and very strong - nothing weak or girly-girl about her.

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        Heather B 5 years ago

        My middle name is Kathryn and I adore it. You did an excellent job on this lens - I hope other people jump on the bandwagon as well!

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        Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

        I love my name, and I love yours too. In fact Kathleen is my middle name, one of the variations. I love it too.

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        sojourner-1 5 years ago

        I like my name. I was named after Jacqueline Kennedy. Quite the name to follow. It's my middle name I have issues with... ; )

      • lasertek lm profile image

        lasertek lm 5 years ago

        I like my name because of its uniqueness. Thanks for sharing.

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        Loraine Brummer 5 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

        So happy you decided to love your name because I thought it was beautiful right when I began reading this lens. Your big sister knew what she was doing when she named you. Very nice lens, Catherine.

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        TravelingRae 5 years ago

        I love the name Catherine and would consider it for a daughter. I used to prefer it spelled with a K, but now I'm more enamoured with the C-spelling. I created a lens about my own name, Rae.

      • Thrinsdream profile image

        Thrinsdream 5 years ago

        I loved this lens it made me smile. So we are moon craters of purity!yey go us! With thanks and appreciation. Cathii x

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        Missy Zane 5 years ago

        I don't like my name (don't ask!), but I love this lens. Maybe I will write about it. Thanks for the idea!

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        jeremykim2011 5 years ago

        Great lens! Thanks for sharing.

      • BelindaBlevins profile image

        BelindaBlevins 5 years ago

        great lens