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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.

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 6 years ago from Canada

      Happy International Women's Day Catherine.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 6 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.

    • canoz profile image

      Heather Bradford 6 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.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

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

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 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 6 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.

    • steveko profile image

      steveko 6 years ago

      My wife was named Catherine Mary,

      Other nicknames include: Cass, Cassy

    • KamalaEmbroidery profile image

      KamalaEmbroidery 6 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.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 6 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!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 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.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 6 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.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 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 6 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

    • Missy Zane profile image

      Missy Zane 6 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!

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 6 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for sharing.

    • BelindaBlevins profile image

      BelindaBlevins 6 years ago

      great lens