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Katherine is a feminine name, which is popular in historically Christian countries, owing to its having been the name of one of the first Christian saints, Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Origin and meaning

The name is derived from the Greek name Αἰκατερίνη (Aikaterínē), of debated origin and meaning. Theories include:
  • from the Greek (catharsis) see Aristotle's Poetics, meaning to purge or to cleanse - pure/purity of emotion
  • from ἑκάτερος (hekáteros), meaning each of the two, singly
  • from the goddess Hecate.
  • from the Greek word αἰκία (aikía) injurious treatment


The Romans, through folk etymology, associated the name with the Greek καθαρός (katharós) pure which led to the variant spelling Katharine/Katharina.

Katherine is first recorded in England in 1196 having been brought back from the Crusades. The spelling Katharine is more popular in the United Statesmarker than in Britainmarker, and was also more popular in the past . The form Catherine, corresponding with the French version, is also common in English. Less common variants in English include Katheryn, Kathryn, Katharyn, Katherin, Catharine, and Cathryn. The form Karen, of Danish origin, is now often considered an English name in its own right. Diminutives include Katie, Katy, Kate, Kathy, Kath, Kay, Kat, Katya, Katyusha, Kitty, Kit, and others.

Variants



See also



References

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/katherine
  2. View Name: Katherine
  3. Withycombe (1976)


  • Withycombe, E. G. (1976) The Concise Dictionary of English Christian Names; 3rd ed. London: Omega Books. ISBN 1-855007-059-8



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