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Catherine (f) This name began as a word of unknown
origin but was early associated with a Greek word meaning ‘pure.’ In Greek the name begins with a k; in languages such as French and Italian it begins with c. Since its introduction into the English-speaking world both spellings have been used, together with internal variations as seen in Catharine.

Some of the forms used in Scotland include: Catherine, Kathryn, Katherine, Katharine, Kathrine, Catharine, Kathrynn, The spelling confusion extends to Kathleen (Irish Caitlin), a diminutive of Catherine. This can appear also as Kathaleen, Kathalien, Katheleen, Kathieleen, Kathien, Kathlyn, Cathaleen, Cathelene, Catheline, Cathleen.

Catherine is a favourite name throughout the Christian world. In Scotland it was in 9th position in 1858, and still 6th in 1958. Only a handful of names manage to survive such intensive and consistent usage. Kathleen, although still associated with Ireland, has also been much used in Scotland since the 1930’s. It was immensely popular in England around 1925, and may have come from there as well as Ireland. Different pet forms of Catherine and Kathleen have been popular at different times, and have often been used as independent names. Kay (Kaye) was fairly popular in the 1950’s, for example, and in the 1970’s Kerry (Kerrie) has fast gained ground. Kit and Kitty have now largely been replaced by Kate, Katie (Katy, Katey),
Cathie (Cathy, Kathy).

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