Katharina

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
(kah-tah-HREE-nah)

The name is a German and Scandinavian form of Catherine

It has been one of the most consistently popular female names in Germany for the last 100 years.

She is currently the 11th most popular female name in Austria (2010) and the 51st most popular in Germany, (2011).

In German history, the name was borne by several famous women, one of the most notable being Katharina von Bora (1499-1552) a Catholic nun who left the Catholic Church and became one of the earliest converts to Lutheranism, later becoming the wife of German reformer, Martin Luther. In the American Lutheran Church, she appears in the Calendar of Saints.

Another notable and more contemporary bearer was Katharina Staritz (1903-1953) a German theologian who was one of the first women to be ordained a minister. She is known for her help and aid to many Jews during the Second World War.

The name is also borne by German Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater, Katarina Witt (b.1965)

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Basque Names….just a Subcategory of Spanish Names?

This weeks International Name Over View will focus on Basque Names.

The Basque are an ethnic group that inhabit the Pyrenees of Northwestern Spain and the bordering region of Southern France. Their language has yet to be categorized, often a topic of hot debate among Linguists. While some theorists have connected Basque from Georgian to Etruscan, the most widely accepted consensus is that Basque is closely related to the now extinct Aquitanian (spoken in France). It is in fact an indigenous European language. That is, it is not related to any of the Indo-European languages. It is considered an Isolate Language and it was most likely spoken in Europe long before the mass migration of the Indos.

Though either French or Spanish citizens, the Basque are fiercely proud of their language and culture. In the last century, there has been a strong push for autonomy. The Basque have fought hard to keep their language alive, most recently fighting oppression during the Franco regime, and are currently experiencing a revival. The Basque language is spoken by approximately 665,800 people. Not a lot, but believe it or not, the Basque and their language have actually left an impact in Spanish and even English.

Some of the more common Spanish surnames seen among Spanish-speakers are actually of Basque and not of Spanish origin. For example: Aldana, Loyola and Zuñiga.

Since the Basque were valuable in shepherding, fishing and mercantilism, a vast population of them immigrated to the Americas, leaving their imprint on modern Hispanic culture.

The country of Chile boasts Basque as their largest European ethnic group. The largest Basque-American population resides in Boise, Idaho. A fair amount of the Mexican population can claim Basque heritage to some extent.

As a result, several place names throughout the Americas are Basque, like Durango (Mexico), Nuevo Santander, (Mexico), Jalapa (Guatemala) and it is even argued that Arizona is derived from the Basque elements, aritz ona meaning “good oak.”

Our very own Xavier, which appears in the U.S. top 100 most popular male names was inspired by a Basque surname. Its usage as a given name was popularized by the notoriety of the Basque saint, Francis Xavier. Another notable Basque Saint is Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

One of the ways that the Basque people have expressed their culture is through their first names. The Basque have a unique array of names, one feature that seems unique among them is their usage of place names. Unlike Anglo-phone parents who tend to use place names because of “cuteness”  or sonority, the Basque use place names due to religious significance. Basque culture has a strong emphasis on Catholicism, so any place or thing associated with the Virgin Mary is often used as a given name.

For a good idea of what the Basque in Spain are currently naming their children, check out the Top 10 listed below:

Top 10 Male Names in Basque Country, Spain 2008

Mikel

Pablo

Iker

Aimar

Asier

Unai

Iñigo

Javier

Aitor

Adrián

Top 10 Female Names in the Basque Country, Spain 2008

Lucía

Paula

Irati

Nahia

Uxue

Leyre

Sara

María

Ane

Ainhoa/Aitana

Mikel, Pablo, Adrián, Iñaki, Sara, María, Ane, Lucía and Paula are all derived from Biblical or saints names.

Aitor (good fathers) is a name taken from Basque folklore, he is believed to have been the first man and the progenitor of the Basque people.

Iker is the vernacular form of Visitación, an unusual Spanish name used in reference to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of the Visitation). This is the same case with the female Irati, which is a place-name associated with a shrine to the Virgin Mary, which literally means “fern field”; and Uxue taken from the name of a Catholic shrine, but is also associated with the Basque word for dove. Ainhoa is a religious place-name name and even appears in the Spanish Top 100, coming in as the 31st most popular female name in all of Spain. Aitana is a Spanish place-name of unknown meaning. Leyre is the Spanish form of Leire, the name of a place in the Basque country associated with a Catholic monastery.

Nahia is from a Basque word meaning, “wish; desire.”

Unai is an indigenous Basque name with no Spanish or English equivalent, meaning “cowherd.”

Asier is from the Basque hasiera meaning “beginning.”

I have yet to find any information on Aimar, but subsequent searches led me to several notable Basque bearers, so I am assuming that he is Basque too. If anyone has anymore info on him, please step forward 🙂

You might be one of the many Latinas or Americans who claim Basque heritage, or perhaps you are just looking for a cool and different name that is actually legitimate. Below are a list of names I have compiled for the Anglo-phone parent. Basque names that would be easy for an English-speaking child to wear. Enjoy 🙂

Easy to say Basque alternatives to common English names

Instead of Caitlin try Catalin

Instead of Emma try out Ama

Instead of Madison or Madelyn, you might like Maialen or Malen

Like Olivia, try Olaria

Loving Ella, then you might like Elaia (swallow)

Considering Hannah well you just might like Oihana (forest)

Like Nevaeh check out Nerea

Here is a selection of Basque names compatible with English:

Female

  • Alaia (joyful; happy)
  • Amaia (end)
  • Elixane (Elise)
  • Esti (Sweet; honey)
  • Garden (transparent; clear)
  • Julene (Juliana)
  • Katerin (Catherine)
  • Lilura (enchantment)
  • Lorea (flower)
  • Maia (Maddie)
  • Miren (Mary)
  • Naiara
  • Nora
  • Oria
  • Pauli
  • Semera
  • Zerran
  • Zilia

Male

  • Adon
  • Bingen (Vincent)
  • Denis (Dennis)
  • Eder (beautiful)
  • Erroman (Raymond)
  • Gabon (Christmas)
  • Harri (rock)
  • Hartz (Bear)
  • Igon (Ascension)
  • Jurdan (Jordan)
  • Kelemen (Clement)
  • Kemen (Strength)
  • Lain
  • Luken (Luke)
  • Manex (John)
  • Zorion (happy)

Basque Equivalents to Common English Given Names

Female

  • Alize (Alice)
  • Ane (Anna)
  • Elixabete (Elizabeth)
  • Estebeni (Stephanie)
  • Fede (Faith)
  • Gartxene (Grace)
  • Itxaro (Hope)
  • Kalare (Claire)
  • Lili (Lily)
  • Mikele (Michaela)
  • Mixtoleta (Poppy)
  • Nikole (Nicole)
  • Hirune/Irune (Trinity)
  • Udane (Summer)
  • Udazken (Autumn)

Male

  • Adame (Adam)
  • Alesander (Alexander)
  • Danel (Daniel)
  • Edorta (Edward)
  • Eli (Elias)
  • Gabirel (Gabriel)
  • Gilen (William)
  • Handi (Max)
  • Ixaka (Isaac)
  • Jakes (Jacob)
  • Jon (John)
  • Marz (Mark)
  • Nikola (Nicholas)
  • Txomin (Dominic)
  • Xabier (Xavier)
  • Xarles (Charles)

What are your favorite Basque names? Would you use any of the above?

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/
  2. http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mt26s.html
  3. http://www.ei.ehu.es/p056-12532/eu/contenidos/informacion/grammar_euskara/en_doc/index.html
  4. http://www1.euskadi.net/morris/resultado.asp
  5. http://www.euskarakultur.org/
  6. http://www.eke.org/euskara/
  7. http://basque.unr.edu/

Catherine/Katherine

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: Debated

Katherine and Catherine have to be one of the quintessential female classics of the Western World, according to the United States Social Security Administration’s popularity charts, Katherine has not fallen out of the top 100 for over a 100 years. She has remained a staple, bouncing the lowest to 105th position in 1938 and bouncing the highest to the 25th place in 1991. She currently ranks in as the 45th most popular female name in the United States (2008). Her elder English and French counterpart, Catherine, comes in slightly lower, but has remained fairly high in the American charts since 1880. Her highest position being at # 18 in 1914 and then again in 1917 and came in the lowest just this past year, ranking in at # 149.

In other countries, the rankings of Katherine are as follows:

# 78 (Canada-BC, 2008)
# 63 (Chile, 2006)

Her popularity in other incarnations are as follows: (divided alphabetically by cited country)

Katharina (# 8, Austria, 2008)
Catalina (# 3, Chile, 2006)
Kateřina (# 7, Czech Republic, 2008)
Katrin (# 6, Faroe Islands, 2008)
Aikaterini (# 3, Greece, 2004)
Katrín (# 4, Iceland, 2004-2007)
Katie (# 2, Ireland, 2008)
Kate (# 10, Ireland, 2008)
Karin (9th most popular female name among Palestinian Christians in Israel, 2004)
Katharina (# 5, Liechtenstein, 2008)
Katerina (# 10, Macedonia, 2006)
Katie (# 1, Northern Ireland, 2008)
Yekaterina (# 1, Russia-St. Petersburg, 2003)
Yekaterina (# 6, Russia-Moscow, 2007)
Katie (# 8, Scotland, 2008)
Katarina (# 7, Serbia, 2005)
Katarína (# 4, Slovakia, 2004)
Kaitlyn (# 10, United States-Combined Spellings, 2007)

As for the etymology of the name, it has always been popularly believed to mean “pure” but its history and origins are far more complicated and muddled. There are several theories as to its derivations and linguistic origins, the most popular are that it is either derived from the Greek  word, ΚαΘαροσ, (katharos), meaning, “pure”, or the Greek Εεκατερινε, (Hekaterine), a feminine form of the Greek, Hekáteros, meaning “each of the two; singly.” It has also been suggested that it is a form of the Greek goddess name, Hecate, which means “from a far”, or it is possibly from the Greek word, αικια (aikia) meaning, “torture; injurious treatment.” According to Behindthename, another theory suggests that it could be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.”

The name was introduced into Western Europe after European Crusaders encountered the Christians of the Middle East, among them, the devotion of a popular 4th-century, Christian saint was discovered, St. Katherine of Alexandria. According to legend, the saint was spiked and tortured on a wheel after refusing to deny her Christian convictions and converting several members of the Alexandrian royal family to Christianity. Her cult was very popular among Christians in Syria, many centuries before her story even reached Europe. After its introduction, European Latin scholars assumed that the name was associated with the Greek Katharos meaning “pure.”

The name was first recorded in England in 1196. It was thereafter an extremely popular name in Christian Europe.

Catherine has several name-days, but the most popular, and the most widely celebrated during the Middle Ages, took place on November 25th. There is an old French celebration that took place on November 25th.  It was a day for unmarried women, twenty-five years and older, (labelled Catherinette’s in French). They would make caps, attend balls and crown the local St. Catherine of Alexandria statue with a custom hat. This was to ensure that the saint would provide the single ladies a partner by the end of the year. The term “capping st. Catherine” was used in reference to a single woman 25 years and up. This tradition died out somewhat, but remains a popular festivity among hat-makers and dress-makers even till today, particularly in the 2nd arrondisment of Paris. Any women who is single, working in the fashion industry, 25 years old and older, can attend a ball in a specially made hat, and go to the City Hall to present their creations for judging.

Though the term is a bit old fashioned, catherinette is a French word used to refer to a single women who is 25 years and older.

Other notable bearers, place and things include:

Catherine of Aragon

Catherina is the name of a crater on the moon, named for St. Catherine of Alexandria.

The Monastery of St. Catherine’s in Sinai Egypt, which is said to be the oldest Christian monastery and boasts one of the largest collections codices and manuscripts in the world.

St. Katherine Municipality lies in the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt, its city is St. Katherine’s.

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), a renowned Catholic saint, theologian, Doctor of the Church and tertiary of the Dominican order. She was known for her mystical experiences and her papal counseling.

St. Catherine of Bologna (1413-1463) another Italian saint, she is considered the patron saint of Bologna, artists and against temptations.

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) the first wife of Henry VII of England. Actually, Henry went on to marry two other Catherines, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was a Catholic Algonquin woman affectionately termed Lily of the Mohawks, she was also the daughter of a chief. At a young age she was ravished by the scars of small-pox and lived a life of devotion till she died at the age of 24.

Now to delve into her sundry variations.

Latinate Forms

Variations from various Romance based languages

  • Catèlena (Artapan)
  • Catin/Catineta/Catinon (Bearnais)
  • Caterina (Catalan/Italian/Spanish)
  • Catalina (Corsican/Gascon/Occitanian/Spanish)
  • Catherine (French)
  • Katia (Italian: a borrowing from the Russian but very popular in Italy)
  • Rina (Italian diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Catharina (Late Latin)
  • Catarina (Portuguese/Occitanian/Galician/Romansch)
  • Cátia (Portuguese: originally a diminutive form or either a Portugeusized form of the Slavic Katya, particularly common in Brazil, where it was most likely introduced by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants)
  • Catarino (Provencal)
  • Ninoun (Provencal: originally a diminutive, now becoming more common as an independent given name)
  • Cătălina/Ecaterina (Romanian)
  • Catinca (Romanian: a romanianized form of the Russian diminutive, Katinka, used as an independent given name)
  • Catina (Romanian/Sicilian)
  • Catrina (Romanian)
  • Catrina/Chatrina (Romansch)
  • Caderina/Catellina (Sardinian)

Obscure French diminiutives are Catherinette, Trinette and Rinette.

Germanic Forms
Variation from various Germanic based languages

  • Caja (Danish)
  • Catharina/Cathrine/Katarina/Katherina (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Karen (Danish)
  • Karin (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Katharine (Danish)
  • Katrina/Katrine/Kathrina/Kathrin (Danish)
  • Trine (Danish)
  • Catharina (Dutch/Swedish)
  • Cato (Dutch)
  • Kaatje (Dutch)
  • Katelijne/Katelijn (Dutch)
  • Katrien (Dutch)
  • Katrijn (Dutch)
  • Nienke (Dutch)
  • Tineke (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Toos/Truus (Dutch: initially diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Trijn/Trijntje (Dutch)
  • Kate/Katie (English: originally diminutive forms, now often used as independent given names in most English speaking countries)
  • Katherine/Karen (English)
  • Katarina/Katrin (Faroese/Danish)
  • Katrina (Faroese)
  • Kaja (Frisian)
  • Käthe/Caatje (Frisian)
  • Katryntje (Frisian)
  • Keetje (Frisian)
  • Nine/Nynke (Frisian)
  • Cathrin/Catrin/Kathrin (German)
  • Carin/Karin/Karina/Karine (German/Swedish/Norwegian/Danish)
  • Katarina/Katerine/Katharina (German)
  • Kathrein (German)
  • Katinka (German/Dutch: Germanized form of the Russian diminutive, Katenka)
  • Katja (German)
  • Trina (German)
  • Kaðlín (Icelandic: kahth-LEEN)
  • Karín (Icelandic)
  • Kata/Katarína/Katrín (Icelandic)
  • Kett (Lëtzebuergesch)
  • Kaia (Norwegian)
  • Kari (Norwegian)
  • Trina (Plauttdeutsch)
  • Cajsa/Kajsa (Swedish)
  • Katarina (Swedish)
  • Reina (Yiddish)

Obscure German diminutive forms are Käthchen and Trinchen. A Swiss German dialectical diminutive is Käti. English diminutive forms are Cat, Cathy, Kate, Kathy, Katie, Kay, Kiki, (also used in Sweden and Norway), Kit and Kitty.

Celtic Forms
Variations from various Celtic based languages

  • Katarin (Breton)
  • Katell/Kattelig (Breton: latter is pronounced kah-tel-LEEK)
  • Katik (Breton: kah-TEEK)
  • Katou (Breton: kah-TOO)
  • Cáit/Cáitín (Irish)
  • Catraoine/Caiterína (Irish)
  • Caitlín (Irish)
  • Caitria/Caitrín (Irish)
  • Caitríona (Irish)
  • Cathleen/Kathleen (Irish: anglicized form of Caitlin)
  • Catreena/Catreeney (Manx)
  • Catrìona (Scottish)
  • Cadi (Welsh)
  • Catrin (Welsh)

Slavic Forms
Variation used in Slavonic based languages

  • Kacjaryna (Belorusian: kahts-yah-REE-nah)
  • Ekaterina (Bulgarian/Macedonian/Russian)
  • Kateřina (Czech: kah-teh-ZHEE-nah)
  • Katarzyna (Polish: kah-tah-ZHIH-nah)
  • Jekaterina/Yekaterina (Russian)
  • Katarina (Serbo-Croatian/Slovenian)
  • Katarína (Slovakian)
  • Katica (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name. kah-TEET-sah)
  • Katja (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name. KAHT-yah)
  • Katherine/Kateryna (Ukrainian)

Russian Diminutives include: Katenka, Katiusha and Katya, Czech pet forms are,Káťa, Kačka, Káča, Kačí, Kačenka, Kača, Kačaba, Kačík, Kačuda, Kaťulka, Katerinka, Katica, Katja, Katka, Katla, Katuška and Rina. The most popular diminutive form in Poland is Kasia (KAH-shuh), but there is also Kachna, Kaśka, Kasienka and Kasiunia. Serbo-Croatian diminiutive forms are Kata, Kate (final E is pronounced), Katica, Katja, Katarincica and Rina. A Bulgarian diminutives is Katriška.Ukrainian diminutives are: Katrusya, Katya and Katerynka. Belorusian diminutive forms are Kasja and Katra.

Baltic Forms
Various forms used in the Baltic States

  • Kaarin (Estonian)
  • Kadi/Kadri/Kadrin (Estonian)
  • Kairi/Kari (Estonian)
  • Kaisa/Kaisu (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Katre/Katri/Katrin (Estonian)
  • Triina/Triin/Triinu (Estonian)
  • Kaija (Finnish)
  • Kata (Finnish)
  • Katariina (Finnish/Estonian)
  • Kati (Finnish)
  • Katja (Finnish)
  • Katri/Katriina (Finnish)
  • Riina (Finnish)
  • Jekaterina (Latvian)
  • Kate (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Katrīna (Latvian)
  • Trine (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Katerina/Katrina (Lithuanian)
  • Katrė (Lithuanian)
  • Katryna (Lithuanian)
  • Kotryna (Lithuanian)

Other Languages

  • Katarina/Katjusha/Katerina/Katha (Albanian)
  • Gadara/Gadarine/Kadara/Kadarine (Armenian)
  • Karine (Armenian)
  • Katalina (Basque)
  • Katalin (Basque/Hungarian)
  • Katarin (Basque)
  • Ekaterina (Georgian)
  • Kattak (Greenlandic)
  • Aikaterine/Aikaterini (Greek Modern)
  • Katerina (Greek Modern)
  • Katina (Greek Modern)
  • Kakalina/Kalena/Kalina (Hawaiian)
  • Kathani (Hindi/Arabic)
  • Katarina (Hungarian/Turkish)
  • Kasari (Japanese)
  • Katarina (Maltese)
  • Kataraina (Maori)
  • Kateri (Mohawk)
  • Gáddjá (Saami)
  • Gáhte (Saami)
  • Gáhteriinná/Káhtariinná (Saami)
  • Gáre/Káre (Saami)
  • Gáren (Saami)
  • Kasrin ܟܐܣܪܝܢ (Syriac/Assyrian)
  • Akaterina (Turkish)

Hungarian diminutive forms include Kata, Kati, Katica, Katinka, Kató, Katóka, Kitti and Koto.


Medieval Forms
Variations used in the Middle Ages and are most likely out of usage
  • Catelinòta (Bearnais)
  • Cathelinen (Dutch, 14th-century)
  • Verkateline (Dutch, 13th-14th centuries)
  • Catelina/Catelin/Catlin (English 12th-century)
  • Cattel/Cattle/Catin (English 12th-century)
  • Katelina/Kateline/Katelin/Katlin (English 12th-century)
  • Caterina/Katerina/Katerine (English 14th-century)
  • Kateryna/Kateryn (English 15th-century)
  • Catant (French, obscure medieval diminutive form)
  • Cateline/Catelot/Caterine (French in Paris, 13th-century, the final T on Catelot is silent).
  • Cathereau (French; obscure medieval form; KAH-teh-RO)
  • Kateline/Katerine (French, in Paris, 13th-century)
  • Ka(e)therlin/Ketlin/Keterlin/Ketterlin (German 15th-century)
  • Keth/Ketherlein (German 15th-century)
  • Katusch/Kethe/Keterlyn (German in Silesia, 13th-century)
  • Kaþareina (Gothic, extinct Germanic language)
  • Quataryna/Quatalina (Provencal, 16th-century)
  • Kaithren (Scottish, 15th-century)
  • Katrein (Scottish, 16th-17th-centuries)
  • Kadrin (Swedish 12th-century)
  • Karinae (Swedish 12th-15th centuries)
  • Katena (Swedish 14th-century)
  • Kättilö (Swedish 14th-century, though may also be a corruption of the Old Norse Katla)

 

There are a few masculine forms, the Italian Caterino, Catterino, Cattalino, Catinu (Sicilian dialectical form), and the Romanian Cătălin.