The name can either be a derivative of the Latin word for a ship keel, or from the Latin word carus meaning (dear), or it may be from the Italian adjective carina (nice; pretty; sweet). Or it can be a contraction of the name Catharina. It has also been suggested to be a feminine form of the Greek male name, Carinos, one of the many epithets of the God, Apollo.
A common Russian hypothesis is that it derived from the ancient Slavic name, Karna (to cry). Karna also known as Karina was the Slavic goddess of mourning and funeral rites
It is the name of a constellation in the southern sky as well as an early Greek Christian martyr. As of 2010, it was the 60th most popular female name in Austria. While in the United States, it only ranked in at #948.
Karina ranks higher in the United States, coming in at # 288 (2010).
Other forms of the name include:
Carine/Karine Կարինե (Armenian/Dutch/French)
Karina Кари́на (Bulgarian/Czech/German/Greek/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Scandinavian/Ukrainian/Russian/Slovak)
Designated name-days are: January 2 (Czech Republic), March 17 (Latvia), March 24 (Hungary), May 7 (Sweden), August 2 (Poland), November 7 (Lithuania).