Catherine or Katherine?

(92 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 16-Oct-12 19:45:20

Which spelling do you prefer?

Also, could you call a girl Catherine and still shorten it to Katie or would that be weird?

MamaMary Tue 16-Oct-12 19:46:08


And no, that would be perfectly normal.

AlexanderS Tue 16-Oct-12 19:51:06

I also prefer Catherine. Why? I have no idea, maybe because that's how it was spelt originally. And agree you can still shorten it to Katie.

eBook Tue 16-Oct-12 20:20:01


I'd only shorten Katherine to Katie though.

jaffacakehips Tue 16-Oct-12 20:25:12


Don't know why but I think the 'K' makes Katherine sound a bit hard. But IMHO is much better than the Kathryn spelling which I really don't like sorry mil grin

WerewolvesDoTheFandango Tue 16-Oct-12 20:29:50

I prefer Katherine. I like cate short for Catherine though

SorrelForbes Tue 16-Oct-12 20:29:56

Or you could go for Katharine which I've been told is the original spelling (I could be completely wrong however!)

VerySmallSqueak Tue 16-Oct-12 20:32:51

I would do Katherine,so I could shorten to Kitty.

Lifeisontheup Tue 16-Oct-12 20:39:08

I would go for Catherine and shorten it to Kate but I may be slightly biased.grin

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Tue 16-Oct-12 20:47:25

I prefer Katherine.

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 16-Oct-12 21:40:35

Katherine, shortened to Katy . Or Catherine if you don't want it shortened.

noblegiraffe Tue 16-Oct-12 22:20:46

Argh, a complete split! My DH and I are agreed on the name but can't agree on the spelling. Impasse.

JustSpidero Tue 16-Oct-12 22:24:15

I think Katherine seems like a slightly more dated version, and on those grounds would probably go for Catherine.

HeeeresThing3 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:31:33

I prefer Katherine, but then as that is my name I probably would grin

BoyMeetsWorld Tue 16-Oct-12 22:31:40

Spidero really? I would've thought the other way around?

MakeHayNotStraw Tue 16-Oct-12 22:33:22

Catherine, definitely. Catie if shortened, but we never shorten dd's name.

<Disclaimer: might be biased!>

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 16-Oct-12 22:34:36

Catherine. It's the only way.

HeeeresThing3 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:34:52

Also people seem to shorten it to whatever they want. My old friends and parents call me Kath, my newer friends call me Kat, my MIL calls me Cathy and some scots I knew years ago used to call me Katie.

BiscuitNibbler Tue 16-Oct-12 22:36:45

Katherine (due to Anne of Green Gables obsession when younger and now - she said with a C looked smug).

JustSpidero Tue 16-Oct-12 22:36:53

I suppose I'm basing that on mostly knowing Katherine's at school and Catherine's now (am 37), also my mum is Kathleen which looks similar so the K just takes me back 20-odd years.

TimothyTumblespring Tue 16-Oct-12 22:38:07

Catherine, shortened to Cathy.


ChristmasKate Tue 16-Oct-12 22:39:31

I'm a Kathryn - just to add to the mix, but have always been known as Katie.

My mum used to be a hippy so I'm assuming the different spelling was due to too many Parma Violets grin

BananaPhone Tue 16-Oct-12 23:29:23

I defer to the definitive expert on names; Anne Shirley, of Green Gables, Avonlea:

"Well, one day when I happened to pick up a book of hers in the staff room and glance at the flyleaf I said, ‘I’m glad you spell your name with a K. Katherine is so much more alluring than Catherine, just as K is ever so much more a gipsier letter than smug C"

youonlysingwhenyourewinning Tue 16-Oct-12 23:36:03


Catherine can be shortened to Cath, Cathy or Cate/Catie, but not Kate/Katie.

Katherine can be shortened to Kath, Kathy, Kat, Kate, Katie, Kitty.

I think the 'K' looks nicer

MooncupMishap Tue 16-Oct-12 23:42:45

Katharine - from katharis, greek for pure.

Graciescotland Tue 16-Oct-12 23:47:44

I think the C looks nicer, I know a Caitlin that's shortened to Katie...

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 16-Oct-12 23:49:24

Cathryn shortened to Cathy.

<also biased>

1944girl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:50:28

I am Kathleen which is a form of Catherine/Katherine.I have been called Kath, Kathy,Kate and Katie.I dont mind any of these but hate being called Kitty and Kay.
My grandaughter is Kate both christened and registered as such.

BananaPhone Tue 16-Oct-12 23:51:17

Also, Kat (the coolest NN going for this name imo) works way better with Katherine than Cat for Catherine.

HappyTurquoise Tue 16-Oct-12 23:52:45


(college name)

LonelyCloud Tue 16-Oct-12 23:55:13

I like it with a K.

sashh Wed 17-Oct-12 03:04:13

Catherine can be shortened to Cath, Cathy or Cate/Catie, but not Kate/Katie.

What about Kate Middleton?

Katharine - from katharis, greek for pure.

That's one meaning, the other is trouble.


Please don't

ThingsthatgoSgreekinthenight Wed 17-Oct-12 05:26:32

I too am a Kathryn known as Kate. I also knew a Caroline shortened to Kate.

BikeRunSki Wed 17-Oct-12 06:39:20

I like Kathryn best!

DaddyPigsSecretAdmirer Wed 17-Oct-12 13:09:10

I'm Catherine, known as Cat. I'd prefer to be known as Cate though, but nicknames stick! I'd definitely go with the 'C' spelling. As others have said, however, I'm obviously quite biased!

MrsJohnDeere Wed 17-Oct-12 13:12:02

K looks nicer imho

Katiebeau Wed 17-Oct-12 13:15:49

Trust me Catherine shortens to Katie just fine. Brilliant choice of name and nn. wink

Spatsky Wed 17-Oct-12 13:20:05

Kathryn is a pain as no one ever spells it correctly and they even get muddled when you spell it out to them and they try to add random letters for the hell of it.

That said I have only gone my Kate for a long time now.

messtins Wed 17-Oct-12 20:10:34

Katharine - shortened to Katie, Kath or Kat.

ninjawomble Wed 17-Oct-12 23:51:42

prefer Katherine - can use Kate/Katie/Kat as nn.

Catherine - Cath/Cate/Cathy as nn

i think "K" looks better if you want to use Katie/Kate as nn .

SomersetONeil Thu 18-Oct-12 01:12:24

Catherine shortened to Kate is just fine. Catherine with a C is much more elegant.

Love Kate, but never been a fan of Katie.

MummytoKatie Sat 20-Oct-12 22:43:03

From my username it is obvious I have a strong view on this!

I think Catherine is probably prettier but we went for Katherine as a change of initials makes life more complicated.

We went for Katherine rather than Kathryn as she is known as Katie not Katy. (Cross out letters.)

We went for Katherine rather than Katharine as it is much more common and we didn't want it to be spelt wrong all the time. (As opposed to most of the time!)

We always planned to call her Katie though. And she has been Katie since she was born.

MacAndCheese Sat 20-Oct-12 22:50:10

I'd say Catherine. <goes and sits on the biased bench>

I get called

Cate - people still find the spelling weird hmm but according to this thread it's totally normal.

qumquat Sat 20-Oct-12 22:52:07

Katherine or Katharine. I'm with Anne of green gables on this one.

ChristmasKate Sat 20-Oct-12 22:53:36

I'm Katie but christened Kathryn, I've never even thought about the Katie Katy cross out letters thing! smile

Since being taught how to read and write I have always said then spelt my name when talking to banks etc.

Second nature to assume people wont spell it right and without outing myself completely our family are the only ones with our spelling of our surname (one letter change)

rhetorician Sat 20-Oct-12 22:54:20

Catherine, definitely. But couldn't begin to rationalize it <have a Catherine dd, nearly 4> everyone thinks it's a common enough name, but my C is the only little girl I know called by the full name. Lots of Kates and Katies too, also lovely. Is a family name, one in every generation, but I love it. Have never regretted it, despite using it about a zillion times a day (dd1 a bit stubborn/resistant!)

K absolutely - possibly because I have known several very wet and one unpleasant C C/Katherines, but it looks better with a KK IMO and Katie looks miles better with a K...

noblegiraffe Sat 20-Oct-12 23:03:22

Oh no it really does seem to be a pretty even split. How on earth do you decide when it is just a matter of personal preference?

ChristmasKate Sat 20-Oct-12 23:05:23

And without wishing to offend any Kats it really does sound cheap.

I have always been Katie but never Kate and no way Kathryn, I think hope my name suits me and was recently informed in a 360 review that staff members said I am dependable, reliable,strong willed, stroppy, mum like, annoying and funny.

grin confused

weegiemum Sat 20-Oct-12 23:06:09

I have a Katherine. She's chosen to use Kathy. I don't like Katie, but would be ok with Kate. But mostly I call her by her full name as I think it's so pretty.

weegiemum Sat 20-Oct-12 23:10:12

She's 12, btw. Not many about at her age, there's only 2 in her school.

camgirl Sat 20-Oct-12 23:10:25


Second choice - Katherine.

Definitely more distinguished!

MirandaWest Mon 22-Oct-12 11:32:22

Definitely Katherine, but I am biased smile.

hatsybatsy Mon 22-Oct-12 12:37:50

had a friend who had always been known as Kate - do everything official was with 'K' as an initial... slight problem as her name was actually Catherine....

IMO if Kate/Katie are to be used from the off, then go with a 'K' form of the name?

And (as a KathAryn myself)... please please please go for one of the more usual spellings - no point adding further complications?

myhandslooksoold Mon 22-Oct-12 12:41:39

My gorgeous dd is a Katherine. I love it. Agree with Anne of green gables

TessOfTheBurbervilles Mon 22-Oct-12 13:42:50

Given that the root word that Katherine comes from is a 'kat' word, Katherine is without doubt the original spelling.

However, Catherine is my preferred spelling, because I don't like K names. I blame all those people who ruin perfectly good C names, by spelling them with a K, such as Khloe, Konstance (I've seen one of them) and (for the boys) Kooper. They are the people responsible for my aversion to (perfectly good) K names.

shoobidoo Mon 22-Oct-12 13:49:04

I've not read the whole thread but I would advise that the name and nickname start with the same initial. Makes labelling of clothes, items etc MUCH easier.

So Catherine => Cathy, Cat, Catey
And Katherine/Katharine/Kathryn => Kat, Katy

Gosh, there are lots of spellings of Katharine, aren't there....!

Wigeon Mon 22-Oct-12 14:03:41

OP - I really think it doesn't matter that much - just go for the one that you like most on gut instinct.

Personally I think it's slightly odd to be Catherine, nn Katie / Katy, because of the initial letter thing, so either go with Catherine, nn Cate (bit pretentious) or Katherine if you are definitely going to use Katie / Katy. Katherine or Catherine (or Kathryn or Katharine...), she's going to be spelling it each and every time! <voice of experience> But I still think it's a lovely name! smile.

nemno Mon 22-Oct-12 14:16:02


Teamthrills Mon 22-Oct-12 14:50:12

Katherine - much nicer.

DandyDan Tue 23-Oct-12 11:41:56

Definitely Katherine, or Katharine.

Not with a "C". And it would be weird to shorten Catherine to Kate, and Cate still looks weirder (apologies to Cate Blanchett).

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 12:22:12

It's not weird <<sulks in corner>>

flowers123 Tue 23-Oct-12 12:32:36

just to add to the mix I am a Kathryn, alway have to spell it out but would not change it x


And, yes can be shortened to Katie. No probs.

Prefure Catherine personaly xx

MacAndCheese Tue 23-Oct-12 13:46:12

Life I agree that it isn't weird! That's my name!

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 23-Oct-12 13:49:05

I've always preferred K as I think it's stronger than C (although that might be influenced by the Katherine and Catherine I knew as a child).

It's on our top ten list of girls names. However DH prefers C as the K version is not really known in France (where we live).

I'll have to wait and see if it ever because an important issue for us grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 15:03:49

Catherine shorthened to Cate/Catey/Cathy/Cat.
Shortening to a K name is just stupid!
And I should know, Im Catherine the fifth in my family! grin

It is not just stupid.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 15:20:35

Is too!

Spelling Kate "Cate" is just as stupid, and you don't see me casting any nastursiums about those who choose to do that.


eBook Tue 23-Oct-12 15:30:57

Another one who thinks "Cate" looks odd.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 15:31:13


SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 15:32:09

Its scottish.

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 16:27:41

I'm not stupid -honest, well maybe a bit. grin

Anonymumous Tue 23-Oct-12 20:00:54

Catherine makes me think of catheters, if that helps...

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 20:04:07


JulesJules Tue 23-Oct-12 20:06:05

Katharine (as in Hepburn)

It is DD1's middle name. Registering at the Dr, I told the receptionist "Katharine - with a K and two As" and later saw she had written

ithaka Tue 23-Oct-12 20:06:05

I like Kathleen grin

Lovely Irish name that can be shortened to Katie/Kate.

eBook Tue 23-Oct-12 20:33:54

Yes Kathleen is nice.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 20:36:05

I actually really like Caitlyn.

CurrerBell Tue 23-Oct-12 20:52:18

I am biased but I think Catherine is a more classic name (think Royalty, Henry VIII's wives, Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights...). I do love Anne of Gables but don't agree with her on this point - K is to me a harsh letter...

azazello Tue 23-Oct-12 20:57:24

Katherine (also biased) from Anne of Green Gables, greek and Anya Seton's Katherine.

ATM she is Kate or Kitty

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 20:59:57

As well as being named for paternal family tradition, my mum wanted to call me Catherine after Catherine Earnshaw. I tought that was romantic until I actually read Wuthering Heights!
Im named after an adulterous, mentally tortured mad woman, with a penchant for roaming the hills with an abusive nutter! sad

Yika Tue 23-Oct-12 21:04:05

Catherine, shortened to Kate for me.

bigbluebump Tue 23-Oct-12 21:06:14

Wow, I'm surprised there are so many spellings for the same name
Any other name, and we would be accused of 'unique' spellings...or avoiding the name because of the hassle of having to spell it out all the time...grin

bigbluebump Tue 23-Oct-12 21:08:14

But I agree with one point: having the same initial for the proper name and short form are really helpful (when it comes to sewing name tags etc).

So Kathryn, Katharine, Katherine -> Kat, Kate, Katie, Kathy
Or Catherine, Cathryn -> Cat, Cathy, Cate

simplesusan Tue 23-Oct-12 22:20:41

I like Catherine best.
I think she will get whatever nn her friends choose for her!

EugenesAxe Tue 23-Oct-12 22:25:09

I would spell the K version with an 'a' in the middle - Katharine.

With an 'e' I prefer Catherine. I don't think shortening to Katie would be that weird. Pretty sure Kitty Bennett was Catherine.

TigerFeet Tue 23-Oct-12 22:26:44


Awesome name grin

I always wanted to be Katherine though so I could be Katy like Katy in What Katy Did

IzzyWizzyletsgetbusy Wed 24-Oct-12 16:26:55

Much prefer Catherine (biased) but admit there's no good reason for this. My Catherine is usually known by her full name but occasionally Kate or Katy, it's a well known nickname for Catherine and never been a problem smile

I never understand why people get so excited about Catherines having to match their nickname initial to their full names; no one insists that Ted can only be short for Theodore but not Edward, or that Beth can only be short for Bethany but not Elizabeth. When I was at school we had loads of Beckys too - again not the same initial as full name but people seemed to manage!

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