the Greek catharsis, which has retained its meaning; the Coptic name, meaning “my consecration of your name” (confusing); Hecate, the pagan goddess of magic and enchantment...Take your pick. In the early Christian era, the name was associated with the Greek katharos, meaning “pure,” which led to the spelling variation of Katharine. The name of tons of saints and royals, Katherine first became popular thanks to Catherine of Alexandria, a fourth-century saint and martyr from Egypt. Crusaders brought the name back to Western Europe, where it first started being used, and it’s been common in England since about the twelfth century. It’s also gained popularity all over the world, especially in historically Christian countries, with tons of different variations. Right now, Katherine is the most popular version in the US -- in fact, it’s the most popular of all the “Katie” names. Besides a few scant years in the 1930s, it’s been in the top 100 for more than a century, proving it’s a classic name that’s here to stay.