How popular is the baby name Katherine in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Katherine.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Katherine


Posts that Mention the Name Katherine

Unusual Baby Name: Kenesaw Mountain

If you know Major League Baseball history, no doubt you’re familiar with Kenesaw Mountain “Ken” Landis, who served as professional baseball’s first commissioner from 1921 to 1944.

But…do you know how he got that unusual name?

In 1862 — in the middle of the Civil War — Ken’s father, Dr. Abraham Landis, left his family behind in Ohio to serve as a surgeon in the Union Army. (His family, at that time, consisted of wife Mary and five young children.)

Abraham was severely wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia on June 27, 1864. He spent many weeks in the hospital recovering before he was finally able to return home.

His sixth child, a son, arrived on November 20, 1866 — long after the war was over.

[I]t took Dr. and Mrs. Landis some time to decide on his name. In fact, the delay in providing a name prompted both family and community members to suggest a deluge of different names. Mary Landis did not like the name Abraham, so when Dr. Landis suggested calling their son “Kenesaw,” the name and alternate spelling stuck. Clearly, the site of the doctor’s personal tragedy remained in his thoughts.

The name of the mountain is an Anglicized form of the Cherokee name Gahneesah, which means “burial ground” or “place of the dead.”

(All of Ken’s eventual six siblings had more ordinary names: Katherine, Frances, Walter, Charles, John, and Frederick.)

Ken went on to pass the bar exam and attend law school (in that order) and, by the early 1890s, was practicing law in Chicago. Within a couple of years, he was offered (and accepted) a job in the federal government:

In the Union Army, Abraham Landis was under the command of Lt. Col. Walter Quinton Gresham during Sherman’s advance through Tennessee and Georgia. […] In 1893 Gresham was appointed secretary of state by President Grover Cleveland. He needed a personal secretary and he chose a 26-year-old Chicago attorney with no knowledge of foreign affairs, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

When Gresham unexpectedly died in 1895, Grover Cleveland offered Ken the post of minister to Venezuela. Ken declined this offer to return to private practice in Chicago and to get married to his fiancée, Winifred Reed.

A year later, Kenesaw and Winifred welcomed their first child, a son named Reed Gresham Landis — middle name in honor of Ken’s late boss (and his father’s former commander).

I have more to say about Kenesaw Mountain Landis, but I’ll save the rest for tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here’s a post about Malvern Hill — another unusual baby name inspired by a Civil War battle/location.

Sources:

The 23 Children of Darejan Dadiani

Painting of Darejan Dadiani

In 1750, Georgian noblewoman Darejan Dadiani married the twice-widowed Georgian king Erekle II (who, at that time, ruled the historical region of Kartli).

From the 1750s to the early 1780s, Darejan gave birth to 23 children (though some sources say it was just 19).

Here are the names of 22 of those 23 children, listed alphabetically:

  • Alexander
  • Anastasia
  • Archil (son)
  • Beri (son)
  • Ekaterine – the Georgian form of Katherine.
  • Elene – the Georgian form of Helen.
  • Ioane – the Georgian form of John.
  • Iulon
  • Ketevan (daughter) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Katayoun.
  • Khoreshan (daughter)
  • Levan – the Georgian form of Leon.
  • Luarsab (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Lohrasp, which is a form of Aurvataspa, which means “swift horse” in Avestan.
  • Maryam
  • Mirian (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Mihran/Mehran.
  • Parnaoz/Pharnaoz (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Farnavaz.
  • Salome
  • Solomon
  • Sophia/Sophie
  • Soslan-David – Soslan is the name of a hero/trickster god of the Nart sagas (Caucasian mythology).
  • Tekle – the Georgian form of Thekla.
  • Teimuraz (son) – the Georgian form of the Persian name Tahmuras, which is a form of Takhma Urupi, a character in the Avesta (the Zoroastrian religious text). The name means “strong body” in Avestan.
  • Vakhtang (son) – a form of the name Warkhtanag (“wolf-bodied”), a character in the Nart sagas.

(Wikipedia says the 23rd child was a boy named Aslamaz-Khan, but I can’t find any sources to back that up.)

Darejan’s own name also has an interesting history: it comes from the literary name “Nestan-Darejan,” which was coined by Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for the name of a fictional princess in his epic poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin (ca. 1200). The name was based on the Persian phrase nest andare jehan, meaning “unlike any other in the world” or “no such beauty in the world.” Both components — Nestan and Darejan — are now used as given names in Georgia.

Sources:

Name Quotes #96: Walker, Huascar, Keith

Time for another batch of name quotes!

From the NPS booklet Bears of Brooks River 2018 (PDF):

Bears at Brooks River are assigned numbers for monitoring, management, and identification purposes. Inevitably, some bears acquire nicknames from staff and these nicknames are included in this book, but naming wild animals is not without controversy. Is it appropriate to name wild animals?

[…]

Names also carry meaning, intentionally or not. What stigmas would you attach to a young bear nicknamed Fluffy versus a large male bear named Killer? How would those stigmas alter your experience when watching that animal?

[The booklet also included the nicknames of various Katmai bears, including “Walker” (whose “large dark eye rings” were reminiscent of zombie eyes) and “Evander” (who was missing part of an ear, much like Evander Holyfield after his 1997 fight with Mike Tyson).]

Bear 151, aka “Walker,” in 2016 (NPS)

From the 2011 book Children in the Roman Empire by Christian Laes:

A first important moment in the lives of newborns was the day of naming, or dies lustricus, when the family celebrated not only the purification and naming of the young child, but also his or her entry into social life. […] On this day of naming, the ninth day after birth for boys and the eighth day for girls, the baby underwent purification rites and was ‘born socially’ as it were. Only after the naming was the child recognised by the state. […] Prior to the dies lustricus, an infant was considered to be ‘more like a plant than an animal’.

From the 1812 book A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels (Vol. 4), edited by Robert Kerr:

When the eldest son of Huana Capac was born, he ordered a prodigious chain or cable of gold to be made, so large and heavy that two hundred men were hardly able to lift it. In remembrance of this circumstance, the infant was named Huascar, which signifies a cable or large rope, as the Peruvians have no word in their language signifying a chain. To this name of Huascar was added the surname Inca, belonging to all their kings, just as Augustus was given to all the Roman emperors.

[The name Huascar was a one-hit wonder in the SSA data in 1997, incidentally.]

From the Scary Mommy essay “I Regret My Kids’ Religious Names” by Alicia Mosby:

So I’m not blanket-condemning religious names. It’s about a problem we have with the religion: we left it. At the time we named our sons, we believed they needed to have religious names, and we named them accordingly. Now I don’t believe it, and I wish I had takebacks. You can’t say “well, you should have thought of that before,” because no one thinks they’re going to leave their religion, especially that one [Catholicism]. It’s not a contingency you plan for. In fact, when we did leave it, we were stunned and lost for a very long time.

[…]

Right now, I’m regretting the hold this religion exercised on my children’s names. No more and no less. It told me to give my kids religious names. So I gave them all very, very religious names.

From a People interview with Mindy Kaling (whose two children are named Katherine Swati and Spencer Avu):

“I don’t trust my own judgment with those kinds of names,” she admits. “If I name my son River, that connotes a certain kind of person who is very go with the flow, artsy. But what if he’s not like that at all? Will he be furious with me?”

“I just tried to pick classic names that felt like they would have to work really hard to get mad at me about later,” Kaling says, with a laugh.

From a Daily Mail article about nominative determinism:

And now, a man called Keith Weed has been appointed president of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Of course he has. Especially when you hear that his father’s name was Weed and his mother’s name was Hedges.

‘If a Weed gets together with a Hedges, I think they’re going to give birth to the president of the RHS,’ said Mr Weed, 59, who lives near RHS Wisley in Surrey.

The Launch of Leilani

The baby name Leilani — which means both “heavenly flowers” and “royal child” in Hawaiian — is very close to entering the U.S. top 100 for the first time.

It’s been making appearances in the top 1,000, though, for quite a while — starting way back in the 1930s:

  • 1939: 98 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 689th]
  • 1938: 101 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 685th]
  • 1937: 81 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 758th]
  • 1936: 8 baby girls named Leilani
  • 1935: 9 baby girls named Leilani

What gave it that initial boost?

The song “Sweet Leilani” from the film Waikiki Wedding (1937), which starred Bing Crosby. Crosby’s rendition of the song became one of the top songs of 1937, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in March of 1938.1

The song hadn’t been created with the movie in mind, though. It had been composed by songwriter Harry Owens several years earlier.

Owens, originally from Nebraska, became the musical director of the orchestra at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel2 in Waikiki in 1934. He and his wife were living on Oahu when they welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in October. The day after Leilani Katherine was born, Owens wrote “Sweet Leilani” for her.

What are your thoughts on the Hawaiian name Leilani?

1A few years later, Crosby scored another hit with “Sierra Sue.”

2The Royal Hawaiian Hotel “was fashioned in a Spanish-Moorish style, popular during the period and influenced by screen star Rudolph Valentino.”

Popular Baby Names in Casper, WY, in 2020

In 2020, the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper welcomed 892 babies. The names of about 620 of these babies were shared online via the hospital’s website. A few days ago, the hospital “mined those announcements for our most popular names list for 2020,” finding that the most frequently occurring names for girls was Paisley and for boys was Jackson.

I don’t usually post rankings from non-governmental sources, but, in this case, there were just so many names in comparison to the size of the city (about 58,000 residents) that I decided to go ahead and publish the full list…

10 babies named:

  • Jackson (Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon)

7 babies named:

  • Logan
  • Oliver
  • Paisley (Paizlee, Paizleigh)

6 babies named:

  • Adaline (Adeline, Adalyn, Adalynn, Addilynn)
  • Amelia (Emelia, Emilia)
  • Emma
  • Grayson
  • Reilly (Rieleigh, Riely, Riley, Ryleigh)
  • Sawyer

5 babies named:

  • Cooper
  • Everlee (Everleigh, Everly)
  • Oakleigh (Oakley)
  • Theodore

4 babies named:

  • Addison (Addyson)
  • Asher
  • Ava
  • Benjamin
  • Caysen (Kasen, Kason)
  • Charlie (Charlee, Charles)
  • Everette
  • Isabella (Izabella, Izzabella)
  • Kinsleigh (Kinsley)
  • Nathan
  • Wyatt

3 babies named:

Adrian, Alexander, Ashton (Ashtyn), Aspen, Aurora, Bennett, Blake (Blayke), Bristol, Brixley (Brixleigh, Brixli), Brooklyn, Carter, Christian, David, Declan (Deklynn), Elijah, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Ethan, Ezra, Grace, Hunter, Holden, Jack, Layla, Leo, Liam, Lyla (Lilah), Lincoln, Lorenzo, Lydia, Lyra, Mason, Noah, Olivia, Owen, Richard, Rilynn (Ryelin, Ryelynn), Rowan (Rowen), Ryker, Skyla, Sophia (Sofia)

2 babies named:

Aiden/Aidyn, Allison/Alyson, Amara, Annabelle, Arya, Aubriella, Averie/Avery, Barrett, Bentley, Bodhi/Bodie, Braxton, Bryar/Bryor, Brynlee, Caroline, Carson/Karson, Catherine/Katherine, Colt, Colten/Colton, Damian, Daniel, Daxton, Dayton, Dylan, Eli, Eliana, Elliot, Emerson/Emersyn, Emery/Emory, Evelyn, Finley, Gabriella, Gentry, Harmony, Harper, Harrison, Haven/Hayven, Hayden, Hazel, Hazely/Hazleigh, Henry, Hudson, Ian, Isaac, Isaiah, Islah/Islla, Jasper, Jaxtyn, Jayden, Joel, Julian, Julius, Justin, Kaiser/Kaizer, Kamara, Kaysen/Kayson, Kellen, Kennedi/Kenydee, Kenzlee/Kenzleigh, Kinley/Kynleigh, Kyran/Kyren, Leighton/Leyten, Lenix/Lennox, Levi, Lorelai/Lorelei, Madeline/Madelyn, Malachi, Malaya/Maleah, Maria/Meriah, Maverick, Maya, Mila, Miles, Millie, Naomi, Natalia, Nevaeh, Parker, Paul, Penelope, Rachael/Rachel, Rae/Rey, Raylan, Ronan, Ryder, Samantha, Samuel, Sara/Sarah, Savanna/Savannah, Scarlett, Sebastian, Silas/Sylias, Skylar/Skyler, Spencer, Sydney/Sidney, Tenslee/Tensley, Theo, Weston/Westin, Violet, Zachary, Zoey

1 baby named:

  • Abel, Abraham, Ace, Adam, Adonis, Aeris, Adrian, Aiden, Aksel, Aleassia, Alexandria, Alianna, Allen, Ambrose, Amias, Amiya, Anderson, Angel, Anika, Annalynn, Annie, Anson, Antonina, Archer, Ariella, Ariya, Armando, Arrow, Ashlyn, Athena, Aubree, August, Augustus, Avaianna, Aynslee, Azariah, Azayla
  • Bailey, Baylor, Beau, Becklynn, Bella, Berklie, Bethany, Bonnie, Bradley, Braitton, Branson, Brantley, Braxley, Brayden, Braylee, Brennan, Brexton, Brian, Briggson, Brittany, Brixon, Brock, Broden, Bronx, Brooks, Brylee, Burke
  • Caelan, Cain, Callie, Callum, Calvin, Cameron, Cannon, Carilina, Case, Cash, Charisma, Chasyn, Chloe, Christopher, Ciella, Claire, Cody, Colby, Collyn, Colter, Cree, Crew, Cullen, Cuyler
  • Dailyn, Dakota, Dani, Dean, Delilah, Destin, Diesel, Divine, Douglas, Draco, Draeden
  • Ebony, Eccho, Edison, Eleanor, Elias, Elivia, Ellen, Ellis, Ember, Emily, Emmanuel, Emmie, Emmitt, England, Etta, Evan, Evander, Ezmae
  • Felix, Francis, Fredrick, Freya
  • Genevieve, George, Gideon, Graham, Grey, Griffin
  • Hodassah, Haddie, Hadley, Hailey, Harlan, Harley, Harlow, Harris, Harvey, Hayes, Hendrix, Henleigh
  • Icelynn, Ily, Isabelle, Isaias, Ivan, Ivy, Iylah
  • Jaden, Jaime, Jalin, James, Jameson, Jase, Javier, Jayce, Jaycee, Jayson, Jeremiah, Jessica, Jessie, Jett, JJ, Joanna, John, Jojo, Jolie, Jonah, Jonathan, Josephine, Josie, Joyce, Jude, Julie, June
  • Kade, Kaelyn, Kaiden, Kaii, Kaleah, Kamari, Kambry, Kambryn, Kamdyn, Kane, Karalynn, Kaspian, Kaylee, Kaylynn, Keaton, Keenston, Keira, Kenai, Kendrey, Kevin, Keylin, Khaos, Kieran, Killian, Kimber, Kimora, Kit, Klarke, Kodah, Koen, Kolby, Kole, Korah, Korbyn, Koy, Kyara, Kyden, Kylie, Kyson
  • Lainey, Lakelyn, Lance, Laramie, Laura, Layne, Legend, Lennon, Leopold, Lillian, Lilliean, Lillyanna, Lily, Lola, Londyn, Lorraine, Luca, Lucius, Luke, Lynlee, Lyvie
  • Macie, Macklin, Maddison, Maddox, Mae, Maevelyn, Maggie, Maisey, Mandy, Marceline, Margaret, Mario, Marisa, Marisol, Marleigh, Mary, Mateo, Matthias, Mavis, Maxwell, Mazikeen, Mckenzie, Meadow, Melia, Melody, Merrik, Merritt, Meyer, Mia, Michael, Michelle, Miklo, Milo, Mira, Montana, Myra
  • Nancy, Nash, Natalie, Nathaneil, Naylin, Nehemiah, Nicholas, Nolen, Nora, Nova, Nylin
  • Oaks, Onyx, Oraya, Orian, Orin, Ostara
  • Paxton, Persephone, Presley, Pyper
  • Quincy
  • Rableen, Raeleah, Raven, Reed, Relik, Remi, Remington, Renato, Revi, Rhett, Riatta, Riggs, Rodolfo, Rogan, Roman, Rosalee, Rosemarie, Rowdy, Roxas, Roy, Ruby, Ryann, Ryatt, Ryott
  • Sadie, Sage, Sandra, Saphira, Seraphina, Serenah, Serenity, Shadow, Shelby, Sheridan, Shyanne, Simon, Skadi, Skylynn, Solveig, Sophie, Sorin, Stella, Sterling, Stetley, Storey, Sturgis, Sutton, Sylar, Sylvia
  • Tala, Talia, Tareyn, Tate, Tavin, Taylee, Teagan, Tennyson, Tess, Tessin, Theotis, Thomas, Tillie, Tinlee, Titan, Tobin, Travis, Trenton, Trexton, Tripp, Turner
  • Vada, Vanessa, Vera, Vincent
  • Walker, Watson, Waylon, Westley, Wilder, Wiley, William
  • Xavier, Xia, Xililah, Ximena
  • Yianeli
  • Zachariah, Zaydin, Zayne, Zeppelin, Zinnia, Zoe

Source: Casper’s most popular baby names, 2020 – Wyoming Medical Center