Friday, September 27, 2013

Name of the Week: Catalina

The Girl Name of the Week comes to us in honor of this week's "Spanish Names For Girls" list. I have to admit that I had a very hard time choosing just one name to feature since so many of them stood out to me. I finally decided on Catalina, pronounced kah-tah-LEE-nah.

It is a Spanish form of Katherine. Now, I've always seen Katherine-type names meaning "pure" but after looking deeper into possible meanings, I'm not so sure which is truly "correct."  Here are the original possibilities:

  • From the Greek name Αικατερινη (Aikaterine) 
  • From the earlier Greek name ‘Εκατερινη (Hekaterine) which came from (hekateros) meaning "each of two" which is similar to the goddess Hecate's name.
  • From the Greek αικια (aikia) meaning "torture" which is obviously not ideal.
  • From a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name."

Eventually, these were put on the back-burner and Katherine solely became associated with the Greek καθαρος (katharos) meaning "pure." To ensure that this would be the most popular meaning, early Christians changed its Latin spelling from Katerina to Katharina.

As for Catalina, it seems to be used most often in geography. There is a city in Arizona, an island off the coast of California, and another island near the Dominican Republic, just to name a few of the many.

As a given name for girls, it is used all over the Spanish-Speaking world including actresses and musicians and athletes from Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Mexico. There are several Catalinas from Romania as well since they use the same spelling.

Let's look at the stats! Catalina has been used in the States since 1893!  It remained in the double-digits for births until 1974. It broke into the Top 1000 in 1989.  Slowly but surely, more and more girls receive the name every year! As of 2013, there were 773 girls given the name which ranks it at #395, a brand new record-high!

Revision:  As of 2016, Catalina ranked at #314 for a total of 1,024 births on record.

I think it is gorgeous! I would use this instead of Catherine or Katherine and use the classy nickname Kate, the cutesy nicknames Cat or Cata (cah-tah) or the lovely and unique Lina.

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alejandra, Bianca, Cristina, Estella, Ignacia, Juliana, Lucinda, Mercedes, Paloma, Selena
Brothers: Armando, Cordero, Diego, Eduardo, Felipe, Joaquin, Leandro, Maximo, Oswaldo, Vicente

Middle Name Ideas:
Catalina Rose
Catalina Inez
Catalina Pilar
Catalina Isobel
Catalina Luz
Catalina Mary

As a Middle Name:
Dolores Catalina
Grisel Catalina
Leonor Catalina
Maite Catalina
Raquel Catalina

Whether you have any Spanish roots or not, what do you think of this lovely name?

Original Post: 9/27/13
Revision: 5/15/17

1 comment:

Waltzing More Than Matilda said...

There's an Australian celebrity called Jacki O with a daughter named Catalina - she uses the nickname Kitty for it (very cute).

PS There's a pornographic actress with my name too - several in fact!


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