Kate is one of the many nicknames for Katherine or Kaitlin, both of which derive from Greek Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine from hekateros meaning “each of the two” or from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, the underworld, and crossroads. Though her name is of uncertain meaning it’s often been associated with Greek hekas meaning “far away” so the name would essentially mean “one who works from afar” or “the far-reaching one”. It’s also been linked to Ancient Greek hekṓn meaning “willing”. It might also be derived from Greek aikia “torture”. Katherine could also be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name”. The spelling of the name was later changed to be associated with Greek katharos “pure”.
Kate is also an English surname, likely originating as a variant spelling of Catt, which comes from Old English catte meaning “cat”, though it may also have arisen from personal name Katherine.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Coptic
- Kayte (English)