Sibling Project: Kateri

You all know how I feel about the Baby Name Wizard book — basically that it’s a brilliant compilation and analysis of U.S. naming trends that tends to be uncannily accurate and presented in a way that’s insanely helpful. (You can read my full review of it here.) I lean on it heavily in all my consultations and in many name conversations, and I enjoy relaxing with it as straight reading material (and I always learn something new each time I flip through it).

But the deeper I get in Catholic naming, the more holes I see in the BNW data, and I get it — we’re a small subset of American parents and we follow naming rules that are often different from the majority — but I’d still love something that was basically an addendum to the BNW with a specifically Catholicky Catholic focus. Hence my idea for the Sancta Nomina Sibling Project: a database of the names that are similar to each other in terms of style/feel/popularity from an American Catholic perspective (so sorry to my foreign readers! I love you all, and I love all the info you share!).

For right now, this fancy-sounding database will just be here on the blog as a series of occasional posts seeking your feedback on one name at a time. I’m not a statistics guru like BNW author Laura Wattenberg, but I think just having this info handy in a sort of unofficial way will be really helpful to me and to many of you.

Today’s name is Kateri, because it’s the name whose entry drives me the battiest in the BNW — from our perspective, the names listed as similar are completely off base:

Girls: Shadi, Halona, Winema, Mahala, Chenoa, Nayeli
Boys: Sakrai, Chayton, Kohana, Wayra, Seattle, Enapay

I come across Kateri a lot through the blog, and not a one of the ones that I know have siblings with any of these names, or any Native American names in general.

So what I’d love to know from you is, if you know any little Kateris, could you share (using alt characters for privacy if you prefer) her siblings’ first names? Also, please include the pronunciation that each Kateri you know uses, and any nicknames that she goes by (that are related to Kateri, like Kate, not schnookums names like Honey Pie or others completely unrelated to Kateri). Thanks!


50 thoughts on “Sibling Project: Kateri

  1. I’ll add that that particular family doesn’t appear to be Native American. The blog is called Pondered in My Heart.

    The Kateris I know of are mostly Native American and use the name in full. I’ve heard it pronounced to rhyme with Terry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My oldest sister is Kateri (kah-TEER-ee) but my mom was ahead of her time, and it was in the 70’s and 80’s so feel free to disregard this data because I don’t think it’s as fitting. We are Jessica, Nicholas, Andrea, Zachary, Dominic and Medora. I picture “kateri” siblings being named Philomena, Azelie, Faustina, Ignatius, Isaac, Gabriel, etc.

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  3. My oldest daughter has been asking us to name our next baby (due in Sept) Kateri if it’s a girl. She adores St. Kateri. We’ve always pronounced it (Kah-TEER-ee) when we read about St. Kateri. I personally always feel Kateri could fit with so many different types of names. If you go by sound, I tend to pair it with things as a form of Catherine, but a more “hip” (Catholic hip) version. Or I feel like it could also easily be paired with so many other Saint names simply because that’s what it is. Gianna, Blaise, Gemma, Jude, Sebastian…any of those and so many more sound like such nice style/Saint name matches for siblings with Kateri to me….but that’s just the way my mind works. It’ll be interesting to see what others say/think.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our youngest is Kateri Lilyana, pronounced Kuh-teer-ee. Our other children are Christopher, Grace, PeterXavier, Isabella, and Avila. We usually call her by her full name, but she also gets called Kat, Kit-Kat (or Kit-Kat-Katerio, if you’re feeling lovey!), or Teeri.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a little girl named Kateri Amelia! We pronounce it Kah-TEER-ee and her nicknames are Kate and Kitty, with Kitty being more frequently used. 🙂 We don’t have any other kiddos yet but I agree, those BNW name suggestions seem way off to me — but that’s probably because it’s still in a very tiny percentage of use and hasn’t been updated to reflect her sainthood & popularity! I would think that related names would fall under the Zelie/Avila/Vianney/Siena/Clairvaux type of relationship — saint names that aren’t typical old-school Catholic use but are becoming more frequently used nowadays. We’re due with #2 in December so I can update your database of sibling names then! 😉

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  6. My niece is Kateri and her siblings are Alex, Luke, Will and Elyse.
    Also I know another Kateri who ha sisters Abigail and Isabella. Both pronounced Ka-tear- eee

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  7. Brilliant idea Kate! The BNW books suggestions tend to miss the Catholic rationale behind some of my favorite names. I was always horrified by the sibling suggestions for Theresa which I think is such a great name. I think a family using Theresa now is more likely to be a Catholic family rather than one that likes the names from mid-century.

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  8. I know one little Kateri (kah-TEER-ee) but she’s the first baby in her family, so no sibling names to suggest. I think of a little Kateri having siblings named Sebastian, Ignatius, Zelie, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have a Kateri! Her sister’s name is Rosemary (named for Mary and nicknamed Rory). We considered Maristela/Stella Maris (which is still in the running for next time!)

    We also know a family that has the following siblings: Kateri, Thèresé Trea, Xavier, Zèlie, and Kieran.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A sibling set I know included Kateri (sometimes nn Kate), Maria, and Victoria (nn Tori). This Ka-TEER-i is Native American, but adopted into a anglo family.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love that you are doing this. I tried to use the nymbler website to come up with girl name ideas based on our boy name for this baby and our oldest. The younger boy’s name is much more obviously catholic than the first and not really used in the US other than in Catholic circles. The results from nymbler were hilarious. I was going to ask you for a name consultation if this baby was a girl but he’s a he so his name is his name.

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  12. Fantastic idea! I don’t know a Kateri in real life, but we have had it on our list of girl names. I don’t know if you’re sticking solely with *actual* sibling sets but wanted to throw out the name Cabrini, because it has been on our list as well and I’ve always associated the two. Very similar in sound, and both obviously (to me) Catholic and named for a saint. (Mother Cabrini as I’ve always called her, but St. Francis X. Cabrini officially)

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  13. That’ll be such a neat resource!
    My friend has a Kateri (kah-teer-ee), Seba$tian, and Chi@ra. And I know another fam with a Kateri, an Is@ac, M@x (I think short for Maximillian?), and M@lia.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t actually know anybody name Kateri, but I don’t know any really little ones or even like elementary schoolers and I feel like it’s most likely more popular in that age group (?) I could be wrong. I would be interested in seeing how old the Kateris that others know are.

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  15. The coolest girl in my high school was named Kateri, proununced differently from the others here: KATE-eh-ri. Her brother was Andrew. They’d be mid -30s now.

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  16. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search and came up with a list of Kateri siblings for you. Most of these are from news articles, online birth announcements and blogs and are from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. What I see is a mix of fairly daring saint’s names from conservative Catholic families and nature names and sometimes a combination of the two.

    Kateri: brother Dominic

    Kateri: sister Makya; brother Malachi

    Kateri: sisters Gianna and Aliz; brothers Isaiah and Tobias John Paul.

    Kateri: sisters Lucia and Mary Helen.

    Kateri: brothers Edwin and Isaac; sisters Dionne, Gabriella, Meadow and Alexandra

    Kateri: sisters Claire, Guadalupe and Mini-Francis; brother Sebastian.

    Kateri: sisters Gabi, Mariah, Maddi and Arianna; brothers Clayton, Tristan, Max, Anthony, Luke-Xavier.

    Kateri: brother Sebastian Jude.

    Kateri: sister Kendra

    Kateri: sisters Mallory, Gianna and Adelina; brothers Tobiah and Jonah.

    Kateri: brothers Lennon, Rush and Benjamin; sister Isla.

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  17. The two Kateris I’ve known would both be late teens now, and have a lot more sibs than when I knew them. One went by Katie, and had sibs: Henry, Andrew, Blaise, Bridget & Bernadette. The other had a sister Felicity and a bunch of other hip-Catholic sibs that I don’t remember. I seriously loved the name back then, but thought it was getting too popular in Catholic-land.

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  18. I have four boys and we named our baby girl Kateri. She’s almost one! Her big brothers are Joachim, Isaac, Ezekiel (Zeke) & Ambrose Vianney. We say it Kah-TEER-ee. We mostly call her that, but Ambrose says Teer-ee. (That’s pronounced like crying a tear.)
    I agree with a lot of the Catholic name grouping “suggestions” above. I think a lot of those would fit together. (NOT the BNW suggestions.)
    We have no Native American blood. Caucasian with mostly German & Welsh ancestry many generations ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a Joachim!! 😍😍😍 Would you mind telling me how old he is and whether he likes his name or not? Does he go by a nickname? Have you experienced much confusion from others in regards to his name?


      • Joachim is 10 and we say his name Joe-ah-kim. He likes his name in our strong Catholic circles, but it is a struggle sometimes when we meet new people. Also, when we go to a doctor’s office they often say it the more common Spanish-speaking way: Wah-keem. I think we freaked out our entire family when he was born because they were not familiar with the name at all. Now no one bats an eye. We find that kids and young people have no confusion, but middle-aged and elderly people can’t seem to understand it. One thing that I’ve noticed a lot however, is that people hardly ever misspell it. (This is in huge contrast to Isaac. So many people try to spell it Issac.) He goes by Joachim with most everyone. His little brothers have each called him Jojo when they were starting to talk, but Joachim is the predominant name now with each of them.

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      • I love love love hearing this! I’ve tried to convince my husband of Joachim for years! I’d even pitched the nickname Jake, which I know my hubs loves, and I do see him soften a little when I suggest it, but mostly he worries that it’s just too difficult. Thank you for sharing your experience!


  19. I have a great friend named Kateri. Her family is Italian Catholic and she was born on an Indian reservation in New Mexico because her dad was a physician for the reservation. She was born in 1990, I was the first person who recognized her name as a saint name when we were both 18. She always explained the pronunciation like terry with a kah in front. No real nicknames.

    Her siblings are Eugene (gene), Claire, and Joseph

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I know you collected your data already – loved your synopsis post! – but thought I would add our friends’ kah-TEER-ee’s siblings: Mason, Anthony, Molly, and Gianna. Interesting, no?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We know 2 Kateris (Kuh-tear-ee). Siblings Edward (after dad) and Anthony for one. The other has siblings Isaac, Gabriela, Malia, and Max (I believe short for Maximilian).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m a little late to post this, but I know two families with Kateri (both ka-TEHR-ee). In the first set of sibs, names are S@r@h, Rosem@rie, Willi@m, J0seph, D@niel, D@vid. The second family is Monic@, Peter, M@ry, J0seph, Gr@ce, X@vier.

    Liked by 1 person

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