Katharine (Greek) - "Pure" or "unspotted." Like Margaret, this beautiful name is a "jewel-name," being derived from the Greek " katharos " (crystal), the symbol of spotless purity, whence we say, As clear as crystal." Besides meaning purity, the name also implies beauty, grace, and intellectual devotion, so that its attributes are as numerous as its derivatives and variants, many of which are given below. Apart from the saints and holy women who have borne the name, the pages of history can supply both famous and infamous bearers of it. Katharine of France, the adored wife of Henry V., the victor of Agincourt, and Catherine of Braganza, Queen of Charles II. of England, led safe lives at least, which is more than can be said of the three Katharines who became brides of " bluff King Hal." Of these, the unhappy Katharine of Aragon was divorced, her successor of Howard beheaded, while the third, Katharine Parr, by watchful tact, survived her Royal master only to meet death at the hand of her second husband. Amongst others, the name of Catherine de Medici will ever be associated with loathing in connection with the massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day, while the Empresses of Russia, Catherine I. and II., left a more notorious than enviable fame.
Kathi, Kathei-german contractions also.
Kathleen-Irish diminutive of Katharine. This is one of the prettiest and most popular forms.
Katie - Common English contraction of Katharine.
Katinka-Russian contraction. Also German.
Katren-Older English variant.
Katrein, Katterle-both German contractions.
Katty-Irish diminutive of Kathleen.
Kilda (Celtic)-" Church of the Oak." Most probably same as Kildare.
Kirsty (Greek)-" Christian." Scottish contraction of Christine.
Kitty-English pet diminutive of Katharine.
Konstantia (Latin)-" Firm."
Kordel-German form of Cordelia, a Welsh name signifying " daughter of the sea," or " jewel of the sea."
Kordula-Derivative of same. The Germans are inclined to derive these names from Latin ("cor"-heart); but their true source is a Welsh one.
Laeta (Latin)-" Kind-hearted."
Laetitia (Latin) - " Joy." From laetus-" joyful."
Lais (Greek)-" Most beautiful," also " Booty.". Lais was a Corinthian woman who lived during the famous twenty years of the Peloponnesian War (435 B.c.). Her beauty was perfect, and so striking that it aroused the bitterest jealousy among the Thessa-lonian women, a party of whom visited poor Lais and pricked her to death with bodkins.
Lalage (Greek)-" Fair-skinned."
Lalla (Indian) - " Tulip cheek." Thomas Moore's " Lalla Rookh " tells the love-story of this daughter of the Emperor of Delhi. Lalla is betrothed to be married to Aliris, the sultan of Lesser Bucharia, but on her journey from Delhi to the Valley of Cashmere she meets a young Persian poet, Fera-morz, with whom she falls in love. Sad at heart, but determined to be loyal to her betrothed, Lalla completes her journey. On her wedding morn, when led to her future husband, she is overjoyed to find the sultan is really Feramorz himself, who has adopted this romantic course to win the heart of his bride.
Lamia (Greek)-" An enchantress," or" witch."
Lampetia (Greek) - " Sorrowful." According to tradition, Lampetia was one of the daughters of the sun-god, and was changed into a poplar-tree after the death of her brother Phaethon. The rain showers glistening on the wet poplar leaves were said to be tears.
Laodamia (Greek)-" Faithful love."
Laodice (Greek)-" Tested by the people." Laodice, daughter of King Priam, fell in love with Acamas when he came on an embassy from the Greeks to Troy to demand the restoration of Helen. Eventually she married Helicaon, but threw herself from the top of a tower and was killed when Troy was sacked by the Greeks.
Laonome (Greek)-" Sea-bride."
Laothoe (Greek)-" A wanderer."
Lara (Latin)-" Talkative." Lara was the daughter of the river-god Almon in Latium, and far-famed for her beauty and fluency of speech, which resembled the rapid babbling of a brook; but having revealed some domestic secrets of Jupiter's, she was deprived of her tongue, and conducted by Mercury to the lower regions, where she could work no mischief.
Larentia (Latin)-" Inconstant." The foster-mother of Romulus and Remus, the reputed founders of Rome.
Larunda (Latin)-" Guardian spirit." The origin of this name is somewhat obscure. It appears to come from old Etruscan mythology, when guardian spirits were believed to protect the domestic hearth. The Romans adopted the idea, using for it the word " lars," meaning " lord " or " ruler." Next they made images of these lares, or rulers of the homes, covered them with dog-skins, and placed them beside the hearths together with figures of dogs. Sometimes the images were placed in a little shrine (aedes) by the hearth, or in a small chapel (lararium) in the centre of the house. The original word means " bright or shining one," being akin to the Sanscrit root, " las, lucere "-"togrow bright at the dawn." Others derive it from the Etruscan word " lars "-" conductor " or " leader," but as the " dawn leads on another day," doubtless these have a common origin. The lares were two in number, sons of Mercury and Lara when he took her to the nether-world. To be continued.