I have a theory. It’s that people know more people called Catherine than they do any other name. So I’ve devised a fun game to test this. The rules are very simple: one minute, as many Catherines as you can. You can include Kates or Katies if you wish, but be consistent. In this example, I have been very strict and kept it to pure Catherine*. Go!
Catherine Mahony, Catherine Zeta Jones, Catherine of Aragon, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr, Catherine Garman, Katherine Green, Catherine Sikorski, Catherine Collins, St Catherine of Siena, Catherine Bevan, Catherine Earnshaw (this counts double because of Wuthering Heights, and also the fact that I know someone who is genuinely called Katherine Earnshaw).
See? You’ll find you know loads of them. I tried this game with my other sister, Nancy, and all I got was Nancy Mahony, Nancy from Oliver, Nancy Reagan and Nancy Drew.
Variations: try another name. You’ll find Catherine beats all, especially if you include Kate etc.
So there you go! The Name Game.