Cato is an Ancient Roman cognomen meaning “wise” in Latin <catus (clever, intelligent; cunning) <Proto-Italic *katos (clever, shrewd) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word meaning “to sharpen”.
Cato is also a Dutch female name, originating as diminutive of Catharina, the Dutch and Swedish form of Katherine. Katherine is the English form of Greek Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine via 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 “will” or “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”.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain
Meaning: an Ancient Roman cognomen “wise”; could also be derived from Katherine, a name of uncertain etymology though possible “each of the two”, or derived from the name of Greek goddess Hecate “one who works from afar” or “the far-reaching one”; “will, willing”, “torture”; possibly from Coptic “my consecration of your name”, the spelling later changed to associate it with Greek katharos “pure”
Usage: Ancient Roman, Dutch, English
- Kato (English)- also an Eastern African name with a different meaning/etymology as well as a Japanese surname