Cato

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 KatherineKatherine 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 Hecatethe 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 Katherinea 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

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Variants:

  • Kato (English)- also an Eastern African name with a different meaning/etymology as well as a Japanese surname

Niko

Niko is a masculine name, the Finnish form of Nicholas which means “victory of the people” from Greek Nikolaos made up from Ancient Greek elements nike (victory) and laos (people) both of which derive from a PIE source.

Niko is also the Croatian and Slovene short form of Nikola, the Slavic (male) form of Nicholas. However, Niko can also be used as a short form of Nicholas (also spelled Nico) or its feminine forms Nicole and Nicolette, making it a unisex name.

Niko is also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

ni

  • 仁 “benevolence, humanity, charity”
  • 二 “two”
  • “you, your thou, second person”
  • “day, sun, Japan”

ko

  • “child”
  • “lake”
  • 胡 “barbarian, foreign”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji. Written in hiragana it’s にこ.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Japanese

Meaning: “victory of the people”; also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used

Usage: Finnish, Croatian, Slovene, Georgian, German, English, Japanese

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Variants:

  • Nico (Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, English)