Friday, February 17, 2012


Last weekend I saw the ballet version of Don Quixote. Being familiar with the Broadway musical version, I was expecting to watch a story about a downtrodden prostitute named Aldonza. Instead, I got a story about a spirited inn keeper's daughter named Kitri.

In the ballet (which has little to do with Don Quixote, by the way) Kitri (pronounced "KIH-tree," I assume) is in love with Basilio. But Kitri's father Lorenzo wants her to marry a noble named Gamache. Kitri runs away with Basilio, but is eventually found and dragged away. On the day of the wedding, Basilio pretends to kill himself. Kitri, knowing that it is a trick, implores Lorenzo to bless the couple since she would be very soon widowed and free to marry Gamache. Lorenzo does so, and Basilio leaps up unharmed and the happy couple is married.

The ballet is based off of two chapters of the book. There's a moment where Don Quixote is at an inn and he asks the inn keeper to knight him. That's what the whole ballet is based off of. It was composed by Ludwig Minkus (who apparently composed a ton of ballets that I have never heard of) and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, and was originally performed in Russia.

There is really nothing about Kitri as a name on the Internet, so I have no idea where it comes from. It certainly doesn't strike me as being Spanish. It seems more Russian to me. I would assume that it's a variant of Katherine, because that makes sense. But I really don't know.

But I have to admit that I'm intrigued by Kitri. I think that it's has the ability to catch on as a baby name. If nothing else, it's a nickname for Katherine that isn't Katie. Names that end in an "ee" sound are very popular for girls at the moment. It's also has the same style as the nickname of a certain princess' sister.

So if you want a rare name that is associated with the arts and falls into trend, then Kitri might be your gal.


Image Credit:
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  1. My first thought is how similar it is to Quitterie. Could there be a connection?
    I like her sound, would make a wonderful nickname for Katherine if nothing else :)
    The not knowing where it comes from would make it hard for me to use as anything but a nickname, but it's darling ^^

  2. It seems a bit like Katniss - another cool literary name that's almost, but not quite, like Katherine.

    When I Googled, I saw someone had named her daughter Charlotte Kitri.

  3. Kitri is lovely. I like it a lot. It also seems like a really good nickname for Catrina as well as Katherine.

  4. Just piping up to say, I love this blog. I love reading all the lore behind the names, I love the pics you choose to go along with your posts, and I just... well... I love this blog. :) That's all!

  5. I thought of Quitterie too!

    Kitri is adorable... Quitterie to me, looks classically beautiful and feminine and Kitri looks spunky and feisty.

  6. The name Kitri in the ballet was originally Quiteria. So, associating Kitre with Quitterie was extremely close.


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