Nathan Name Meaning and Origin

Nathan is primarily a male name widely used in Europe, especially France. The American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale or the biblical prophet Nathan who lived during the reigns of King David and King Solomon might have given this name a boost in popularity. Nathan might also be a Jewish short form of Nathaniel and Jonathan, as the meanings of these three names have something similar to “Gift of God” or “God has given.” Nathan was a prophet and one of King David’s sons in the Old Testament. He acted as a messenger to King David and is considered one of Jesus’ ancestors.

What Does Nathan Mean? 

Derived from the Greek form of the Hebrew name Netan’el, Nathan means “God/El has given” or “Gift of God/El.” The meaning of Nathan is “He gave.” Similar ancient names are Nathaniel, with the same meaning as Elnathan and Jonathan, which signifies “YHWH has given.” So the meaning of Nathan refers to your child as a true gift implying God is the giver.

Origin 

Nathan has a Jewish, English, and German origin derived from the Biblical Hebrew personal name Natan meaning ‘given by God.’ As per the early records, this name can be found in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) by Nethanel, son of Zuar, leader of the Tribe of Issachar, and Nathaniel’s New Testament Christian Bible an Apostle of Christ. Derived from the Hebrew verb meaning gave (standard Hebrew Natan, Yiddish Nussen or Nosson, Tiberian Hebrew Nāṯān). The meaning of the name in Jewish culture could be rendered “he has given” or “he will give.” The related name Elnathan could be rendered “Gift of El” (Hebrew God). It may be a Jewish short form of Jonathan or Nathaniel. The personal name was comparatively rare among non-Jews in the middle Ages, and as a modern surname, it is most frequently Jewish. 

Gender 

Male

Pronunciation 

  • nay-th(an)
  • NAY-thuhn 

Syllables 

2 Syllables

Length/Letter 

6 letters

Name Variations/Spellings 

Nathan name variations and other spelling of Nathan have crossed borders to become worthy contenders across various languages. Here are some of the other spellings for Nathan and Nathan name variations that would make their mark in any parent’s baby naming selection process. 

Name Origin
Nate Hebrew
Natan Hebrew
Nathen Hebrew
Nathon Hebrew
Ethan Hebrew
Jonathan Hebrew
Lathan English
Nathaniel Hebrew
Neizan Spanish
Jason Greek

How Popular Is the Name Nathan? 

Ranking high in the top 100 boys’ names in countries like France and Belgium, the Nathan popularity index remains stagnant in both US and Europe. As per the Social Security Administration’s rankings, Nathan has remained in the top 100 boys’ names since 1972, with the Nathan baby name ranking hitting No. 45 in 1975, and it has never dipped below No. 50 again until 2019. Nathans has starred in some classic films like the character played by Kevin Kline in Sophie’s Choice, by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, and Frank Sinatra in the film version of Guys and Dolls. Nathan Zuckerman has featured in several novels by Philip Roth.

Interest in Nathan – Worldwide

A consistent search value of over 60 has been recorded on interest for the name Nathan reaching 100 in Nov 2015. The lowest recorded value was at 47 in Nov 2020 and Sept 2021.

Interest in Nathan – the US

Search trends for the name Nathan show a search value of over ten, reaching 100 in Jan 2020. It scored the lowest value of 40 in Feb 2018.

Popularity of the Name Nathan

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched

Search Trends of Nathan – Worldwide

Interest in the name Nathan has been highest in Australia in the past ten years. Other countries like Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and United States occupy the top five positions. The Jewish community in Australia, who are avid followers of the Hebrew Bible, has led to the wide interest in the name Nathan in the country.

Search Trends of Nathan – the US

Among the sub-regions in the US, Connecticut leads in the search trends for the name Nathan over the last ten years. Rhode Island, North Dakota, Utah, and Massachusetts have found a place in the top five positions.

Middle Names That Go With Nathan 

The tradition of giving middle names has been an accepted part of many cultures today. Here are some of the best double names with Nathan that might have been adopted as a way of giving your children both a given name and a Christian saint’s name:

Daniel Matthew
Robert Benjamin
Michael Edward
Joseph Scott
Riley Kyle
Bruce Joshua
Edwin Seth
Douglas Noah
Thomas James
Samuel Caleb
Luke Hayden

Famous People Named Nathan

Successful people from different walks of life often inspire parents looking for a suitable name for their baby. Here is a list of some of the most famous celebrities named Nathan who might influence your choice of names.

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Nathan Adrian Olympian
Nathan Fillion Actor
Nathan Lane  Stage Actor
Nathan Kress TV Actor
Nathan MacKinnon Hockey Player
Nathan Deal Governor of Georgia
Nathan Hale American Patriot
Nathan Zach Poet
Nathan Detroit Character In Musical Guys and Dolls
Nathan Bostock British Banker
Nathan Carter Irish Country Singer

Similar Names & Last Names 

Baby names like Nathan may differ in their meanings, spellings, or pronunciation but carry a similar sound or feel. Family names for Nathan can make great combinations, ensuring the pride and honor of the family remain intact. Here are some of the other names for Nathan fit for a grown woman and a curious toddler alike:

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Ethan Murray
Andrew Clerk
Warren Greig
Simon Gilbert
Jacob Gibbs
Logan Clarkson
Branden Archer
Isaac Grant
Levi Harris
Phillip Harry
Jackson Woods

Names That Sound Like Nathan

Names that rhyme with Nathan can be created to match the name lyrically. Here are some of the names that sound like Nathan to convey similar phonetic effects:

Nadine Natine
Newton Natania
Natane Nodin
Nituna Notin
Nadim Natan
Nantan Nithanya
Needham Joel
Nick Kevin
Nicholas Logan
Stephen Brian

Sibling Names Related to Nathan 

Siblings can be identified due to their common thematic names hatched by mix and match. So, choosing sister names for Nathan and brother names for Nathan need to match each other. Here are some of the best sibling names that go with Nathan that will help to nurture the beautiful bond between them:

Sister Names for Nathan Brother Names for Nathan
Laura Morgan
Mary Weston
Victoria Owen
Julia Asher
Sara Leland
Olivia Isaac
Hannah Elias
Emily Miles
Anna Jeremy
Sophia Dylan
Lisa Blake
Naomi Byron

Nicknames for Nathan 

Nicknames can be chosen as per a child’s special physical or behavioral aspects. Here is a list of some of the best nicknames for the name Nathan that might be taken into consideration:

Nat Nate
Than Nates
Ninkywinky Thanos
Natey Nate The Great
Nath Natty
Na Na Ney Ney
Ninky Nanky Nae-Nae
Nathanator Nan
Natou Nater Tots
Nathan The King Nael
Nate Dogg Nattey

Religious-minded parents looking for a Biblical name will find this name most suitable as Nathan appears as a prophet in the holy book and as a son of David. Moreover, its meaning refers to God as the giver of a precious gift like a baby who brings happiness to every parent’s life. 

Sources/References

Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Nathan Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&geo=US&q=Nathan
Nathan Name Popularity Across the World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&q=Nathan
Nathan Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&geo=US&q=Nathan
Nathan Name Interest Across the World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-11-11%202021-11-11&q=Nathan

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Priyadarshika is a passionate writer, who doesn’t hesitate from treading uncharted territories. She thoroughly enjoys the process of transforming thoughts into words and creating interesting reads. She likes sharing ideas and perspectives, and always ensures she is patient and persistent. She puts efforts to excel every day, whether it is at work or in her personal life. She is a blogger and a poet, and always demonstrates her skills creatively to add value to our content.