When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Nathan Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Nathan including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Nathan Overview

  • Meaning: “He will give” or “Given by God.”
  • Gender: Male.
  • Origin: Hebrew, Biblical.
  • Pronunciation: NAY-thn.
  • Popularity: Very Popular in the United States and other English-Speaking, Chrisitan countries.
  • Nicknames: Nat, Nate, Tate.
  • Variations: Jonathan, Nathaniel, Ethan.
  • Namesakes: Nathan Fillion, Nathan Hale, Nathan Seiburg.

What Does Nathan Mean?

Nathan comes from the Hebrew word “to give” and means “he will give” or “given by God” (1).

Nathan was the name of the prophet who advised King David in the Bible and wrote the histories of Kings David and Solomon. The king appreciated the prophet’s advice so much that he named one of his sons Nathan to honor the man.

What Is the Origin of the Name Nathan?

Nathan is a Christian name derived from the Old Testament. The name “Nathan” was initially “Natan” in standard Hebrew, but it quickly evolved into “Nathan” among English-speaking Christians.

The first recorded use of the name “Nathan” is the advisor to King David in the Old Testament.

How Popular Is the Name Nathan?

Nathan is a prevalent name in countries with a large, English-speaking Christian population.

It’s a popular name in the United States and was the 55th most popular name in 2020 (2). The name has fallen slightly since its 2005 peak, but Nathan remains a common moniker.

Nathan can often be a nickname for “Jonathan,” meaning the number of people who go by “Nathan” might be greater than those who have it as their proper name.

How Do I Pronounce Nathan?

Nathan is pronounced “NAY-thn,” with the stress falling on the first syllable. You shouldn’t pronounce the second “a” in Nathan. “NAY-thn” is much closer to “Nay-thin” than “Nay-than.”

Is Nathan a Boy or Girl Name?

Nathan is typically a boy’s name.

Nathania (pronounced nay-THAN-yuh or nuh-THAN-ee-yuh) is the feminized version of “Nathan.” However, the name is rare, with not many girls receiving it each year.

Variations of Nathan

Like any name that’s been around since the writing of the Old Testament, the name “Nathan” received several variations. The most popular two are “Jonathan” and “Nathaniel.”

Other variations of Nathan include:

  • Ethan (Hebrew)
  • Jason (Greek)
  • Johnathan (English, Hebrew)
  • Lathan (English)
  • Naethan (English)
  • Nandan (Indian)
  • Nat (Arabic, Hindi)
  • Natan (Hebrew, Russian)
  • Natanael (French, Greek)
  • Nathaniel (English)
  • Nathen (English, Hebrew, German)
  • Nathin (Hindi)
  • Nathon (English, Hebrew, Russian)
  • Natthan (Australia)
  • Neizan (Spanish)
  • Nosson (Yiddish)
  • Nussen (Yiddish)

Nicknames for Nathan

When choosing a good name, it’s essential to keep in mind nicknames you can use and that others might assign to the name.

Some nicknames for Nathan are:

  • Nat
  • Nate
  • Nath
  • Nats
  • Natty
  • Nay
  • Tate
  • Thanny

Similar Names to Nathan

If you like the name Nathan and are interested in similar monikers, there are plenty of other options to consider.

Here are some names with a similar meaning to Nathan:

  • Corbon (Offered from God)
  • Hans (Gift of God)
  • Jeremiah (God has Gifted)
  • Mateo (Gift of God)
  • Thaddeus (Gift from God)

Here are some names with a similar origin to Nathan:

Here are names that sound similar to Nathan:

Middle Names for Nathan

If you want to name your child Nathan and need a fitting middle name, here are some options:

Sibling Names for Nathan

If you already have a child named Nathan, plenty of names work well with it that you can choose for their siblings.

For a brother, consider the following:

For a sister, consider these options:

Famous People Named Nathan

With the popularity of the name Nathan, there are many famous people who share the first name across a variety of fields. Some of the most notable include:

  • Nathan Adams: British soccer player for Lincoln United.
  • Nathan Beauregard: American blues musician.
  • Nathan Clements: American football cornerback.
  • Nathan Deal: American lawyer and politician, former Governor of Georgia.
  • Nathan Fillion: Canadian American actor best known for his roles on “Firefly” and “Castle.”
  • Nathan Forrest: Confederate General during the Civil War.
  • Nathan Hale: American spy during the American Revolution.
  • Nathan Jordison: Drummer for the American band Slipknot.
  • Nathan Kress: American actor best known for his roles in “iCarly” and “Pinky Malinky.”
  • Nathan Larson: American rock musician and film score composer.
  • Nathan Milstein: Ukrainian American quantum physicist.

Nathan in Popular Culture

Nathan is a common name in popular culture and exists in many settings, including:

  • “Big Nate”: A popular comic series. The success of “Big Nate” led to a book series and a cartoon series about the sixth-grade protagonist.
  • “Nate the Great”: A series of detective stories. Marjorie Sharmat has written 29 “Nate the Great” books since the late 1970s, and “Nate the Great” was a musical that aired for two years in the mid-2000s (3).
  • Nathan Detroit: The protagonist of the classic play “Guys and Dolls.” In “Guys and Dolls,” Detroit is a gambler who learns to be a respectable family man.
  • Nathan Drake: The treasure-hunting protagonist of the popular video game series “Uncharted.” Drake is a sarcastic yet funny everyman put into absurd situations and finds humor in his problems.
  • Nathan Petrelli: An anti-villain in the TV show “Heroes.” He is a well-intentioned politician with the power of flight. Petrelli often makes mistakes, but he gets his redemption and manages to save New York City in the end.
  • Nathan Stark: A character in the show “Eureka.” Stark is a brilliant man who became a mathematician instead of a scientist.
  • Nathan Summers: The given name of the X-Men character “Cable.” Cable is a warrior with telepathic and telekinetic abilities.

Nathan FAQs

Here are common questions related to the name Nathan.

Is Nathan a Strong, Powerful Name?

The name Nathan is more versatile as opposed to being a true power name. One can consider it powerful since King David used the name, but it also invokes God’s mercy and generous nature.

What Is the Personality of Someone Named Nathan?

People with the name Nathan can be the most popular individual in a room or friend group. Many consider them to be hip, confident, and poised. Even if Nathan is reserved, he’ll know how to navigate social dynamics.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?