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Updated May 9, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

What does Nathan mean and stand for?


  • Hebrew: Given; gift of God; he gave

Gender: Male

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Nathan is pronounced nay-thun

The name Nathan is of Hebrew origin, meaning a gift "given" or "gift of God." It is a classic and timeless name that has been used across different cultures and times, signifying both a divine gift and the generosity of giving. In biblical context, Nathan was a prophet in the court of King David, known for his wisdom and counsel, enhancing the name's historical significance and cultural depth.

How Popular Is The Name Nathan

Family name origins & meanings

Jewish, English, and German: from the Biblical Hebrew personal name Natan "given" (i.e. by God). Sometimes this is also a Jewish short form of Jonathan or Nathaniel. The personal name was comparatively rare among non-Jews in the Middle Ages (although always common among Jews); as a modern surname it is most frequently Jewish.

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Nathan in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Nathan Drake from Uncharted - A treasure hunter with a knack for finding himself in dangerous situations.
  • Nathan Scott from One Tree Hill - A talented but troubled basketball player navigating his personal and professional life.
  • Nathan Petrelli from Heroes - A politician with the ability to fly and a complex moral compass.
  • Nathan Young from Misfits - A young offender who gains supernatural powers, known for his sharp wit and humor.
  • Nathan Summers/Cable from X-Men Comics - A time-traveling mutant soldier with a grim disposition and advanced telepathic and telekinetic powers.

Popularity of the Name Nathan

According to the Social Security Administration, the name Nathan has remained a popular choice for boys in the United States, consistently holding a strong position in the rankings. This name, of Hebrew origin meaning "he gave," reflects its enduring appeal across generations, balancing traditional significance with a modern, approachable vibe.

Nathan's popularity can be attributed to its Biblical roots, as Nathan was a prophet in the Old Testament, known for his role as an advisor to King David. This historical and religious significance adds depth to the name, likely contributing to its lasting popularity among parents seeking a name with a rich background.

In popular culture, Nathan has been represented by a range of characters, illustrating its versatility and universal appeal. Notable Nathans include Nathan Drake from the video game series Uncharted, and Nathan Scott from the television series One Tree Hill, showcasing the name's fit for strong, compelling characters. Nathan also appears in Six Feet Under, Gossip Girl, Sophie's Choice, A Few Good Men, and Guys and Dolls.

Where Is the Name Nathan Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Nathan

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Nat
  • Nate
  • Nates
  • Than

Nathan Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

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