Nathan Name Meaning

A Hebrew name that has seen steady popularity since the 1970s, Nathan means “He gave.” A familiar face with friendly vibes, Nathan is perfectly at home in classroom roll call.

While Nathan has ancient roots, he’s been a chart regular since the start of the U.S. Top 1000 count. He’s quite recognizable but not at all overused, managing to walk the fine line of popularity. At the same time, he’s an old-school pick with modern appeal that fits in with today’s top names like Brayden and Chase.

Religious parents will appreciate that Nathan is a Biblical name, appearing as a prophet in the holy book and as a son of David. His meaning also refers to God, implying that God is the giver. It’s a suitable name for a precious gift from above. Nathan is also a great alternative to more popular Biblical names like Jacob and Daniel.

Nathan is a versatile name, somehow feeling both strong and soft. He fits in with strong names for boys like Andrew and Arthur as well as gentler finds like Ethan and Emmett. He also remains free of timestamping, fit for a grown man and a curious toddler alike. Nicknames like Nate and Nat give it additional dimension. If you’re looking for something a little longer, check out his longer friend Nathaniel.

Infographic of Nathan name meaning, which is A Hebrew name, Nathan means he gave.
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Nathan Name Popularity

How popular is the name Nathan? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Nathan was the 48th most popular boys name, representing 0.4934% of boy births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Nathan has been the 59th most popular boys name, representing 0.3637% of boy births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 128 212 0.0602%
1911 104 325 0.0873%
1912 120 544 0.1079%
1913 129 578 0.1019%
1914 124 810 0.1162%
1915 138 890 0.098%
1916 142 876 0.0907%
1917 148 843 0.0843%
1918 150 922 0.0859%
1919 159 817 0.078%
1920 174 779 0.0701%
1921 186 719 0.0628%
1922 186 721 0.0647%
1923 186 718 0.0641%
1924 208 634 0.0546%
1925 217 592 0.0524%
1926 207 631 0.0574%
1927 211 604 0.0546%
1928 241 499 0.0466%
1929 245 471 0.0455%
1930 237 505 0.0483%
1931 250 420 0.0426%
1932 243 443 0.0448%
1933 254 384 0.0412%
1934 246 430 0.0445%
1935 246 432 0.0445%
1936 246 421 0.0437%
1937 255 401 0.0407%
1938 228 487 0.0476%
1939 249 429 0.0422%
1940 249 450 0.0423%
1941 244 480 0.0426%
1942 254 487 0.0386%
1943 242 555 0.0425%
1944 269 452 0.0365%
1945 267 457 0.0375%
1946 271 519 0.0352%
1947 271 587 0.0352%
1948 266 579 0.0363%
1949 250 635 0.0395%
1950 244 716 0.0445%
1951 223 836 0.0493%
1952 230 820 0.047%
1953 236 796 0.045%
1954 224 934 0.0511%
1955 231 925 0.0503%
1956 221 1,071 0.0567%
1957 215 1,210 0.0629%
1958 213 1,222 0.0647%
1959 206 1,353 0.0712%
1960 190 1,616 0.0853%
1961 198 1,478 0.0783%
1962 196 1,524 0.083%
1963 194 1,528 0.0851%
1964 186 1,486 0.0844%
1965 180 1,408 0.0861%
1966 179 1,404 0.0899%
1967 179 1,420 0.0936%
1968 163 1,642 0.1094%
1969 154 1,909 0.1239%
1970 130 2,548 0.1601%
1971 104 3,050 0.203%
1972 79 3,522 0.2586%
1973 62 4,749 0.3663%
1974 53 5,845 0.4497%
1975 46 7,064 0.5497%
1976 39 8,616 0.6685%
1977 36 9,894 0.734%
1978 36 9,891 0.7357%
1979 37 10,741 0.7618%
1980 36 11,144 0.7622%
1981 36 11,261 0.7661%
1982 36 10,803 0.7229%
1983 40 10,556 0.7153%
1984 38 10,612 0.7134%
1985 40 10,650 0.7017%
1986 43 9,995 0.6622%
1987 45 9,908 0.6493%
1988 44 10,148 0.6512%
1989 43 10,906 0.6758%
1990 44 10,936 0.6598%
1991 42 10,494 0.6438%
1992 44 10,146 0.6357%
1993 41 10,192 0.6537%
1994 40 10,382 0.6765%
1995 39 10,304 0.6837%
1996 37 10,283 0.6868%
1997 34 10,441 0.7059%
1998 34 11,584 0.774%
1999 32 12,534 0.837%
2000 30 13,036 0.8534%
2001 31 12,645 0.8392%
2002 28 13,220 0.8822%
2003 26 13,659 0.8978%
2004 20 14,627 0.9597%
2005 20 14,356 0.9389%
2006 23 14,273 0.9115%
2007 24 13,589 0.8613%
2008 21 13,253 0.8575%
2009 25 12,119 0.8108%
2010 27 11,372 0.7891%
2011 28 10,501 0.7371%
2012 29 10,417 0.731%
2013 31 9,709 0.6819%
2014 38 8,967 0.6155%
2015 38 8,577 0.5895%
2016 43 7,960 0.5521%
2017 45 7,390 0.5295%
2018 48 6,779 0.4934%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Nathan

If you like Nathan, you’ll love these other names like Nathan.


What names are diminutives of Nathan?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Nathan sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Nathan, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Nat

A diminutive form of Nathan and Nathaniel.

Nate

God has given

Hebrew

#1,604 (0.0027%)  
Nates

A short form of Nathan and Nathaniel.


What names are variants of Nathan?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Nathan.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Natan

God has given

Hebrew

#1,799 (0.0018%)  
Nathen

God has given

Hebrew

#2,671 (0.0004%)  
Nathon

God has given

Hebrew


What names sound like Nathan?

If you like how Nathan sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Nathan.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Ethan

Enduring and strong

Hebrew

#12 (0.8628%)  
Jonathan

God has given

Hebrew

#63 (0.4151%)  
Lathan

English

#1,287 (0.0052%)  
Nathanael

God has given

Hebrew

#697 (0.0205%)  
Nathaniel

God has given

Hebrew

#116 (0.2433%)  

What names are similar to Nathan?

Find a name that’s like Nathan, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Christopher

Bearing Christ

English

#42 (0.5285%)  
Jacob

Supplanter

Hebrew

#13 (0.8567%)  
James

Supplanter

English

#4 (0.9844%)  
Jason

To heal

Greek

#100 (0.2794%)  
John

God is gracious

Hebrew

#27 (0.6637%)  
Paul

Small

Latin

#231 (0.1173%)  
Samuel

Name of God

Hebrew

#21 (0.7085%)  
Simon

He has heard

Hebrew

#251 (0.1029%)  
Thomas

Twin

Greek

#49 (0.4934%)  
William

A willing protector

German

#3 (1.0566%)  

Lists With Nathan

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Nathan.


Siblings of Nathan

Mamas with kids named Nathan also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Alexander

Defender of man

Greek

#11 (0.8726%)  
Charlotte

Free man

French

#6 (0.9419%)  
Violet

Violet flower

English

#43 (0.3489%)  
Emily

To excel

Latin

#12 (0.63%)  
Lucas

From Lucania

Latin

#8 (0.916%)  
Isaac

He will laugh

Hebrew

#34 (0.6127%)  
Hanna

He (God) has favored me

Hebrew

#540 (0.0363%)  
Calvin

Hairless one

English

#143 (0.1999%)  
Jayce

To heal

American

#147 (0.1906%)  
Ryleigh

Rye clearing

English

Sarah

Princess

Hebrew

#67 (0.2709%)  

10 Comments

  1. Two great men, Nathan Hale, a patriot in the Revolutionary war and Nathan the Prophet who led King David back to God.

  2. Loved this name for a while now. It’s been on my favorite boy name list since I got pregnant with my first boy and save this name for the next baby. ?

  3. I chose Nathan because it sounds so sweet and loving! I love that it starts with the same letter as my first born– Nevaeh and they have 6 letters in the names. Nathan is a very pretty name and is highly recommended!

  4. I like the nickname Nate that’s why I chose Nathan
    Once I saw him I knew we picked the perfect name

  5. It was a family name also a Bible name

  6. We played with my husband’s name whose middle name is Nathaniel and that is what his family calls him. I didn’t want a Junior so we decided to go with Nathan, still part of his name but not the exact same.

  7. Love the way it goes with the rest of his name and his dad named him I like every thing about it there’s no dislike

  8. We were sitting in church listening to a sermon about the prophet Nathan confronting king David for his sins. At the time we had not yet settled on a name for our 2nd boy. My husband and I were having trouble agreeing on a name. During the sermon we kind of both looked at each other and I said, “Nathan?” to which he nodded, YES! And that was settled! What’s been so fun about this name is that as a 3 year old, Nathan would pronounce the “TH” in his name as a “SH” and it stuck so we would call him “Nashan” pronounced like Nation. That got shortened to Naish so although he goes by Nathan most of the time, when we’re at home we call him Naish casually. His 18 month old cousin who recently started talking also pronounces Nathan as Nation. We love our Naish!

  9. We chose Nathan because of its Hebrew origin meaning a gift from God. He was our first baby after 4 failed pregnancies.

  10. When my husband and I were dating, we chose names for a boy and a girl. We chose the name Nathan simply because we liked it. We later found it means “gift from God”. Seven years after we were married, our first gift from God was born and we are so grateful.


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