Boy Baby Name

Nathan

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4 / 5
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Quick Facts on Nathan

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 31
Pronunciation:
NAY-thәn
Simple meaning:
He has given

Characteristics of Nathan

  • The Master Builder
  • Leader
  • Large Undertakings
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Organization

Etymology & Historical Origin - Nathan

The name Nathan comes from the Hebrew language meaning “he has given”, whereas the Hebrew Nethan'el (Nathaniel) means more specifically “God has given” (thanks to the “El” component). Similarly, the Hebrew name Yehonathan (Jonathan) means “Yahweh has given”. All three masculine names are related to the Hebrew noun “mattan” which means “gift” (see Matthew). Nathan is borne in the Bible as a prophet during the time of King David. In Samuel 12:1-15, “the Lord sent Nathan to David” to admonish David for his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and for arranging to have Uriah the Hittie (Bathsheba’s husband) killed in battle in an effort to cover up said affair. Believed to have lived c. 1000 B.C., Nathan the Prophet (as he’s commonly known) also appears in Kings and Chronicles. He essentially helped usher in the reign of David (by announcing God’s covenant with David), and saw the end to David’s reign when he talked the king into proclaiming Solomon heir to the throne (Solomon being one of David’s many, many, too-many-to-count-many sons). In fact, Solomon’s older brother and one of King David’s four sons with Bathsheba was named Nathan (most likely after David’s prophet-pal). The Gospel of Luke 3:31 traces Jesus’ lineage to David through Nathan (Matthew 1:7 has it going through Solomon). Either way, Nathan is believed to be a direct ancestor to the Messiah in Christian tradition. That means he has some pretty good genes. Believe it or not, Nathan is currently the #1 name in France. It’s also ranked #3 in Belgium (French speakers apparently love to “give” the name Nathan to their les bébés garçons). Nathan also gets high marks in Canada, the United States, Ireland and Scotland. It’s also one of the more popular baby boy names in Northern Ireland, England and Australia.

Popularity of the Name Nathan

The name Nathan has experienced above-average success in terms of popular boys’ names in America for over a century; but most specifically since the 1970’s. At the turn of the 21st century, the name experienced the height of that popularity averaging in the Top 25 position. While technically a Biblical name, its roots are a bit more obscure. The popularity has more to do with its gentle strength and two-syllable simplicity (i.e., a less fancy version of Nathaniel). The shortened form (Nate) allows for a one-syllable punch and an even stronger masculine sound. Nathan “has given” American parents a handsome name choice!
Popularity of the Boy Name Nathan
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Nathan

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Nathan

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Nathan

    Nathan Price (The Poisonwood Bible) Nathan Price is a central character in Barbara Kingsolver bestselling novel "The Poisonwood Bible" (1998). As a WWII veteran and the only member of his army regimen to escape death, he is riddled with guilt. He takes his wife and four daughters to Africa on a mission to save the continent for Jesus. An overzealous Baptist minister propelled to save as many souls as possible; he puts his own family in harm’s way.

  • Popular Songs on Nathan

    Popular Songs on Nathan

    Nathan Jones - a song by Bananarama

    Nathan Jones - a song by Diana Ross & The Supremes

    Nathan La Franeer - a song by Joni Mitchell

    Segue - Nathan Adler - a song by David Bowie

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Nathan

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Nathan

    My Rotten Life (Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie Series) (David Lubar) - Ten-year-old Nathan Abercrombie is having a really bad day. First, Shawna Lanchester, the prettiest girl in his class, doesn’t invite him to her party. Then he gets picked last in gym class. Things couldn’t get any worse…until he gets doused with an experimental serum that turns him into a half-dead zombie! Nathan soon discovers that being half dead isn’t all bad. He doesn’t need any sleep, so he can stay up all night and play games online. He doesn’t feel any pain, so there’s no need to worry about Rodney the bully anymore. Still, Nathan would rather be human. Will he find a cure? Or will Nathan be half-dead forever? Fans of David Lubar’s popular Weenies short story collections—which have sold more than one million copies—will love My Rotten Life, the first of a series of hilariously rotten adventures starring Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Nathan Saves Summer (Gerry Renert) - Join Nathan the hippopotamus whose lifelong dream is to become the lifeguard for a small pond and the neighboring animals who vacation there each summer. Concerned that Nathan may be too big for the small pond, the other animals come up with an array of excuses why Nathan can’t serve as the pond lifeguard. A twist of fate leads the animals to a new, idyllic swimming spot, turning Nathan into the local hero. Nathan Saves Summer is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Nathan's Fishing Trip (Lulu Delacre) - Nicholas Alexander takes Nathan on his first fishing trip, but after great difficulty in catching a trout, they haven't got the heart to eat it. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Nathan's Hanukkah Bargain (Jacqueline Dembar Greene) - Nathan's unsuccessful search for a Hanukkah menorah takes a new turn when his Grandpa teaches him about old-fashioned bargaining. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Nathan's Wish: A Story about Cerebral Palsy (Laurie Lears) - Nathan lives next door to Miss Sandy, a raptor rehabilitator. Nathan wishes he could help Miss Sandy with some of her chores, but he is confined to his wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. Then Fire, an owl with a broken wing, comes to Miss Sandy. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Pirate's Son (Geraldine McCaughrean) - Left penniless in eighteenth century England, fourteen-year-old Nathan Gull and his mousy sister Maud accompany Tamo, the son of a notorious pirate, to his homeland of Madagascar where they are all changed by their encounter with Tamo's dangerous past. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Nathan

    Famous People Named Nathan

    Famous People Named Nathan - Nathan Lane (actor); Nathan Hale (American hero)

  • Children of Famous People Named Nathan

    Children of Famous People Named Nathan

    Famous People who Named their Son Nathan - Daniel Boone (pioneer); John Lithgow (actor); Jon Stewart (entertainer); Mark Hammil (ice skater)

  • Historic Figures

    Nathan - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Nathan Hale (6 Jun 1755 - 22 Sep 1776) - Nathan Hale was an American soldier during the Revolutionary War against Britian. At the young age of 21, he bravely volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and hanged. He is best known for his famous last words: " “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” A true American hero.

Personality of the Boy Name Nathan

The Master Number Twenty-Two combines the traits of Twos and Fours into a powerful force. The references to The Master Builder and "large undertakings" serve to underscore the massive potential of this personality. They are extremely capable and therefore almost always successful. Twenty-Twos are courageous leaders, innovative thinkers, extremely wise and highly organized. As such, they are able to manifest something of major importance that will have a lasting impact on this world. Master Numbers carry with them a great sense of responsibility, so it can be a burden. However, Twenty-Twos are executors and action-takers. Further, this personality exhibits traits of the Twos, which brings sensitivity, spirituality and harmony, so their endeavors are likely to benefit mankind in some capacity.

Variations of the Baby Name - Nathan

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