Nathan

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “give; given.”
Eng (NAY-than); Heb (NAH-TAHN); Fre (nah-TAWn)

The name is derived from the Hebrew נתן meaning, “given,” the implication is that “God has given” and as a result is sometimes considered a form of Natan’el.

In the Old Testament, the name was borne by a son of King David as well as a prophet. It is also the name of several other minor characters in the Old Testament.

The name was always popular among Jews, but did not catch on in the English-speaking world till the Protestant Reformation. In recent years, the name has become more prevalent in continental Europe.

Currently, Nathan is 28th most popular male name in the United States, (2011). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (France, 2010)
  • # 2 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 10 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 27 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 27 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 29 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 38 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 48 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 57 (Brazil, 2010)
  • # 59 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 78 (Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 495 (Natan, France, 2010)

Other forms include:

  • Natan (Hebrew/Polish)
  • Nafan (Russian)
  • Nosson/Nussen (Yiddish)

In France, the designated name-day is March 7.

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