"gift of God"

Nathaniel Origin and Meaning

The name Nathaniel is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "gift of God".

Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning "gift of God," composed of the elements natan, meaning "to give," and ’el, in reference to God. The name is featured several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew.

Although Nathan is more popular, the more dignified Nathaniel dropped out of the Top 100 for the first time since 1977 in 2016. Despite the profusion of Nat names around, Nathaniel remains singularly appealing and distinctive, with several attractive nicknames — Nat, Natty and Nate.

A boy named Nathaniel would have any number of real life and literary namesakes to inspire him. These include Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene, enslaved rebel Nat Turner, writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Nathanael (born Nathan) West, lithographer Nathaniel Currier, partner of Ives, and singer/pianist Nat "King" Cole.

An early literary character with the name is Sir Nathaniel in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. And then there was Natty Bumpo in James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, Nathaniel Winkle in Dickens's The Pickwick Papers, and later Dr. Nathaniel Branden in Atlas Shrugged.

In the realm of pop culture, we find such Nathaniels as Nate Fisher in Six Feet Under, and others in The Wire, Gossip Girl and Enchanted, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean character Nathaniel Hawk.

# 143 in the US

Nathaniel Rank in US Top 1000

# 52 on Nameberry

Nathaniel Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Nathaniel Popularity

Famous People Named Nathaniel

  • Nathaniel HawthorneAmerican novelist
  • Nathaniel Parker WillisAmerican author, poet, and editor
  • Nathaniel Joseph "Nate" RuessAmerican singer
  • Nathaniel Dwayne Halebetter known as Nate Dogg, American rapper
  • Nathaniel Adams Colesbirth name of Nat King Cole, American singer
  • Nathaniel Prentice BanksAmerican Civil War general; 24th governor of Massachusetts
  • Nathaniel MaconU.S. Senator and Speaker of the House from North Carolina
  • Nathaniel SilsbeeU.S. Senator from Massachusetts
  • Nathaniel Briggs BordenU.S. Congressman from Massachusetts
  • Nathaniel Brown PalmerAmerican sea captain and explorer
  • Nathaniel Marvin "Nat" WolffAmerican actor and singer,songwriter
  • Nathaniel "Nate" MotteAmerican musician
  • Nathaniel BuzolicAustralian actor
  • Nathaniel ParkerEnglish Actor
  • Nathaniel Weller (b. 1985)son of singer Paul Weller of The Jam
  • Nathaniel Fraser "Nat" Magee (b. 1990)son of actress/singer Alison Fraser and actor/comedian Rusty Magee
  • Nathaniel George Caird (b. 1990)son of actress Frances Ruffelle and John Caird
  • Kenneth Nathaniel "Nathan" Bates (b. 1993)5th child (3rd son) of the reality TV show "Bringing Up Bates" family
  • Nathaniel Caesar Prats Linsangan (b. 2008)daughter of actress Camille Prats and Anthony C. Linsangan
  • Nathaniel James III (b. 2009)son of actress Bobbi Baker and basketball player Nate James
  • Nathaniel James "Nate" Alcasid (b. 2011)son of singers Regine Velazquez and Ogie Alcasid
  • Nathaniel Philip Picasso Groening (b. 2013)son of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and Agustina Picasso

Nathaniel in Pop Culture

  • Nathaniel "Nate" Fitzwilliam Archibaldmain character in the "Gossip Girl" series
  • Nathaniel "Nate" Graycharacter in the "Infernal Devices" series
  • Nathaniel "Nate" Heywoodcharacter in DC's Legends of Tomorrow TV series
  • Nathaniel Pietro Barton from Marvel's Age of Ultron
  • Nathaniel Fishercharacter on TV's "Six Feet Under"
  • Nathanial "Nate" the Greatmain character in the Nate the Great series
  • Nathaniel "Baze" Basilcharacter on TV's "Life Unexpected"
  • Nathaniel Howecharacter in video game 'Dragon Age: Origins , Awakening'
  • Nathaniel "Nat" Blakecharacter in 'Little Men' by Louisa May Alcott
  • Nathaniel Northwestcharacter in animated series "Gravity Falls"
  • Nathanielmain character in the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
  • Nathanielcharacter in 2007 film "Enchanted"
  • Nathaniel "Nath" character in My Candy Love game and manga
  • Parson Nathanielcharacter in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
  • Nathaniel Ayerstitle character in 2009 film "The Soloist"
  • Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppomain character in James Fenimore Cooper's novels
  • Nathaniel DuskDC Comics character
  • Nathaniel Garrocharacter in tabletop game Warhammer 40,000
  • Nathaniel "Nat" "Simey" "Benny" Goldberg in Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party"
  • Nathaniel Graisonwereleopard in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Nathaniel Hawkmain character in the Pirates of the Caribbean video game
  • Nathaniel Hawkinscharacter in J.L. Langley's Sci,Regency series
  • Nathaniel Kentcharacter in John Steakley's novel "Armor"
  • Nathaniel "Nathan" Montenegrocharacter on Filipino TV's "Walang Hanggan"
  • Nathaniel Taggartcharacter in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"
  • Nathaniel Taylorcharacter on TV's "Terra Nova"
  • Sir Nathanielcurate in Shakespeare's "Love's Labor's Lost"
  • Nathaniel "Nat" Eatoncharacter in Elizabeth George Speare's "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"
  • Nathaniel Kurtzbergcharacter in TV show "Miraculous Ladybug"
  • Nathaniel Plimpton IIIcharacter on TV's "Crazy Ex,Girlfriend"