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Gender: Male Meaning of Nathaniel: "gift of God" Origin of Nathaniel: Hebrew Nathaniel's Popularity in 2017: #112

The name Nathaniel is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "gift of God". Nathaniel is ranked #112 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Bible Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

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. Parents finding it overused might opt for New Testament Apostle Nathaniel's other name, Bartholomew.

A boy named Nathaniel would have any number of real life and literary namesakes to inspire him. These include Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene, rebel slave 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.

Find other names based on Nathaniel using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Nathaniel

Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist
Nathaniel Parker Willis, American author, poet, and editor
Nathaniel Joseph "Nate" Ruess, American singer
Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, better known as Nate Dogg, American rapper
Nathaniel Adams Coles, birth name of Nat King Cole, American singer
Nathaniel Prentice Banks, American Civil War general; 24th governor of Massachusetts
Nathaniel Macon, U.S. Senator and Speaker of the House from North Carolina
Nathaniel Silsbee, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
Nathaniel Briggs Borden, U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts
Nathaniel Brown Palmer, American sea captain and explorer
Nathaniel Marvin "Nat" Wolff, American actor and singer-songwriter
Nathaniel "Nate" Motte, American musician
Nathaniel Buzolic, Australian actor
Nathaniel Parker, English 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

Pop Culture References for the name Nathaniel

Nathaniel "Nate" Fitzwilliam Archibald, main character in the "Gossip Girl" series
Nathaniel "Nate" Gray, character in the "Infernal Devices" series
Nathaniel "Nate" Heywood, character in DC's Legends of Tomorrow TV series
Nathaniel Pietro Barton from Marvel's Age of Ultron
Nathaniel Fisher, character on TV's "Six Feet Under"
Nathanial "Nate" the Great, main character in the Nate the Great series
Nathaniel "Baze" Basil, character on TV's "Life Unexpected"
Nathaniel Howe, character in video game 'Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening'
Nathaniel "Nat" Blake, character in 'Little Men' by Louisa May Alcott
Nathaniel Northwest, character in animated series "Gravity Falls"
Nathaniel, main character in the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
Nathaniel, character in 2007 film "Enchanted"
Nathaniel "Nath," character in My Candy Love game and manga
Parson Nathaniel, character in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Nathaniel Ayers, title character in 2009 film "The Soloist"
Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppo, main character in James Fenimore Cooper's novels
Nathaniel Dusk, DC Comics character
Nathaniel Garro, character in tabletop game Warhammer 40,000
Nathaniel "Nat" "Simey" "Benny" Goldberg in Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party"
Nathaniel Graison, wereleopard in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton
Nathaniel Hawk, main character in the Pirates of the Caribbean video game
Nathaniel Hawkins, character in J.L. Langley's Sci-Regency series
Nathaniel Kent, character in John Steakley's novel "Armor"
Nathaniel "Nathan" Montenegro, character on Filipino TV's "Walang Hanggan"
Nathaniel Taggart, character in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"
Nathaniel Taylor, character on TV's "Terra Nova"
Sir Nathaniel, curate in Shakespeare's "Love's Labor's Lost"
Nathaniel "Nat" Eaton, character in Elizabeth George Speare's "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"
Nathaniel Kurtzberg, character in TV show "Miraculous Ladybug"
Nathaniel Plimpton III, character on TV's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Nathaniel's International Variations

Nathanael (French) Nataniele (Italian) Natanael (Swedish)


Megan_Janaya Says:


Nathaniel is my favourite boys name.

indiefendi2 Says:


This is my dad's name but he's only called Nate. I kinda wish people would actually call him by his full name but that's just me.

maddiepie Says:


Nathaniel is a family name, and I absolutely love it!

-EagleEyes- Says:


I love this name. It's classic and timeless, and has the great nickname options of Nate and Nathan. It works for both a young boy and an adult.

Floris Says:


Well, your parent's have good taste in names ;)

iheartnames Says:



EW314 Says:


I really like Nathaniel. It's one of the lovely, longer traditional names for boys which work really well in the middle (others include William, Benjamin, Alexander, Sebastian and Jonathan), but Nathaniel is one of the more underused options. I also love it as a first name - Nate is the most common nickname but I have to say I much prefer sweet, strong Nat. All in all, this is a beautiful, classy name which suits a whole range of ages, appearances and personalities.

FantasyandPrayer Says:


A long time favourite of mine

Addie88 Says:


I used to really love this name, now it's lost some of its luster for me. It's still a great name, though. I can't use it, in any case, because a good friend of mine has a son named Nathaniel.

HeyItsAvery12 Says:


The middle name of my son.

HeyItsAvery12 Says:


I see you in every name I go.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


I've always though this worked better on a dog.

Catastroffy Says:



servals_ Says:


id rather use nathan or daniel

AnonymousPerson Says:


Nice name.

HatGirl Says:


i really like this name but it's my brother's name. :D