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Name Nathan: origin, history, etymology and meaning


Nathan is one of the many biblical names in fashion in nurseries for twenty years. Nathan was a prophet at the court of David in the tenth century BC, this first name meaning "God gave". Celebration on March 7.

Origin and etymology of the first name Nathan

The first name Nathan comes from the Latin and Greek form of a name of Hebrew origin, Natan, "he [God] gave" and is sometimes mistakenly considered a diminutive of Nathanael.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Nathan intervenes when King David wants to build a temple. Nathan opposes this, claiming that it is God who will give David a house. The words of the prophet play on the ambiguity of the meaning of home: it is a question of a “home” in David's plan, but of a “lineage” in Nathan's speech. In another context, Nathan represents the moral law; he castigates the behavior of King David, who kidnapped Bathsheba and had her husband killed.

Use and popularity of the first name Nathan

Nathan has been a popular first name in England and its colonies since the 18th century, particularly in the United States. Running since the 1960s, it became very common after 1980. Nathan, extremely rare in France before the second half of the 20th century, has really been adopted since 1990, quickly ranking among the most popular male names. Few famous Nathans, we can nevertheless cite the Russian violinist Nathan Milstein and the American writer Nathan Weistein, as well as the fictional characters Nathan Petrelli (Heroes) and Nathan Hale (Resistance).


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