Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Nathanael

Nathanael is the traditional Greek Biblical spelling of Nathaniel. Both spellings are ultimately derived from the Hebrew Netan'el which means “God has given” from the elements “nathan” (to give) and “El” (God). It is also often translated to mean “gift of God”. In the New Testament (John 1:45), Jesus characterizes Nathanael as an Israelite “in whom there is no deceit.” Also identified as Bartholomew in the other gospels, Nathanael was most likely a fisherman and one of Jesus’ lesser known apostles often appearing alongside St. Philip. Nathanael was also one of the apostles to whom Jesus appeared after the resurrection. It’s not clear when the name Nathanael became popular in the English-speaking world, but it was most likely adopted by the Puritans after the Reformation. In a nod to modesty, the Puritans generally chose lesser known names out of the Bible for their children. Today, the French prefer the spelling of Nathanael where it’s ranked relatively high. The English speaking nations opt for Nathaniel.

All About the Baby Name – Nathanael

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME NATHANAEL

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME NATHANAEL

Oddly enough, the more “biblical” Greek spelling of Nathanael is much less popular than the English version of Nathaniel. Not only that, but Nathanael has only been on the U.S. popularity charts since the early 1970s. The spelling of Nathanael appeared on the male naming charts in 1972. The name has grown in popularity to low moderate levels of usage but has never been near as widely used as his English brother Nathaniel. It just comes down to a matter of spelling preference, as both names are legitimately recognized spellings. Either name shortens nicely to Nathan or Nate. It’s a classic name with modern style. It’s handsome but not overly masculine. Nathanael is just one of those risk-free name choices that’s universally appealing.

Quick Facts

ON NATHANAEL

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Greek

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

565

PRONUNCIATION:

na-THAN-yul or na-THAN-ee-al

SIMPLE MEANING:

God has given, Gift of God

Characteristics

OF NATHANAEL

Dependable

Solid

Practical

Hard-working

Industrious

Studious

Conservative

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Nathanael

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME NATHANAEL

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Nathanael

Popular Songs

ON NATHANAEL

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Nathanael


Famous People

NAMED NATHANAEL

Nathanael Greene (Revolutionary War hero)
Nathanael West (author)

Children of Famous People

NAMED NATHANAEL

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Nathanael

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME NATHANAEL

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Nathanael