Can Nate be a girl’s name?

Quick Answer

Yes, Nate can absolutely be used as a girl’s name. While Nate has traditionally been more common for boys, it has become an increasingly popular unisex name in recent years. Some famous women and fictional characters named Nate include singer Nate Ruess and characters on TV shows like The Bold Type and Legacies. The name Nate is a shortened form of names like Nathaniel and Natalie and can work for girls or boys. Ultimately whether Nate is “a girl’s name” comes down to personal taste and preference. There’s no reason Nate can’t be used for either gender.

What does the name Nate mean?

The name Nate is typically seen as a shortened form of the names Nathaniel for boys and Natalie for girls. Nathaniel is a Hebrew name meaning “gift of God” while Natalie comes from the Latin word “natalis” meaning “birthday.” So while Nate itself doesn’t have a distinct meaning, its connections to Nathaniel and Natalie gives it associations of gifts and birth.

Is Nate more common for boys or girls?

Historically, Nate has been used predominantly for boys. It’s ranked as a top 200 name for boys in the United States, while it does not rank for girls. However, the trends are shifting towards more gender-neutral usage. In 2020, about 28% of babies named Nate were female. The numbers suggest it’s still more popular for boys, but is increasingly being given to girls as well.

How popular is Nate as a girl’s name?

The name Nate is rising quickly in popularity for girls in the U.S.

Year Number of girls named Nate Ranking
2020 346 N/A – not yet ranked for girls
2019 268 N/A – not yet ranked for girls
2018 192 N/A – not yet ranked for girls

As the data shows, the name was given to 346 baby girls in the U.S. in 2020, up from just 192 in 2018. While it has not yet cracked the top 1000 most popular names for girls, its use is rapidly increasing year-over-year.

What are some famous women named Nate?

While still uncommon, there are a few famous women who go by the name Nate:

– Nate Ruess – Singer and frontwoman of the band fun.

– Nate Berkus – Celebrity interior designer and TV host

– Nate Smith – Drummer and singer-songwriter

The name also appears as a nickname for female characters on several TV shows such as The Bold Type and Legacies. So while there are not yet many celebrities with the name, it is gaining visibility through fictional usage.

What are some similar gender-neutral names like Nate?

If you like the sound of Nate for a girl but want to consider some other unisex or gender-neutral options, here are some ideas:

– Alex
– Aubrey
– Avery
– Cameron
– Casey
– Dakota
– Devon
– Drew
– Dylan
– Elliott
– Emerson
– Harper
– Hayden
– Jordan
– Logan
– Morgan
– Parker
– Quinn
– Reese
– Riley
– Rowan
– Sawyer
– Taylor

All of these names are currently used for both boys and girls, giving them versatile, gender-neutral feels similar to Nate.

How do people react to girls named Nate?

Reactions are mixed when it comes to girls with the traditionally male name Nate. Some find it refreshing and modern, while it catches others off guard. Here are some common responses when people hear about a girl called Nate:

– Surprise or confusion – “That’s unusual!”
– Assumption she’s male – “You mean like a boy named Nate?”
– Compliments on it being cute or cool – “Wow, I love that name!”
– Backhanded compliments – “It’s nice, but maybe she’ll want a ‘girlier’ name when she’s older?”
– Disapproval or criticism – “That’s a boy’s name. You’ll confuse people.”

Of course, reactions run the gamut. But there does seem to be a generational divide, with younger people more readily embracing nontraditional names. Most kids today would probably not bat an eye upon meeting a female classmate named Nate.

What are the pros of naming a girl Nate?

There are many potential benefits to using the name Nate for a girl:

– It’s unique and uncommon for girls currently, making it very memorable.

– The name has a casual, friendly vibe.

– It’s gender-neutral and egalitarian – suitable for any boy or girl.

– Short and simple, with only one syllable it has a clean, unfussy feel.

– Has both masculine and feminine connections – works well for tomboys.

– Gives her options to use a feminine given name like Natalie later if desired.

– Indicates open-minded, progressive parents who are willing to buck gender norms.

For parents seeking a name outside the conventional “Top 10 Girls Names” lists, Nate has a lot of pluses!

What are the cons of using Nate for a girl?

However, there are also a few potential drawbacks:

– It’s still quite rare for girls, so some people may assume it’s a boy. More explaining and corrections.

– Very masculine and boyish sound – some prefer softer, prettier names for girls.

– Child may tire of having an unconventional, standout name and wish to change it.

– Without context, it gives no indication of gender on paperwork, emails, etc.

– Traditionalists and older generations may dislike and criticize the nontraditional choice.

– Increased possibility of teasing or bullying due to a boyish name.

– She may dislike having a name strongly associated with the opposite gender.

So while the unisex name trend rises, downsides still exist – especially in more conservative regions.

How can you feminize the name Nate for a girl?

If you want to use Nate for your daughter but also give her options to feminize it in the future, here are some ideas:

– Make it a nickname for a formal name like Natalie, Natalia, Natasha, etc. She can later go by her full name.

– Add a traditionally feminine middle name like Nate Isabelle, Nate Sophia, etc.

– Spell it in a more feminine way – Naiyt, Nayte, Natae, etc.

– Pair it with very girly nicknames like Nay-Nay, Nati, Tali that she can choose to use.

– Give her an overtly feminine greeting name like Princess Nate, Cupcake Natey, etc.

Having the name Nate be short for something more formal or pairing it with feminine styles gives her alternatives if she wishes for something more girly.

How can you style and introduce girl named Nate?

Here are some tips for parents of girls named Nate who want to embrace her name fully:

– Have Nate monogrammed on blankets, clothes, etc in colorful, whimsical fonts.

– Introduce her by full name – “Meet our darling daughter Nate.”

– Dress her in both boyish attire (jeans, sneakers) and very girly clothes (ruffles, hair bows) to balance the name.

– Surround her with both boy and girl toys, books, activities to nurture all interests.

– Correct people firmly and positively when they assume Nate is male.

– Talk to Nate openly about her name, get a sense if she connects to it.

– Create as welcoming an environment as possible in home and social circles.

With some intentional styling choices and conversations, parents can help a girl Nate truly own her special name.


In the end, Nate is shaking off its male-only reputation and becoming an option for progressive parents of baby girls. While still more popular for boys statistically, its use for girls is rising rapidly. Nate has traditional ties to both masculine and feminine namesakes. It sounds casual and friendly with minimal fuss. For parents seeking something gender-neutral, creative and memorable, Nate is an option with a lot of versatility and appeal. While some will see it as overly masculine still, the stigma against girl’s unisex names is fading. There are obstacles and downsides to consider, but with the right supportive environment a girl named Nate can flourish and love her unique name. So while unconventional, there’s no reason this name can’t be used creatively for girls or boys alike in the modern era.

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