A given name (also known as a first name, forename or Christian name) is a part of a person's
In informal situations, given names are often used in a familiar and friendly manner. In more formal situations, a person's surname is more commonly used—unless a distinction needs to be made between people with the same surname. The idioms "on a first-name basis" and "being on first-name terms" refer to the familiarity inherent in addressing someone by their given name.
By contrast, a surname (also known as a family name, last name, or gentile name), which is normally inherited, is typically shared with other members of one's immediate family.
The order given name – family name, commonly known as the Western order, is used throughout most
The order family name – given name, commonly known as the Eastern order, is primarily used in
The order given name – father's family name – mother's family name is commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents. Today the order can also be changed legally in Spain and Uruguay using given name – mother's family name – father's family name.
The order given name – mother's family name – father's family name is commonly used in Portuguese-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents.