Given name

Diagram of naming conventions, using John Fitzgerald Kennedy as an example. First names can also be called given names, and last names (surnames) can also be called family names. This shows a structure typical for English-speaking cultures (and some others). Other cultures use other structures for full names.
The sarcophagus of Queen Desideria at Riddarholm Church in Sweden. The name was given to Désirée Clary not at birth but when she was elected Crown Princess of Sweden in 1810.

A given name (also known as a first name, forename or Christian name) is a part of a person's personal name.[1] It identifies a specific person, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group (typically a family or clan) who have a common surname. The term given name refers to the fact that the name usually is bestowed upon a person, normally to a child by his or her parents at or close to the time of birth. A Christian name, a first name which historically was given at baptism, is now also typically given by the parents at birth.

In informal situations, given names are often used in a familiar and friendly manner.[1] 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.[1]

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.[2] Regnal names and religious or monastic names are special given names bestowed upon someone receiving a crown or entering a religious order. Such a person then typically becomes known chiefly by that name.

Name order

The order given name – family name, commonly known as the Western order, is used throughout most European countries and in countries that have cultures predominantly influenced by European culture, including North and South America; North, East, Central and West India; Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The order family name – given name, commonly known as the Eastern order, is primarily used in East Asia (for example in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysian Chinese, Singapore, and Vietnam, among others), as well as in Southern and North-Eastern parts of India, and in Hungary. This order is common also in Austria and Bavaria, and in France, Belgium, Greece and Italy, possibly because of the influence of bureaucracy, which commonly puts the family name before the given name. In China and Korea, part of the given name may be shared among all members of a given generation within a family and extended family or families, in order to differentiate those generations from other generations.

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.

Other Languages
العربية: اسم شخصي (صفة)
arpetan: Prèniom
беларуская: Асабістае імя
Boarisch: Tafnåmen
brezhoneg: Anv-bihan
català: Prenom
čeština: Rodné jméno
dansk: Fornavn
Deutsch: Vorname
eesti: Eesnimi
Ελληνικά: Όνομα
español: Nombre de pila
Esperanto: Persona nomo
euskara: Bataio izen
فارسی: نام کوچک
français: Prénom
Frysk: Foarnamme
한국어: 명 (이름)
հայերեն: Անձնանուն
hornjoserbsce: Předmjeno
Bahasa Indonesia: Nama kecil
íslenska: Eiginnafn
italiano: Prenome
עברית: שם פרטי
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಅಂಕಿತನಾಮ
қазақша: Есім
Lëtzebuergesch: Virnumm
lietuvių: Duotas vardas
lumbaart: Nomm
Nederlands: Voornaam
norsk nynorsk: Personnamn
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ism
polski: Imię
português: Prenome
română: Prenume
Runa Simi: Runa suti
русский: Личное имя
Scots: Gien name
Simple English: Given name
slovenčina: Meno (prvé meno)
slovenščina: Osebno ime
Soomaaliga: Magac
српски / srpski: Lično ime
suomi: Etunimi
svenska: Förnamn
українська: Особове ім'я
walon: Pitit no
中文: 名字