What is the mystery behind a person`s first name and last name? What is first name and last name anyway? Legit.ng has analyzed the concept of first name and last name in addition to other names which exist in other cultures around the world. Continue reading to find out more!
What is a first name?
First name/given name or forename is a traditional part of person`s name. It`s used to identify a specific person in family, clan or nation.
The term first name is used to refer to the traditional name/surname order in English language, where a name goes before a surname. The first name is known as the 'first' in the order of name/surname.
What is a given name?
The term 'given name' is used because names are normally bestowed on children. It means that children do not usually choose their names, but it's given to a child by parents. This names helps identify the person in a family where everyone share the same surname.
What is the last name?
Last name/family name or surname is known as the last part of a person's name in English speaking countries. The last name means the family name or clan name in a lot of countries! It`s used to distinguish a person amongst other members of the society
In most of the countries of the world, the family name is a synonym for the last name and it's placed at the end of a person`s name. However countries, like China, Romania, Japan, Vietnam – use the family name as a 'first' name while the given name is the last name.
First name and last name difference
It`s pretty simple! The last name is used to identify a person amongst other citizens of a country or world. It also means that a person is related to a specific clan or family. The first name is given to identify a person amongst other members of his or her family. People usually referred to each other by first names in a family or informal situations.
How to identify the first name and last name?
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First name or last name? If you want to identify the name, then you should take a look at the two types of name+surname construction. The first type is the Western Type, where you find this process: given name (first name) + family name (last name), for instance, John Smith.
The second type is the Eastern type, where the family name goes first, and the given name comes after. For instance, Mao Zedong, where Mao is a family name.
There are also other types of first and last names! Let's see how the concept is used in other places in the world.
What is a regnal name?
A regnal name is a traditional first name for monarchs. Regnal or reign name modification is simply used to differentiate people with the same name in one family or monarch`s dynasty. A regnal name is usually a Roman numeral which is modified according to the holder. For instance, George I, Edward VII, Luis XIV, Akenzua II, Eweka II. The reign name can also become a surname, as it happened with the Akenzuas and Ewekas.
What is a religious name?
The religious name is a special type of given name, where it`s bestowed upon a person for religious purposes. It`s usually used by religious organizations to identify a person amongst their religion. For instance, baptism names where a person can be given a traditional style first name. The same goes to Islam, where a person can choose to change his/her first name to one of the traditional Muslim names.
What is a temple name?
It's a type of first name which was traditionally used by the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean royalties. That type of the first name is usually given to an emperor after his death. It consists of two Chinese characters:
- The first character is used to reflect the period of an emperor`s reign or the foundation of the dynasty, like 高 – high or 太 – grand;
- The second part of the name refers to the ancestral name or family name. Therefore, it could be characters like 祖 or 宗 which both means ancestral.
These types of names were given to royalties and princes of China, Vietnam or Korea. This type of names is still used by royalties in East Asia.
What is a posthumous name?
It`s also a type of given name or first name which was used in East Asia. This type of names was commonly used to name royalties in Japan, Vietnam, Korea and China. They are usually given to a ruler of a kingdom. In Chinese tradition, the construction of this name was state+adjective+title. If you try to translate it into English, then you will havee the following construction title+adjective+of+state. In addition, you cannot translate these adjectives but transliterate them– Duke Mu of Qin or King Wen of Zhou.
What is a milk name?
A milk name is provided to identify a child from an adult in some cultures. It`s not an official name for a child, but it can be used by the members of his/her family. This name can also be used as a nickname for a family member.
What is a middle name?
Middle name is used when they are two given names (first name and middle name). It can be used in some parts of USA to distinguish a person in a family. The examples of names are Mary Ann, Robert Lee, Anna Luisa and so on.
What is a patronymic name?
It`s a name used after the first name in some cultures. It can also be interpreted as a middle name. It`s traditionally used in East-Europe countries, like Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. Examples of these names are Sergeyevich, Romanovich, Olegovich and so on. This name is given to a child according to his/her father's name.
Both names are provided to a person from his birth, and both can be changed. The main reason for names is to distinguish people from each other. Also, according to some beliefs, a name can also provide a certain fortune or even misfortune for a person who wears it. Therefore, all cultures are very sensitive about choosing a name for a child!
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