Given name

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Given name

A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is a part of a person's personal name. It identifies a specific person, and differentiates that person from other members of a group, such as a family or clan, with whom they share a common surname. The term "given name" refers to the fact that the name is bestowed upon, or given to a child, usually by its parents.


  • English: /ˈɡɪvən neɪm/


The term "given name" is derived from the Old English giefan, meaning "to give", and nama, meaning "name". It is a direct translation of the Latin nomen datum, which was used in the Middle Ages to distinguish between a person's given name and their family name.

Related terms

  • Surname: A surname is a family name that is shared by members of the same family. It is usually passed down from generation to generation.
  • Middle name: A middle name is a portion of a personal name that is written between the person's given name and their surname.
  • Nickname: A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place, or thing.
  • Patronymic: A patronymic is a name derived from the name of a father or ancestor, typically by the addition of a prefix or suffix.
  • Matronymic: A matronymic is a name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor.

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