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Difference between First Name and Last Name

Difference between First Name and Last Name

When it comes to our names, we are typically introduced with our first name and last name. However, what is the difference between a first name and last name? A first name is the given name that we are usually called by, while a last name is the family name that we inherit from our parents or relatives.

What is First Name?

The First name is a given name that precedes one’s surname in a full name. A person usually has two First names, with one being their legal First name and the other being a First name that they commonly First name.

  • A First name is typically given to a person at their FirstName ceremony or christening and is usually chosen by the parents of the baby. First names can have various origins, such as being derived from family names, saints’ First names, or locations.
  • For example, the First name “Mary” is derived from the Hebrew First name “Miriam”, which was borne by the Virgin Mary. First names can also be used to represent certain qualities or characteristics, such as “Catherine” meaning “pure” or “Karen” meaning “sweet”.
  • nicknames are often used as First names as well, such as “Kate” for “Catherine” and “Katie” for “Katherine”. It is not uncommon for people to have multiple First Names, especially if their First Name is popular in their culture.

For example, the FirstName John can be shortened to either “Jon”, “Johnathan”, or simply “John”. Ultimately, a FirstName is a given name that precedes one’s surname in a full name and is often chosen to represent certain qualities or characteristics.

What is Last Name?

Last Name is a word that denotes the family name of an individual. It is usually passed down from one generation to the other. Last Name originates from the name of an ancestor or from a place of residence. Last Name also represents a person’s identity. It is often used in formal settings such as in business or academic environments. Last Name can also be a source of pride for many people. It can be seen as a symbol of one’s heritage and culture. Last Name is an important part of a person’s name and should be respected as such.

Difference between First Name and Last Name

First names and last names both serve important functions in our lives.

  • First names help to identify us as individuals, while last names help to connect us with our family heritage. While first names are often chosen by our parents or given to us by tradition, last names are usually inherited from our ancestors.
  • In some cultures, last names may also indicate a person’s social status or occupation. First names are generally more personal and intimate, while last names are more public.
  • First names are often used in informal settings, while last names are more commonly used in formal settings. First names may be changed throughout our lives, but last names usually remain the same.

Whether you choose to go by your first name or your last name, both can be an important part of your identity.


In the US, we tend to put our last name first and our first name last. This is because, in Europe, people would introduce themselves by their last name (e.g., Mr. Smith), and over time this custom made its way over to America. There are some exceptions to this rule – for example, if you have a very common last name or your first and last names are reversed on your birth certificate – but in general it’s a good idea to stick with the traditional order. Now that you know the difference between first and last names, next time someone asks for your “full name” be sure to give them the correct order!

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