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Difference between Given Name and Surname

Difference between Given Name and Surname

What’s the difference between your given name and surname? Your given name is your first name, while your surname is your family name. Your given name is usually assigned to you by your parents, while your surname is usually passed down from generation to generation. So what’s the difference between these two? Let’s take a closer look.

What is the Given Name?

A Given Name, also known as a first name or a forename, is the part of a personal name that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from the other members of a group who have common surnames.

  • The term Given Name refers to the fact that the name is bestowed upon a person, usually by their parents at or near the time of birth. A middle name is generally the second name of two-name systems and is rarely used on its own, although there are exceptions.
  • Given names are often used in certain situations where certainty is required; for example, hospitals may ask for proof of identity in order to avoid giving medication to the wrong patient.
  • Given names are also often used in legal proceedings in order to prevent fraud (for example, when someone signs a contract using someone else’s Given Name). Given names are also sometimes used as passwords or other secret codes.

What is a Surname?

A surname is the family name that one shares with other members of the family. The surname comes from the Latin word “surnom” meaning “nickname”. A surname is often used to reference the last name of a person, however, there are many cultures in which a surname is used as the first name.

  • A surname is also sometimes used as a middle name. In some Spanish-speaking countries, it is customary for a person to have two surnames, one from each of their parents. In many Asian countries, such as China and Korea, the surname is always placed before the given name.
  • Surnames can be passed down through families, or they can be adopted when a person changes their name. Surnames can also be changed through marriage. Many people choose to keep their maiden name as their middle name after they marry.
  • Surnames can be a source of pride, or they can be a source of shame. They can be indicative of one’s social status or they can be completely random. Surnames are an important part of someone’s identity, and they can tell you a lot about someone’s family history.

Difference between Given Name and Surname

Given name and surname are terms that are used to describe someone’s name.

  • A given name is the name that is given to an individual at birth. It can also be referred to as a first name or a Christian name.
  • A surname is a family name that is passed down from one generation to the next. It can also be referred to as the last name or family name.
  • In some cultures, people only have one given name, while in others, they may have multiple given names.
  • Surnames are typically much less common than given names. When someone is referred to by their given name, it is usually because they are familiar with the person or because the person has a title, such as Mr., Mrs., or Miss.
  • Given names and surnames can provide insight into a person’s heritage and history. They can also be used to help identify individuals who have the same name.

Given names and surnames are an important part of someone’s identity.


The difference between a given name and a surname is more than just a distinction in how they are written. They each hold different meanings for the individual and can be indicative of their cultural background. Understanding these differences can help you better understand your customers and create marketing strategies that resonate with them on a deeper level.

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