Family Name vs Given Name
It is the cultural difference in writing the name that creates the confusion between the family name and given name. Every child that is born is given a name that is distinct and becomes his identification in this world. This is his or her given name that is different from his family name, which is often the surname suffixed after the given name, though there are different rules regarding the usage of the family name in various cultures and societies. Given name is more personal in nature than the family name, which is carried by all members, past or present of the said family. It is possible for one or more members of the family to share the given name, as it is seen that some people give their son their own name or the name of some of their ancestors. However, family name remains common and is used by all members to proclaim their ancestry and lineage. Let us take a closer look at differences between the family name and given name.
How would you recognize or recall a person belonging to a large family that has Wilson as the family name? You just cannot speak out Wilson loudly as that is a name common to all members of the family, and all of them would look in the direction of the person calling out Wilson. This is where the first name or the name given to a person at the time of the birth or at the time of registration of names comes handy, as this name is the differentiating factor between all Wilsons in the family.
What is Given Name?
Given name is the name your parents give you when you are born into this world. In fact, most parents are ready with the given name even before the child is born. This given name varies with gender. For example, Jack is a given name suitable for a boy. Angela is a name suitable for a girl. These factors are also considered when naming a baby. Also, almost all the given names carry a meaning. For example, Derek means ‘people-ruler.’ The common Indian girls’ given name Neha can mean ‘love or thunderstorm or rain.’ The given name is the name which becomes identification proof of the person when he is in his family.
Given name is also called forename to differentiate it from the surname or family name. It is also called the first name to distinguish it from the family name in western cultures. So, if John Dave is the name the given name is John. Some people have two or more given names or acquired names that they use before the family name. There is no hard and fast rule for the ordering of these names, but as a general rule, the more popular one is given precedence to the names that are rarely used by friends and family.
What is Family Name?
Family name is the name that belongs to one’s family. Family name is inherited by virtue of being born in a particular family. The members of the same family share this name. In western cultures, it is customary to put the family name behind the given name so you can be pretty sure to call out the first name of a person. Outside the family, a person can be referred by his family name, which is not confusing for him. So if John Dave is the name of the person, you can be pretty certain Dave is his family name or surname. Though western culture puts their family names at the end, that is, after the given name, some cultures such as India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, and Hungary put their family name before their given name.
What is the difference between Family Name and Given Name?
• When the name is given:
• Given name is assigned at the time of birth or registration.
• Family name is inherited and is around before the birth of a baby in a family.
• Placement of the Name:
• Given name appears first in the name.
• Family name is used as a suffix in western cultures. However, in some cultures, family name is written before the given name.
• Given names often bear resemblance to physical characteristics, circumstances of birth, occupations of parents, feminine variations of a masculine name, places, time of birth, and so on.
• Family names are more or less permanent, and carried over for centuries.
• Other words used for Family Name and Given Name:
• Sometimes, given name is also called Christian name.
• Sometimes Family name is also called surname or last name.
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