Names can be something really special and there’s no doubt that it can be tough to choose the ideal first name. It can definitely be easier to choose a last name than a first name but what actually is the difference between both?
If you want to learn more about the difference between first name and last name then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
What’s the First Name?
A first name is simply the name that comes first. They’re often referred to as firstname, forename, or given name.
These are unique to each person and are chosen by their parents when they’re born or when they’re baptized. This means that not everyone is called the same which is super efficient! The placement of this first name may vary, depending on different cultures.
Some of the most common first names used in North America today are:
Origin of First Names
The truth is, nobody knows the origin of first names. Despite this, lots of studies show that the first name used to be connected to the person’s habits and personality or even a culture or a tribe.
What is Last Name?
The last name or surname is the last name in someone’s name and is given to every single member of the same family.
These days, married couples have the option to keep their maiden name or have their partner’s last name.
Some of the most common last names used in North America today are:
Origin of Last Names
Let’s go over the sea to the UK where in 1066, as populations grew, last names were often used to differentiate two different people and were often based on what that person did for a living. These could be things like John the Candlestick maker.
Now, we still use surnames and many of them have come from the United Kingdom – just like Jones which is a Welsh name. In fact, you’ll find if you have a child, you’ll have to have at least two names on your child’s birth certificate, the first name and the last name.
Difference Between First & Last Name
The biggest difference is the idea behind both names. For example, the last name is what comes last in a name and is shared across different members of the family. While a first name is given to a child when they’re born and is written first.
First names are usually used in a more friendly way whilst family names are used for a much more formal approach.
We’re familiar with the last name being what stays constant in our families with the first name varying with each person. However, in Japanese or Chinese cultures, the last name will change ever so slightly with each person in that family which is really special.
In the same way, the first name will often represent the family name in Chinese and Japanese cultures and therefore, first name and last name are swapped!