given name

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given name (plural given names)

  1. (chiefly Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US and UK) A first name, a name chosen for a child, usually by the child's parents; a forename.
    • 2004, Gwyneth Olofsson, When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh...: Cultural Q&As for Successful Business Behavior Around the World[1], page 17:
      Japan: Use family names first, followed by given names, but be aware that some may introduce themselves to Westerners with their given name first.
    • 2008, Emma Woo Louie; Him Mark Lai, Chinese American Names: Tradition and Transition, page 89:
      This may explain why some Chinese Americans write their Chinese name backwards. For example, the Chinese characters to Ching Tien Chay′s name show that his given name is really Tien Ching.
    • 2011, Anne Myers; Christine H. Hansen, Experimental Psychology, page 296:
      In one experiment, the researchers had people rate the characteristics of people with various given names or nicknames. [] A person with a nickname like Liz, for example, would probably be rated as friendlier and more popular than a person with the given name Elizabeth, but Elizabeth would probably be rated more intelligent and trustworthy.
  2. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see given,‎ name. A person's name.
    • 2017, Greta Gerwig (scriptwriter), Lady Bird:
      Professor: Lady Bird, is that your given name?
      Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson: Yeah.
      Professor: Why is it in quotes?
      Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson: I gave it to myself, it’s given to me by me.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is the most preferred form. Unlike its synonyms, this term avoids cultural assumptions about religion and the relative position of the surname.


Coordinate terms[edit]