Talk:Given name

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Vague fad period[edit]

As a result, while the vast majority of Japanese women born before 1980 have names ending in ko, it is relatively rare for the younger generation.

It says "before 1980," however if you go back far enough this no longer holds. Tokek 07:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Marie as a boys' name??[edit]

Marie as a boys' name??

The latin name Marius comes from the etruscan root maru, which means male. It's not a version of Maria/Marie/Mary.
Not all Marias come from the semetic Mr-y-m, which may mean 'bitter', 'rebellious,' or 'desired child' or something else entirely and which gives us the varied forms Mary, Marie, Maria, Marion, Miriam, Mariam, Maryam etc. depending on the specific form's translation history.

The name Marius had a feminine form: Maria. Colleen McCullough has a character, named Maria and called Ria, in one of her First Men in Rome series, set in BCE Rome, starting a century before the birth of Christ.

West African day names[edit]

Be nice to have a list of the West African day names.

By memory

Kouassi= Tues

Koffi/Kofi=Thurs

BozMo

Kofi means born on a Friday. And indeed 08 April 1938, the day Annann was born, was a Friday.
I have edited the article as appropriate.

Linking to lists of names on other language wikipedias[edit]

In the section Related articles and lists, there are links to de:Liste gebräuchlicher Vornamen/A ("List of common German first names") and fr:Liste des prénoms ("List of French first names"). Is it a good idea to link to these lists in other languages? I think not. While it might be easier to maintain a single list of names, the lists in the other languages link to etimologies in that language. And besides, these are lists of names used in that country and not lists of names that originate from that country.

A better idea would be to have lists of names by origin (eg. Celtic names, Germanic names, Hebrew names, Latin names, etc.) This is already the case on the Polish and Catalan Wikipedias (see pl:Imię (the box in the top-right) and ca:Prenom (a list near the bottom of the article)). Ae-a 22:58, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Asian order[edit]

The practice of placing given name last in these Asian countries has been considered a manifestation of the importance of familial collective over individualism. I think this is reading too much into it. Those societies generally place larger categories before smaller categories in general. Dates are year-month-day, places are nation-province/prefecture/whatever-city, etc. So, it only makes sense that the pattern would continue in placing the large entity (family) before the individual -- Nik42 19:30, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I agree. It also implies some kind of correlation between name order and significance, which is not inherent in the western convention either. I'll take that bit out, and see if anyone complains. 20.133.0.14 12:30, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


In my openion, the significance for collective (familical) over individualism is not a unique phenominon, it is wide spread and well accepted practice. Let us take a case of Geographical Hirerchy. When two travellers meet in a third continent they always introduce themselves by countries (bigger entity), if further interest is sought, them comes the cities (smaller entity). In the similar way, Religion or Ethnical association are used. In the above example the travellers will first introduce themselves as Christian or Muslims rather than Catholics or Sunni. Similarly we say she is an artist or a doctor, not Expressionist or Gynaecologist. Same technique is practice in library classification, computers and Internet naming system. This logic could further be exclaimed by biological and zoological classifications. First we express its major identification the individuality e.g. Cat (family) then Cheetah (individual). In short the hierarchy from bigger to smaller entity is well practice and very much intact practice. That means that “Family” first, “individuality” later. That is why, in Asian countries, the name “Muhammad Arif” means Mr Arif belong to family (religion) of Muhammad which represent this universal hierarchical system of importance. By Is'haq, 2006 May 31, London

Limited Geographic Scope[edit]

I noticed a few things when looking through this article, which seems fairly good for common names in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., but probably not for elsewhere:

  1. There is essentially nothing on African names (Kofi Annan being an exception)
  2. The detailed descriptions of name origins (hebrew, german, latin, greek, etc.) are all for common American/British/Australian names, with no examples of, say, Hebrew names in French-speaking countries
  3. Though some languages like Chinese and Korean have some information (which I found really interesting), there is little on Japanese (aside from the bit about -ko) or Spanish.

I'm not sure if the best solution is to move some content to an "English given names" article and improve what's left over or to expand the article in its current version, but there's a lot of potential for expansion either way.

Dave (talk) July 8, 2005 03:15 (UTC)

Additional info on Chinese/Japanese/Korean names can be found on Chinese name, Japanese name, Korean name. --Menchi 8 July 2005 03:59 (UTC)
Maybe we should create articles on names by origin/etimology (eg. Celtic names, Germanic names, Hebrew names, etc.). See my earlier comment. Ae-a 21:41, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

List of Equivalent Given Names[edit]

I would like to see a list of equivalent given names to the English across languages. A bit like the Names of European cities in different languages. E.g:

  • John (from Hebrew, "God is gracious")

= Giovani (Italian) = Ian (Scotland) = Jean (French) = Johann (German) = Sean (Irish) etc. Is it worth me starting such an entry? Avalon 12:06, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

No. Add translations to John (name) if you must, but Wikipedia is not a dictionary. —Tamfang (talk) 04:28, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Some fool not making sense about relative significance of forenames[edit]

"The given name may be single, or several names may be given (the latter are known as middle names). In the latter case, one of them, generally the first, is commonly used while the others are mostly used for official records (Order of names is no longer as important).", dude what does that say?

As above some are confused as to what this means (though I and others find it clear) perhaps it could be repalced with:

"A given name may be single, in which case it is used in daily life. The alternative is that several names are given, in which case the first of these is used in every day life and others are mostly only seen on official documents and records. The order of names is however no longer as important as it used to be and 'middle names' may be used in every day life"

Both versions fall into the trap of conferring some sort of special status on the first forename. True, a majority of those with English-style names have their main forename placed first – but a very large minority do not. I'll have a think about a less narrow-minded version. For instance, 'first' and 'middle' is biased one way – 'central' and 'precursory' the other. 'Main' and 'supplementary' is more balanced. Grant 12:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Very Westernised[edit]

I don't see a mention about Chinese given names, or Asian given names (such as Singapore, Malay tradition etc.). Like what is said above, it does not represent a worldwide view. A cleanup is necessary and this is very urgent. Maybe I will try adding something into it. --Terence Ong 10:21, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I saw what is wrote about Chinese given names, still very short though. --Terence Ong 10:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Also, they call them 'Christian names'.....That is far too westernised Cosman246 (talk) 15:06, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The term 'Christian name' is used as it is a common term in the western world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.145.139.130 (talk) 09:19, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

It's common in Britain but I've never encountered it in, say, French. —Tamfang (talk) 19:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Balinese Names; Birth order of 4 and then back again to the top[edit]

Balinese people, regardless of being male or female recieve one of four names based on birth order.

Though there are significant variations in the four names of Balinese people, mostly due to caste membership, there are precisely four names in Balinese culture that are repeated endlessly 10's of thousands of times. First born is "Wayan" (or Yan, for short), 2nd is "Made," 3rd is "Nyoman" (Man for short), and 4th is "Ketut" (often elided to Tut). Pronounce vowels pretty much as you would for Spanish/italian. Balinese names are rendered into Roman script by virtue of the Indonesian language being written so. The spelling to pronunciation relationship is said to be "perfect" because the spelling of words was revised significantly in the 70's and/or 80's (and even more recently).

The first born is Wayan, and if their is a fifth child, he/she is often called Wayan Balik (or Wayan "again"). Of course, Balinese children/people are given other names, including a new "name" after death. For example, a good friend of mine was named Nyoman Yanti. And, as a matter of fact, Yanti does indicate that she is female. However, it is important to realize that by and large, everyone does use these birth order names to refer to each, and to call each other constantly throughout the day. "Given" names such as Yanti, may be chosen due to, for example, the influence of popular culture or politics. Balinese do not have "family/surnames." I don't know well about customs in other parts of Indonesia, except to say that the Balinese system is unique to Bali (and the Balinese part of the neighboring island of Lombok). Other parts of Indonesia may also be unique. In West Sumatra, for example, among the Minangkebau people, inheritance and lineage is along matrilinear lines. Be that as it may be, it is common for these people to have only one name, a "given" name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.133.198.69 (talkcontribs)

This content has been moved to Balinese name. Rigadoun (talk) 20:48, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

William[edit]

How is "William" a French form? And what's the German name it's based on? john k 21:17, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

See William (name). It became popular in English through William the Conqueror, who spoke French, but had, like most Norman nobles, a Germanic name. The modern French form is Guillaume; the modern German form is Wilhelm. One can tell that the French form is derived from Germanic because it starts in "gu"; this letter combination was used in French to imitate the Germanic "w"-sound that French doesn't have (other example: guerre from the same root as war). One can tell that the English form is derived from French because it doesn't have the l at the end that Wilhelm has. Chl 02:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

First name?[edit]

The article does not make it very clear whether "first name" is defined to always be the same thing as "given name" or not. I recently saw an official U.S. form where one had to give both "first name" and "given name" separately. As I was under the impression that these are the same thing, naturally I was quite baffled at the redundancy. If it is correct, IMO the article should at the beginning state that the given name (known also as the first name) is the first forename of a person (Asian ordering doesn't matter here, as they don't call them by position, e.g. 苗字="family name" and 名前="given name" in Japanese, and calling family name the first name under any circumstances would be eccentric use of English to say the least, so there's no confusion unless you deliberately misunderstand). 82.103.206.128 11:13, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

It's equally confusing the other way around. The article gives the impression that "first name" and "given name" are the same, especially using the really bad side-box example of Johann Sebastian Bach. But take for example Johan August Strindberg. August is here the given name, but it would be misleading to call it the first name. It may be a first name, namely one of two first names. --81.216.218.158 (talk) 17:44, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Too many examples[edit]

There are too many examples in the etymology section. Personally, I think that the examples should be cut down to the most common boys' and girls' name in for each etymology for the UK and US. Miss Madeline | Talk to Madeline 20:09, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I'm going to remove some of the more obscure "object names" and "nicknames" which outnumber the others despite not being particularly common. The examples of nicknames include initials.--Lo2u (TC) 23:17, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Some extremely infrequently used names removed ("Windy", "Timber" and "Rainy", for instance). Also nicknames that weren't clearly used as such. Some of those "feminised" names didn't have an obvious masc equivalent, in other cases a masculine name was never feminised (as in "Victoria" and probably "Noelle"). Some of those unisex names are only unisex because they're used so infrequently they haven't become established as the name for one sex. The reduced lists provide a few examples without trying to give a comprehensive list of all the first names in the world. --Lo2u (TC) 23:54, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merge from "First names"[edit]

I support the proposal. "First name" (singular) already redirects here, and "Given name" is better from the worldwide perspective". A redirect should, of course, be retained. --Boson 00:20, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Scandinavian Names[edit]

Seems conspicuous by their absence.

Icelandic names all have a meaning, for example Elín means "The Bright One". They should get a mention somewhere at least! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 143.167.233.7 (talk) 17:01, 28 February 2007 (UTC).

The article mentions Germanic names, if you want to expand upon that then feel free to do so. BodvarBjarki (talk) 10:20, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikiproject[edit]

I proposed a wikiproject for all name articles, check it out here [1] if you are interested. Remember 18:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The name "Jesus"[edit]

Jesse, please don't just revert. You restored a paragraph that either didn't make sense or was extremely oddly written ("resulting in a virtually limited repertoire", "And those namesakes, in turn, were often named after biblical characters, except for the name Jesus..."). The Islamic view of Jesus is highly complex. To assert that He is regarded as "just another prophet" is simplistic. I don't believe any Muslims would ever describe any prophet of their religion as "just another prophet". The phrase "just a..." is a classic weasel term. If you wanted to make the paragraph work you would have to say that Muslims do not regard Jesus as the Messiah or the Son of God. I believe the name is used in some African countries but it's beside the point. It's entirely normal to remove a piece of information that is probable original research. Did you read this somewhere Jesse, and if so where? or is it speculation? --Lo2u (TC) 23:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the bit about Spain. After noting that some biblical names are used, an exception - albeit an important one - is really quite a tangent. Noting exceptions to the exception (i.e. Spain) is quite a major tangent. Thinking up an explanation for the exception to the exception is just taking things too far, especially if that explanation is unreferenced. --Lo2u (TC) 23:47, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Reverted. You didn't supply a reference for the exception, either. Jesus is an extremely common given name (or middle name) in Spain and Portugal, like it or not. It may come across as blasphemous to people not used to it, but I also thought it weird when I heard that Jebediah is common in the US -- and I don't go and mention it in this article. JREL (talk) 09:46, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

"You didn't supply a reference for the exception, either." - Pardon? Did I write the paragraph? Am I expected to reference every piece of information on Wikipedia that I haven't removed?--Lo2u (TC) 23:09, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
JREL, I would have been grateful if you had contacted me on my talk page rather than continuing a discussion that ended over a year ago. What I removed was this extremely questionable piece of unsourced research:
"The name is common however in the Spanish-speaking world, where it does not carry the negative implications found elsewhere. This is because Spain was ruled by Muslims for centuries in the Middle Ages, and in Islamic culture the equivalent name Isa is used, in recognition of Jesus's status as a prophet in Islam.[citation needed]."
All the article had previously said was that Jesus was not used as a name in Germanic speaking countries. What is extraordinary about the name Jesus is not that it is a biblical name that is used in some countries like Spain, there are lots of those, but that it is a rare case of a name that is taboo in some countries. I can see no reason at all to start listing countries the majority of countries where the name is not taboo other than to clutter a very messy article. By the way, when I originally objected to the paragraph I think it read "the name is not used in Germanic speaking countries... except Spain...", which was quite preposterous. --Lo2u (TC) 23:06, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

"surname"[edit]

Please bluelink it.68.148.164.166 (talk) 09:04, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

yo sup —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.43.21.108 (talk) 13:57, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Names based on events[edit]

I came here looking for a particular word, and thought I'd find it in Patronymic#See also, but had no luck.

It's a given name, in everyday language, that has some relation to the person. Examples I can think of are Hawkeye and Dances With Wolves, as well as Curly and Whitey and Slim. Examples of family names like this include Esposito, Shakespeare, Jette...and, of course, professions like Smith and Baker and Cooper and Forester. The word I'm looking for only applies to the first use of that name, though; when it applies to the person it's given to before it's used as a name.

Can anyone help me out on this one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.164.172.20 (talk) 04:59, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

It's possible you're thinking of Eponym maybe? "An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, which has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item."

See the page on Etymology, that might be of some help finding what you're looking for. Ilphin (talk) 07:03, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Cleaned up a part of the article -- hope I didn't step on any toes...[edit]

Was using this article for etymological research, and thought I'd try to improve it while I was here; it looked hopelessly neglected, and I didn't suspect there'd be an active discussion page for it... Feel free to revert or further modify, but I'd like the anecdotes to stay there -- they're very much in-style for etymology (cf. etymonline.org, or, heck, the works of Tolkien), and that is the section heading. :)

This page looks like a bit of an orphan in general; if I find the time and my contributions so far aren't savaged too badly, I might try to rewrite/expand the whole thing -- as far as the limits of my knowledge, I don't know very much about Greek or anything about Korean -- in the same style. ExOttoyuhr (talk) 03:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Moving from a different country = new name[edit]

I've added to the section explaining how we get our names. You can also acquire your name by choosing it. I don't mean as a nickname, but you actually choose what you want to be called and it will appear on everything: school, legal paperwork, driver's license, and all of that. I happen to be born and raised in a certain part of Los Angeles where three-fourths of the population is Asian in some way (namely East Asian as Chinese, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese but we have a few Indians and Japanese). As a result, I have seen and heard countless tales of Asia and everything related to it. My high school had quite a large number of kids who just moved from Asia or Europe and couldn't speak English (also colloquially known as FOBs). They got to choose their own names.

Also, if you're Asian and your parents moved to a more developed country and they had you, you'll probably be aware of the fact that they chose their own names. English ones.

A good example of this would be Tila Tequila and Kaila Yu, who were born in Singapore and Taiwan, respectively. They moved to the United States at a very young age (before kindergarten) and they picked up new names for themselves. Tila was actually Thanh Thien Thi Nguyen, but I'm not sure if the parents advised her to shorten the third word to make an easier name for herself or she actually wanted it to be that way. Kaila Yu is believed to be Yu Liping.

On a last note, I believe that this helps the "lack of worldwide perspectives" tag at the top. Even though I don't have references for it. Dasani 07:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

To give this a worldwide perspective, I changed sentence to read:

Persons born in one country who immigrate to another with different naming conventions, may have their names legally changed accordingly.{{Fact|date=January 2009}}

An example from Thailand is the family name of PM Abhisit, whose Thai Chinese clan received a palace name in the reign of Rama VI. Pawyilee (talk) 11:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

"Etymology" incorrect[edit]

The subhead "Etymology" is an incorrect use of the word; the section is not about etymology, which pertains to individual words (hence the confused abundance of examples, as the hidden note points out). This section is properly on the "Origin of given names"; i.e., how various cultures create and give personal names within the conventional naming system of each. Individual etymologies can be used as clarifying examples, but sparingly, to avoid the meaningless accumulation of lists. I've changed the heading. Hope that's OK and doesn't step on any toes. The whole section should probably be reorganized with subsections by culture. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:08, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Ameri-centric?[edit]

In the UK, I almost never hear the term "given name". "First name" is used predominantly, with "Christian name" a close runner up. Is it worth indicating this in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.148.164.60 (talk) 13:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)


I have come across "given name" quite a bit in the UK in contexts where it is important to be as inclusive as possible (e.g. application forms for university degree courses), for the reasons outlined in the article. While I agree that it seems to be much less widely used than the other options you cited, a quick look in the Oxford English dictionary revealed the following entry:

"given name (noun) another term for FIRST NAME" (Oxford Dictionary of English, Third Edition, 2010)

There is no mention that it is a regional variant (US or British English). I would suggest on this basis that the "US English" reference in the introduction be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 132.231.51.111 (talk) 09:38, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Hansel and Gretel[edit]

There is a section of the article that talks about NICKNAMES and gives this particular example: "In German the names Johann and Margarete are shortened to Hänsel and Gretel in the famous fairy tale". There is no citation, and it is not the version I heard while learning the language. the -el suffix sort of means "little". Using the name Hansel instead of Johann is more like how an American boy might go by Danny or Billy instead of Daniel or William. It is not really 'shortened' as it says, but more an alternate name. Peabody80 (talk) 21:02, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I restructured the sentence to get rid of the word "shortened". Whenever talking about nicknames, this word should be avoided, because nicknames are not about shortening the name, only changing it. Peabody80 (talk) 13:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The word I was trying to think of was "Diminutive". Updated the section a little.Peabody80 (talk) 16:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Roepnaam - calling name.[edit]

In Dutch, a person may have a [:nl:roepnaam|roepnaam]], which is the name with which is person is called by his family and friends. His name might for example be Jonathan James Johnson, with Jonathan James the given name, and Johnson the surname. The boy might however be called Jack, or William, or anything he likes, by his friends, fellow workers and family. This is not a nickname, which is often based on ridicule. It also seems different from the concept of a short name, as it may be unrelated to the persons first name. In fact, the persons calling name may be shortened to a short name. Now adays it is customary to abbreviate calling names to the first syllable.

I wonder if something similar is present in other countries?

TeunSpaans (talk) 15:32, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

for example[edit]

given name for monks on occasion of their ordination , http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/ordination1.htm, and similar events, Those should be object of the article, too.

-- 88.75.79.124 (talk) 14:23, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

LGPN[edit]

The Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, a Major Research Project of the British Academy, member of the group of Oxford Classics Research Projects, contains over 35,000 published Greek names. Shouldn't it be in the External links section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.67.121.54 (talk) 20:22, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Laws regarding given names[edit]

Here is an article about laws regarding given names:

Scottish surnames as forenames[edit]

I know that a couple of general examples are given for surnames used as forenames, but I think that it's notable the number of Scottish surnames that are used as boys' names, especially in Scotland. Examples: Allan, Blake, Bryce, Campbell, Dean, Duncan, Fergus, Findlay, Fraser, Forrester, Gordon, Greig, Lauchlan, Lawrence, Lindsay, Lucas, Malcolm, Neil, Ross, Russell, Scot, Stewart, Stuart, Todd, Wilson.--ML5 (talk) 13:08, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I've noticed that too. Although, I think some of the examples you gave aren't quite right. For example Duncan, Fergus, Findlay, Lauchlan, Lawrence, Lucas, Malcolm, and Neil were originally personal names that the surnames originated from.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 06:14, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

origins section[edit]

Given names most often derive from the following categories: Occupations, for example George means "farmer" [...] Objects, for example Peter means "rock" and Edgar means "rich spear"; Physical characteristics, for example Calvin means "bald". [...] Names of unknown or disputed etymology, for example Mary.

Almost nobody is named Peter or Calvin because of their literal meanings, let alone Mary or Antony because of their uncertain origins! I'd have this section say something like: Given names commonly are taken from an ancestor, or from a religious leader or other public figure; and then go into the typical origins of names in their respective languages (because traditions differ).

It's a pity we don't have an article on dithematic name, a pattern common to nearly all branches of Indo-European in ancient times (Latin being the major exception, because Rome's ruling class was originally Etruscan). Germanic name and Slavic name do give good lists of examples. —Tamfang (talk) 04:44, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Definition of Person[edit]

I would like to see the word person in this article replaced with the word:

"man"

The reason for this is to avoid confusion with the Law Society's definition of this word:

"The words person ... include(s) corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals." http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/P/Person.aspx

"An entity (such as a corporation) that is recognized by law as having most of the rights and duties of a human being." - Blacks Law Dictionary (8th Edition)

So to avoid confusion when referring to the species of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (us); the word man (which is an inclusive term for both females and males) should be used. MH1987 (talk) 14:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Alternatively, person could be mass-replaced with natural person. —Tamfang (talk) 18:56, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

A natural person is still a person, not a man. Research Mary-Elizabeth: Croft. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MH1987 (talkcontribs) 15:38, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Possible move of this article being discussed[edit]

The possibility of moving this article to a different name is being discussed at WT:WikiProject Anthroponymy#"Personal name" versus "given name". Jc3s5h (talk) 11:51, 12 June 2014 (UTC)