Difference between Forename and First Name

Key Difference: First name is the name given to a person and is used as the main identification feature of a person. It is generally given at birth or baptism. This name is preceded by the family name. Forename also refers to first name and thus there is no difference between a forename and a first name.

We all have names. Name has always been an important part of a person’s identity. We are known by our name. A name always remains associated with a person. Name can be anything; it may or may not have a meaning. Generally, the full name is divided into two parts- first name and surname. However, some people may also have a middle name. Now, most of us are aware of first name and if somebody asks us about our first name, we can instantly tell our first name. Sometimes, the term forename may be used in place of forename. In this situation, the confusion can arise. To resolve the confusion, let’s take definitions of both from Oxford Dictionary.

It defines first name as:

‘a personal name given to someone at birth or baptism and used before a family name’

It defines forename as:

‘another term for first name’

For example- in the full name ‘John Taylor’, John is the first name as well as the forename. Taylor represents the family name or can be referred as the surname.

The first source for names used in Britain and throughout the English-speaking world is supposed to be the Bible - male names like Adam, Benjamin, David, Jacob, Joseph came into existence from this source and similarly female names like Deborah, Eve, Rebecca, Ruth, Sarah also got introduced. In India, a naming ceremony known as ‘Naamkaran’ usually takes place after the birth of the child. In this ceremony the name is decided for the child and is regarded as a very auspicious event. Similarly, there are various traditions that are followed world wide related to naming ceremony of a child.

Thus, we can conclude that forename and first name are one and same thing. There is no difference between a forename and first name. This name preceds the family name known as surname. Thus, both forename and first name are used to denote the personal name.

Image Courtesy: babynameslog.com

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