Difference Between First Name and Last Name

The first name is a given name which is sometimes known as Forename and is the part of a personal name that tells or identifies a person and differentiates him or her from other persons or members of the group (a group can be a family or community).


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First Name vs Last Name

The difference between First name and Last name is their position and the sense they represent while the First name is a representation of their individuality and identity but the Last name is something that is inherited by the person from his or her family.

First name vs Last name

The first name is given to the person when he or she is born while the Last name is something that is inherited by the person and is something that is common to the group, family, or community like each person of a family has a common name that is their last name.

For example; “Lilly Rose Depp is the daughter of Johnny Depp” now, while they share something common that is their last name which is their family name and is common to both but their first name is different to both of them

and is a part of their individuality and is part of their identity, this also tells us that “Johnny” and “Lilly Rose” are father and daughter and are different ones and in a general sense, it is a representation of an individual person.

While last name is also called surname first name is known as forename. Depending upon the culture, community, region and race last name differ and even it’s sense also changes from race to race.

In most of the Asian countries it also indicates caste of a person or race to which he or she belongs while in European countries it is in a general scale a mere title and might not represent the race.

Both are allowed to be changed in government norms while there is a common practice for women to officially change her last name from her family name to her husband’s family. They both make Full name (First + Last ).


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFirst NameLast Name
MeaningIndividual’s nameFamily name
positioningFirst in western and last in Asian cultureLast in western and first in Asian culture
Example: Michael PhelpsMichaelPhelps
Lana del ReyLanaDel Rey


What is First Name?

First name is a name given to someone when he or she is born and it is part of individual’s identity and something unique to that someone. It is also called Forename and in a single family it is different to different person and is going to be his part of identity.

Muhammad is thought to be the most common name in the world.Generally, the first name can also tell about someone’s sex which the last name of that individual cannot tell, this thing is something unique to the first name.

First is a part of uniqueness that the individual should hold or might be holding, it is a quality of the person that he should have and is given to him or her.

For example; Kento Momota has his first name as “Kento” which means a strong person, in other words first name is a meaningful quality or an adjective while it is not always true in last name.

first name

What is Last Name?

Last name is something that is inherited by the individual and is common to the community and is part of the group’s identity and tells that to which group, community or race he or she belongs to.

In most of the Asian countries it also indicates caste of a person or race to which he or she belongs while in European countries it is in a general scale a mere title and might not represent the race.

While the history of the last name is not so old an ancient according to various studies it is a practice that started around the 15th century. 

While the practice to provide someone her or his first name cannot be decided when it started but it is something that is very ancient as old as human history.

In most Asian countries last name represents the roots of the family their history, their failures and achievement and who the family actually is and their norms but the first name is given to someone

who they should be and their name has a very deep meaning that should always remain a part of their life and lead the way.

last name

Main Differences Between First Name and Last Name

  1. The main difference is the sense they are used while the first name represents someone’s individuality and is also a representation of his or her identity
  2. The last name is the name that is someone gets from his or her family and it is a representation of a person’s community, race, and family.
  3. Their position is also major difference between them. In western culture, they have the same meaning as their name but in Asian countries, their sense is the same but positions are opposite to their name.
  4.  The first name is given on some quality that the person might have or should have but the last name is the title of the family.
  5. The first name on a general scale can tell you the sex of a person but last is the thing that can do that.


  1. https://www.jabfm.org/content/5/5/517.short
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010440X84900208
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