full name

Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

A person’s full nomenclature, also known as a personal name or full name, refers to a set of names by which an individual may be known, that are or can be recited as a group, with the understanding that they all relate to one person. In some cultures, individuals are known by a single name; in others they may possess a variety of names, some of which are specific to the individual and distinguish that person from other relatives, while others indicate the person’s relationship to others, or membership in a family, clan, or other social structure. In Western culture, nearly all individuals possess at least one given name (also known as a personal name, first name, forename, or Christian name), together with a surname (also known as a family name, last name, or gentile name), indicating that the person belongs to a family, a tribe, or a clan. Some Western cultures also use (or once did use) patronymics or matronymics. Similar concepts are present in Eastern cultures. However, in less urbanized areas of the world, many people are known by a single name, and are said to be mononymous. Still other cultures lack the concept of specific, fixed names designating people, either individually or collectively. Certain isolated tribes, such as the Machiguenga of the Amazon, do not use personal names. A person’s full name usually identifies that person for legal and administrative purposes, although it may not be the name by which the person is commonly known; some people use only a portion of their full name, or are known by titles, nicknames, or other formal or informal designations. The academic study of names is called anthroponymy. It is nearly universal for people to have names; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that a child has the right to a name from birth.