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Name Meanings - Why Are They Important?

Jul 22, 2008
A given name or a first name is the name given to a person to differentiate that person from someone else in the family or someone who carries the same surname or last name. This name is given to a person by the parents or guardians. The name is not carried down from generation to generation like the surname. Different groups have different name meanings and use the given names and surnames in different ways.

In most European and American countries a person's name is usually written with the given name first followed by the surname. However, in countries such as Hungry the given name generally comes after the surname. In some East Asian countries a given name could be given to an entire group of people and they must share the name. When done in this manner, the given name is meant to denote a whole generation of people rather than just one person.

In most Western countries, people typically have one or more given names. If there is more than one given name, there is one name that is used on daily basis and this is the name that person goes by and then there may be supplementary given names that are referred to as the middle name or names. Legally a child's given name is the name that is given to them at the time of their birth. This is the name that will appear on the birth certificate. However there are some countries that do not permit the parents to give the child a name that may cause them harm. In this case the name is taken into consideration and it is decided if the name is appropriate or not.

Today there has been an influence by popular culture on the names selected by parents. People are starting to move away from naming their children after another family member to naming their children after people and names that they see in the media. For example, in 2004 in the United Kingdom, Keira became a popular name as people began watching movies with the British actress Keira Knightly in them. Characters from fiction also seem to influence the naming of children as well. Research as shown that when a new name comes out in a television show or a movie there is an increased use of the name in the following year.

People often become dissatisfied with their names and attempt to change them. However, changing your name is not as simple as one might think. In some countries people are not permitted to change their name without legal consent from the parents who gave them the name. This means that if the parents are living then they must sign a paper stating that it is alright for their child to change their name. In other parts of the world, the person wishing to change their name must have a reason for wanting to change their name. For example, they may wish to change their name because it is too hard to spell or they may want to change it for professional reasons, such as actors. There is a procedure that must be followed when changing your name.
About the Author
For more information on the name meanings,how the meanings of names determine the choice and lots of other topics related to names and their meanings visit http://www.Names-And-Their-Meanings.Co.Uk
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