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personal name

n. A proper name identifying an individual person, especially the full name.

Personal name

A personal name or full name refers to the set of names by which an individual is known and that can be recited as a word-group, with the understanding that, taken together, they all relate to that one individual. In many cultures, the term is synonymous with the birth and legal names of the individual, seen below. In many cultures, individuals possess a variety of names, in others they are known by a single name; when a plurality of names occur, some are specific to the individual, distinguishing them from related individuals (e.g., John Adams and John Quincy Adams), while other names indicate the person's relationship to or membership in a family, clan, or other social structure (as for Charles Philip Arthur George and one of his namesakes), or even to unrelated others (e.g., as for Leonardo DiCaprio and his namesake).

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)—respectively, the Thomas and Jefferson in Thomas Jefferson—the latter to indicate that the individual belongs to a family, a tribe, or a clan. Inserted between these are one or more "middle names" (e.g., Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles John Huffam Dickens, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Mountbatten-Windsor), further establishing such family and broader relationships. Some cultures, including Western, also add (or once added) patronymics or matronymics, for instance, via a middle name as with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (son of pater Ilya), or via a last name as with Björk Guðmundsdóttir (daughter of pater Guðmund) or Heiðar Helguson (son of mater Helga). Similar concepts are present in Eastern cultures.

However, in less urbanized areas of the world, many people are known by a single name, and so 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, pseudonyms 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.

Usage examples of "personal name".

You will retain your personal name, which is common enough not to arouse suspicion, I think.

Ryo allowed them the unusual familiarity of calling him by his personal name alone, since his full name verged on the unpronounceable for them.

With this language, I'm not sure what a personal name would be like.

It moved off, silently murmuring its name, its incredible very-own personal name.

Mike relaxed, slightly relieved at hearing a personal name that indicated the speaker was female but not inclined to put too much trust in the clue until he learned more about the current evolutionary status of the language.

Scame suddenly shouted, using the Wheel Chariman's personal name for the first time.

If Ghar called one of the most influential leaders on his home world by a personal name, he was placed even higher in his government than she had realized.

Perseus saw that he must forget his royal title in his defeat, and a second letter was sent in which he described himself by his personal name.