Specialized websites can provide the etymology, history and original meaning of first and last names. Many of these sites offer name categorization by meaning, original language or popularity.Continue Reading
Given names, or first names in English naming conventions, are chosen according to the hopes and beliefs of the bestowers and their society. Names may retain their meaning in day-to-day life, such as "Skye," "Hunter" and "Hope," or be chosen from custom, as with biblical names in Christian tradition or from the names of recent ancestors and family in Italian tradition.
In other societies, children are named according to birth order, as with the Ancient Romans who commonly gave names as Primus (first), Secundus (second) and continuing in that manner. It is common for some Christian sects to have their adherents take on another middle name upon confirmation into the faith, generally after Saints or other religious figures.
Second and third given names are often referred to as middle names and used in lieu of one's first name, depending on personal preferences. Birth names are not always the most commonly used form of address in day-to-day conversation, depending on the society and level of formality. Nicknames, honorifics or family names are sometimes used in place of the birth name for everyday conversation.Learn more about Education