For many of us, our full name is the first thing that we hear when someone greets us in person. But what does a “full” name really mean? Does it include the middle name? What about the legal names? And how should they be written out: first/middle/last or middle/first last? These are just some of the questions that have been asked by people around the world. In this article, we will answer these questions and more so you can feel comfortable with your full name for life!
does the full legal name include the middle name?
For many of us, our full (legal) names are what we use on official documents and for identification purposes. However, there is some confusion around whether a middle name should be included in this or not. The answer to this question varies based on where you live – often times it will depend if you have one or more than one given name listed after your surname. In countries like Australia and Ireland, all three parts of your first/middle/last name must match up with each other when filling out forms so they do require that you list both your first and last name as well as any additional ones! This doesn’t mean that everyone else should follow suit, however: American names do not require middle names so if you’re in the US, your full name is just what’s on your driver’s license or passport.
A lot of people seem to think that a “full” name includes one more than their legal first and last given names; however, this isn’t always true! In many cultures across the world (particularly those with two surname-based systems), it can be common for children to have three or even four different parts when they are born – typically these would be the child’s birth order number followed by both parents’ surnames as well as any other family titles such as Jr., III, etc.
In countries like Japan where only one surname is used, adding another word before the main surname might be common too (for example, 山田 大介 or Yamada Daisuke), while in China it is possible for people to use two surnames but then add a middle name.
This can be confusing for many because they are used to thinking that their full legal and given names should include the surname! But unfortunately, this isn’t always true so you might want to research before assuming your “full” name includes more than just what’s on your ID card!
Full Name Dos: o have one first/last/middle
o don’t call yourself by only a nickname unless you’re sure that everyone will know who you mean
Don’ts: o don’t refer to someone like Dr. Smith when you mean Dr. Smithson, o don’t use someone’s first name as their last unless you’re related to them in some way (e.g., a spouse)
Full Name Dos and Don’ts: o middle names are not typically used for full legal names, but they can be added on too if desired
o it is common for people to have one surname only – this does not need another word before the main surname when there is no confusion about who you are talking about! But it might help avoid confusion with two surnames or more than one person of the same name within a family group; adding an extra word before or after the main surname may also work too (for example, 山田 大学生 Yamada Daigakusei).
o it is common in some cultures to list a person’s full legal name with their first and last names, but this does not translate well to English-speaking cultures. o avoid using the word ‘last’ when talking about someone’s surname – for example, “Smith” should be used rather than “the Smiths.”
Middle Names: o Middle names are typically added on after your initials (e.g., JWL B.A.), o Some people use middle names as part of their signature; they can be put before or after one’s given name(s), depending on preference
First/Middle/Last: o those who have more than one given name can use either their first name(s), middle or last as the main identifier
Legal Names: o Legal names are typically used for official purposes such as passport, driver’s license, and government ID. Full legal names can also include a maiden name in some cases.