What Is A Surname?


12 Answers

Samantha Mitchell Profile
A surname is the second name that you will have seen that are associated with western people and western culture. The surnames are used as a way of distinguishing between different people, and only existed after their creation just a few hundred years ago. They are found across the UK and Europe, the United States of America and other countries across the world. The names range from the more obscure like 'Buckby', to common names in particular areas like 'Smith'. In English culture it is common to refer to an individual that is perhaps normal, or common, as a regular 'John Smith'. The phrase combines two of the most common names in Great Britain.

Many people also have middle names. Middle names are, naturally, names that are found between the first name and the surname. They generally resemble a normal first name and are often used as a way of remembering or respecting another individual who is related to the life of the person in question.

A male with a middle name will be named with a male name, and of course, females will stick with female names. It's generally unheard of for a man to have a feminine middle name and vice versa.

In some cultures across the world, the surname is placed at the end of the name (like in the West). However, in many other countries, the last name is actually placed first. This is common in Hungary, Pradesh (South India, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Andhra. In Hong Kong and Japan, when people from either of these two countries write their name in the Latin alphabet, it is common to reverse the order of their name to fit in with normal western culture, however. In their own language, however, it still remains opposite to the Western norms.
I believe a surname is one's last name...♥
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Anonymous commented
surname from Anglo-French surnoun from medieval Latin supernomen or over-name, the "last name" in English-speaking cultures, the "first name" in many oriental cultures, in either case supplementing the "given" name. It is either a familial designation or a non-familial descriptive of form, trade or origin.
Omer Butt
Omer Butt commented
Just gave you another "WOW". I hope it may increase scale.
Nancy Araujo
Nancy Araujo commented
I got your back mama! WOW!
Denise Knutter Profile
Denise Knutter answered
I have to agree 100% with Nascarnut, a surname is your last name.
John Profile
John answered
Surname is your family name either chosen or passed down through history. It shows your lineage ,where your from , your country of origin if you track it down to it's root meaning. www.ancestry.com
Asuka Jr. Profile
Asuka Jr. answered
In general terms a 'surname' is your last name, or family name.
 Surname is usually used because it often has a better sound than to just say 'last name' and many people simply prefer to use more specific words to convey their meaning instead of the more common terms.
 Also, the term 'Last Name' is most commonly used in western cultures, whereas 'Surname' is of a more global understanding. After all, in Japan for instance, your surname is listed first when your full name is being referred to (i.e.: Miyazaki Hayao, where his family name (or surname) is Miyazaki), so the term 'last name' wouldn't exactly work correctly, would it?
 So in using the word 'surname' there is not much grounds for misunderstanding, as it simply means your family name, or the name you share in common with other members of your family. (More rarely it can also be a nickname, or epithet added to a person's name to indicate circumstance of birth [Claude Beauchanmp dSt Claire - literally Claude Beauchamp of Saint Claire], but this convention is not used in most western cultures anymore)
 I hope this answer has helped in some way, if so, please rate it appropriately. Thank you and good luck!
 (Huh... I'm really getting slow in my old age, 4 answers [and comments!] in the time it takes me to write my one answer... Maybe I try to put too much into my answers, neh? (^_^)...)
thanked the writer.
John commented
no, just that i have answered a number of surname questions and already had the pages in my favorites list for quicker searches. that way i could copy the site addresses and paste them up. i sometimes put a ton of info in my answers to depending on the question. and just a little information for you the phone book still uses the last name/surname first for faster look ups.
Anonymous commented
Beginning with defining surname as last name takes things off course, especially when it's acknowledged that the surname may be the first name in some cultures. It's not a post-name, but an over-name.
Anonymous commented
that is a very good answer! 5 stars!
Omer Butt Profile
Omer Butt answered
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a "surname" is a family name; the family-name meaning first appeared in 1375. Many dictionaries use "surname" as a synonym of "family name."
Surnames are often influenced by common elements: The name of the person's father or mother, the person's geographical origin, the person's occupation, or a descriptive nickname for the person. When they were created, they answered one of the following questions: Who is this person related to? Where is this person from? What does this person do for a living? What is his or her most prominent feature?
For instance, the names Smith and Cooper may originate from the blacksmith and cooper metal work occupations, respectively. Names such as Cohen, may denote a prominent religious background; Cohen is a name usually found among male descendants of Jewish priests.
christine johnston Profile
Dictionary Answer: 1.The name that a person has in common with other family members, as distinguished from a Christian name or given name;family name.
2.A name that is added to a persons name,as one indicating a circumstance of birth or some characteristic or achievement;epithet.
3.To give surname to;call by a surname.
I hope this helps.
I notice a lot of questions regarding wanting to know about meanings of certain surnames & from what I get out of the true definition it does have to do with a last name.
I just don't understand what they are trying get out of finding the meaning of it...maybe the nationalities of the last name & from where (what countries) it comes from??? That sounds good to me :-) 
Katey Hurtman Profile
Katey Hurtman answered
It's your last name, hun, or the name you could call your whole family by.. The Smiths, the Millers.. So there you go! Surname = last name.
jabir isah Profile
jabir isah answered
Surname is a person's second name, or in some places surname is a person's parents or guadian's name especially a father's name. 
close eyes open them Profile
Simply Surname is one's last name!!!
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Anonymous commented
Yes, it is copied, that is why i quoted the website i got it from - i went to look up a good meaning for it....it obviously has a purpose and an origin - i wanted to find out from where..and i shared the knowledge i found on wiki with the person who asked the question. no need to be funny. read my other answers - then you'll see what an answer should be.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Your surname is the name borne in common by members of your family. In some cultures it's the first name, and others it's the last.
Aleisha Amohia Profile
Aleisha Amohia answered
Surname means last name, or family name. Don't take this personally, just curious...how old are you?

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