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NerdyKeith's avatar

Do any of you still call a "first name" your Christian name?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 14th, 2016

I find it interesting, since a significant amount of people in this world are not Christians. My own name is Celtic in origin, and has no Biblical relevance whatsoever.

I know some claim this has to do with the first name one is given during baptism, but usually that is how many people acquire their middle names. I received my first name before I was baptized (I used to be Catholic).

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19 Answers

jca's avatar

I’m a Christian (not born again or fundamentalist or anything), and I call my first name my “first name.”

Strauss's avatar

I was raised Christian, and my name is Christian in origin, but I never referred to it as my Christian name. It was always my first name. I heard the reference as a boy on a television show or a movie, or something like that.

jca's avatar

I know when babies are baptized, sometimes they’re given a name on that occasion. I think of the term “Christian name” as being that name. However, I know some think of Christian name as being the first name.

ragingloli's avatar

Never did, never will.
And considering that my first name derives from the Roman God of War, it would be blasphemous for me to insult Mars like that.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I never did, I guess because “first name” was the term we used at home. Even the nuns at school referred to our first names as “first names”. I grew up thinking that the term “Christian name” was a protestant thing because they were the only ones I ever heard use it. Today I could care less who uses it, or if it is used at all. The important things is that I understand what people mean when they speak. I’m not too pedantic about the words and phrases they use as long as I understand their intentions.

In the Southern States’ culture—a predominantly protestant culture—one’s mother’s maiden name is given to at least one child as a middle name. It shows lineage, which was important in that culture until recently.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Christian names are for the goyim.

Born and raised Jewish, and it was only ever a “first name” for me.

janbb's avatar

I think that’s more of a British thing then it ever was American. And as I Jew, I also would never use it in any case.

Pachy's avatar

Being Jewish, I’ve always winced a bit when somebody asked for my Christian name. One time I answered, “I’ll be happy to give you my Jewish name.”

The person didn’t smile.

CWOTUS's avatar

I understand the term, and have for a half-century or more, but I’ve also never used it in any serious way, or in conversation or writing that wasn’t satirical or mocking.

marinelife's avatar

No, I do not.

Seek's avatar

I was not christened as an infant, so I’ve never referred to my name as a Christian name. My name itself has a convoluted origin: An Irish/Scots variant of a Norman English version of a diminutive of a French name derived from the Old German word phrase for “of nobility”.

I can’t see any reason to call that a Christian name.

ucme's avatar

It’s somehow a thing that us brits are meant to say without ever contemplating the religious aspect.
I never use the word, always refer to someone’s “first” name.

DominicY's avatar

No, that term seems a bit archaic, although my name is about as Christian as it gets: Dominic means “of the Lord”.

flutherother's avatar

I used to call it my Christian name when I was a kid and I still think of it that way though I don’t call it that anymore. My ‘Christian name’ is actually Jewish in origin and is quite common in this part of the world.

Phobos_Is_Gay's avatar

As with “Maiden Name” it seems archaic and prejudiced. First Name and Last Name. For women who change their name: “Birth Name” and “Married Name”. A lot of women don’t even bother changing their last name anymore.

dxs's avatar

I grew up Christian (Catholic) and never used the term. I hadn’t even heard of the term until now. Is it mostly an Ireland thing or not a USA thing?

rojo's avatar

Once, in the long ago times, pagans inhabited the world. Pagans were pretty much at ease with the idea that whomever or whatever you held a sacred was ok; there was plenty of space in the world for a pantheon of deity and still enough room to raise sheep.

However, pagans were, as a whole, a fairly unimaginative group and as such had a difficult time coming up with one name for each person, let alone two. Most of the time people were called by their trade (such as Miller, Smith or Baker) and on occasion named for some small peccadillo that they may have thus names like “Ramsbottom” and “Goldenshower”.

Then, slowly, crawling and slinking out of the muck and filth, a religion formed that demanded fealty to a single god and this was not only required of the faithful but of every other human inhabitant of the planet. When they slithered into a town they took over because the pagans were like, “Whatever dude, you do what makes you happy”. While this attitude worked with other pagans, it turned out to be a rather self-defeating strategy when applied to a group that wanted to control everything and everyone.

But, Christians could not just rename the people whose lives they wanted to take over; no one would know who the hell was being called, spoken to or brought to trial on heresy charges. So, they implemented a system by which they added a second name to each person so there could be some way to differentiate between the various Ramsbottoms so everyone would know who was the actual blasphemer.

Now, being bossy but somewhat insecure, they decided that this additional random name would not be “added” but would be said first and then followed by the Surname (so called because common pagans got SURly when called out by Christians for some minor transgression). Over the intervening years, this first name came to be called the “Christian Name”; some say in honor of the inventors, some say to spite them but the true reason has been lost in the annals of time.

Brian1946's avatar

Not me, but perhaps this guy does. ;-)

ken1's avatar

Yes as I am a Christian

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