Definition of Christian name in English:

Christian name


  • A first name, especially one given at baptism.

    ‘she was not used to addressing adults by their Christian names’
    ‘his Christian name is Gerry’
    • ‘I always called him ‘boss’, never by his Christian name.’
    • ‘He was also known as Charles Warburg as he sometimes employed the anglicised version of his Christian name.’
    • ‘He began to re-invent himself, dropping his Christian name Stephen, because there was already an actor called Stephen Scott registered with Equity.’
    • ‘‘It was so encouraging to hear people shouting out your Christian name,’ he said.’
    • ‘Members are usually referred to as honourable members, or by their Christian name and surname.’
    • ‘His mother - whose maiden name, Hardy, he took as his Christian name - was a great influence in his childhood and pointed him in the direction of his future career.’
    • ‘The chumminess of members referring to each other by their Christian names in debate is meant to signify democratic informality.’
    • ‘They agreed to call each other by their Christian names and then it was, ‘What shall we talk about?’’
    • ‘The live-in maid was always called Miss Rix, as my mother did not like the use of Christian names.’
    • ‘It's good to see that some of the established Christian names are still being used by parents when baptising their children.’
    • ‘By the time the subject of this article was born good Scottish Catholic Christian names (the same recurs generation after generation in the eldest son of the family) had given way to more solidly English ones.’
    • ‘The elderly southern matron next to me carried the Christian name Edna Earl, pronounced Ednerl.’
    • ‘This Act obliged the governors to discard the name given to the child by its parents at baptism and to give the infant a new Christian name and surname.’
    • ‘When the police arrived they were confronted by up to 15 youths, some calling the police officers by their Christian names and others kicking the police van's wheels.’
    • ‘After 1066 and William's victory at the Battle of Hastings, the Norman's introduced a more precise system that included a surname and by the Twelfth Century, English society had what we might recognise as Christian names and surnames.’
    • ‘Tea appeared with chocolate cake: conversation rioted - jokes, literary allusions, teasing, political figures and artists referred to by their Christian names.’
    • ‘His Christian names were Thomas Reginald; he was born in Whitby but lived in Clifton from the age of six,’ John writes.’
    • ‘Simply using Christian names is not enough a first name gives no social or familial context.’
    • ‘May I also draw attention to the unacceptable use of initials, instead of full Christian names.’
    • ‘Anthony thinks he may know her real Christian name but, without a surname to go on, his quest to uncover her identity has so far proved fruitless.’
    forename, given name, baptismal name
    View synonyms


In recognition of the fact that English-speaking societies have many religions and cultures, not just Christian ones, the term Christian name has largely given way, at least in official contexts, to alternative terms such as given name, first name, or forename


Christian name