One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A personal name given to someone at birth or baptism and used before a family name.
forename, christian name, given name, baptismal nameView synonyms
- ‘His first name was originally William, but he adopted ‘Walt’ in about 1900.’
- ‘In 1959 he converted to Roman Catholicism and adopted the first name Léonard in recognition of his admiration for Leonardo da Vinci.’
- ‘She refers to her friend by her first name only.’
- ‘He might have seized power in a military coup and immediately cancelled elections, but hey, he's a first-name kind of guy.’
- ‘My first name is Roland.’
on first-name terms
Having a friendly and informal relationship.‘staff and pupils were on first-name terms’
- ‘He is on first-name terms with every national newspaper editor, goes on holiday with the present editor of The Sun, and counts television executives and celebrities among his impeccable social contacts.’
- ‘Back then it was just a few hundred ladies and we were practically on first-name terms.’
- ‘‘I know all of my customers on first-name terms,’ says Jacobs.’
- ‘Tracey is on first-name terms with every Republican senator.’
- ‘I marvelled as he name-checked the celebrities with whom he was on first-name terms.’
- ‘We are on first-name terms with many of the staff, who have been great and there are some really big personalities among them.’
- ‘I find it so much more pleasant to work with people on first-name terms.’
- ‘Nowadays he is on first-name terms with at least half of his audience.’
- ‘One distinguished editor, who was on first-name terms with a minister, found an unusual way out of this predicament.’
- ‘Nothing has a fixed price - their customers make whatever donation they can afford - and the women seem to be on first-name terms with everybody.’
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