Since 名前 can also mean full name, it would be nice to have a single word that is complimentary to 苗字. Is there one available for common use?

  • 1
    Hmm I can only think of 下の名前, 名前 or 名(as opposed to 姓; in the written style)
    – user1016
    Jan 16, 2014 at 12:50
  • When dealing with gaijin people often use ファーストネーム. Doesn't quite fit what you're looking for but it's there anyway.
    – ssb
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


In spoken language, strange as it may sound, there is really no shorter way to say [下]{した}の[名前]{なまえ} to refer to one's given name. As a native speaker, I would surely know if there were such a word.

There are a couple of ways to ask for one's given name in spoken Japanese.

1) Direct: 「下のお名前を[教]{おし}えていただけますか。」

2) Indirect: 「[田中]{たなか}なに[様]{さま} (or [田中]{たなか}なにさん)とおっしゃいますか。」

In both cases, you already know the person's family name but not his given name.

In written language, however, a short word for "given name" exists, which is 名. On official forms, you often see two separate spaces for [姓]{せい} and [名]{めい}.

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