First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce First

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name First mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of First

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective First
  1. Preceding all others of a series or kind; the ordinal of one; earliest; as, the first day of a month; the first year of a reign.
  2. Foremost; in front of, or in advance of, all others.
  3. Most eminent or exalted; most excellent; chief; highest; as, Demosthenes was the first orator of Greece.
    synonyms: Primary; primordial; primitive; primeval; pristine; highest; chief; principal; foremost.

Etymology: OE. first furst, AS. fyrst; akin to Icel. fyrstr, Sw. & Dan. förste, OHG. furist, G. fürst prince; a superlatiye form of E. for fore. See For Fore, and cf. Formeer Foremost

adverb First
Before any other person or thing in time, space, rank, etc.; -- much used in composition with adjectives and participles.
noun First
The upper part of a duet, trio, etc., either vocal or instrumental; -- so called because it generally expresses the air, and has a preëminence in the combined effect.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed at first of the bases in the infield (counting counterclockwise from home plate)
  2. The lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle; used to start a car moving
  3. An honours degree of the highest class
  4. The first element in a countable series ("the first of the month")
  5. The first or highest in an ordering or series ("He wanted to be the first")
  6. The time at which something is supposed to begin
  7. Ranking above all others ("was first in her class")
  8. Serving to begin ("the first verse")
  9. Serving to set in motion ("his first (or maiden) speech in Congress")
  10. Preceding all others in time or space or degree ("the first house on the right", "the first day of spring", "his first political race", "her first baby", "the first time", "the first meetings of the new party", and "the first phase of his training")
  11. Highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections ("first soprano", "the first violin section", and "played first horn")
  12. Indicating the beginning unit in a series
  13. Before anything else ("first we must consider the garter snake")
  14. The initial time ("when Felix first saw a garter snake")
  15. Prominently forward
  16. Before another in time, space, or importance ("I was here first" and "let's do this job first")
  1. A surname​.

First was also found in the following language(s): German

Notable Persons Named First


First was born in 1884. He passed away on March 4th, 1960.


First Carey was a football player for the History of the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears. He was most active from 1952 to 1958. First was born on February 8th, 1930. He died on October 25th, 1988.


His military service ended in 2005. First was born on November 5th, 1951 in Selangor.


First American is a comics character.


Notable Persons With the Last Name First

Ruth First was an anti-apartheid activist, apartheid, and anti-apartheidactivist. Ruth was born on May 4th, 1925 in Johannesburg. She breathed her last breath on August 17th, 1982.


Michael was born in 1956.


David First is a musical artist.


Neal was born on October 8th, 1930. He breathed his last breath on November 20th, 2014.


Craig was born on March 16th, 1960. Craig is also known as C.P. First.


Nenad was born on November 6th, 1964 in Zagreb.


Where is the name First popular?

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Popularity of First as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name First as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York.

Common first names for First

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity First U.S.
  White 85.58% 64.26%
  African American 7.65% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 3.35% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.07% 16.26%

Of Last Name First

People with the last name First are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name First

  • How Popular is the name First? As a last name First was the 20,971st most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name First first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name First is Thursday, July 19th, 1888.
  • How unique is the name First? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name First. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name First: Your name in reverse order is Tsrif. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ftris. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name First? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,255 people with the last name First.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of First? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with First as their last name since less than 1 person in 233k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Firsts Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for First

Name poster for First(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.