If my name is Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elshennawy. And I want to abbreviate it to Mohamed Elshennawy. What should I call this new abbreviated name (for instance nickname, surname,.. Etc), to use it in the introduce yourself interview question?

  • 2
    English has the term "full name" to describe the former, but I am unaware of a term that specifically designates a foreshortened form consisting of exactly one personal name and one family name. I would expect most people to find the two-name form you present as an acceptable response to a query simply for your "name", but so also might other forms be acceptable responses.
    – PellMel
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 19:59
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    Yeah, "name". It's common in the US and most other English-speaking areas to use something approximating your "first" and "last" names as your "name", when asked, and only use the longer version when qualified as "full name".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:03
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    There is no formal definition of name. In many cultures, you get to call yourself what you wish. The question What is your name? could be answered numerous ways. In US, many people have three or four parts to their names (and maybe more) but often answer using just two elements. The version you offer is sometimes referred to as first and last name
    – bib
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


Mohamed Elshennawy is your name.
Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elshennawy is your full name

If you wish to shorten it further, consider it as a moniker or nickname

a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name)

"Joe's mother would not use his nickname and always called him Joseph"
"Henry's nickname was Slim"

I realize that you are not really making new names. I have a very long name too. So my full name will have more than 4 words. But I say my name with two. On internet, I use my nickname NVZ.

  • "Nickname" would be, perhaps, "Moh" -- a shortened version of the person's first name, or some other acquired name (eg, "Speedy"). "Moniker" is more vaguely defined (and variable by context) and could even be his "full name".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 20:05

You can use alias :

  • used when giving the ​name that a ​person is ​generally ​known by, after giving ​their ​real ​name:

    • Malcolm Little, alias Malcolm X

(Cambridge Dictionary)


A shortened form of a name - Mick for Michael, for instance - is a hypocorism. It is also the word which describes endearments and nicknames.

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