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Cohen - appropriate first name?

83 replies

Happygolucky233 · 20/01/2023 20:14

Love the sound and look of Cohen as a name. A quick google search suggests it’s a popular jewish surname.

Would it be disrespectful or have any negative connotations if we use Cohen as a first name, especially when we are not Jewish?

I’m not concerned about it being a surname - just like Taylor, Harvey, Mason etc - but wouldn’t want to offend.

OP posts:
MrsTerryPratchett · 20/01/2023 20:16

My understanding is that it's a very special name in Judaism, so may be more of an issue than an Old Testament name.

DelphiniumBlue · 20/01/2023 20:18

It would be like naming someone Priest or Vicar or Pope. So could be problematic.

LolaSmiles · 20/01/2023 20:20

I wouldn't because I believe that it's a particular honour surname linked to priest groups/branches of Judaism.

Cohen wouldn't be used by many observant Jewish people and a culturally significant surname on a non-jewish person would seen odd to me.

NoraVanDoogle · 20/01/2023 20:20

It was and still is one of my favourite names ♥️♥️ it x

Etinoxaurus · 20/01/2023 20:21

Don’t. As you’ve said it has significance in a culture that’s not yours. At best it’ll lead to a lifetime of explaining, worse offensive.
Coltyn (bit check the meaning)

2tired2bewitty · 20/01/2023 20:22

There was a child in my dds class whose name I thought was Cohen but turned out to be a Turkish name that sounded very similar but was spelled differently. Might that work? I’ll try and find out what it was (dd is asleep).

ChardonnaysBeastlyCat · 20/01/2023 20:23

Boy or girl?

UglyNess · 20/01/2023 20:23

Coen is a Dutch name I believe. Sounds the same but without the meaning.

MrsTerryPratchett · 20/01/2023 20:25

NoraVanDoogle · 20/01/2023 20:20

It was and still is one of my favourite names ♥️♥️ it x

It is lovely.

But in context.

Lavendersparkles22 · 20/01/2023 20:26

I've taught 5 Cohens in secondary over the last 6 years. I've only heard it in this specific school (huge comp in East Central Scotland). So not unusual here, and I can't assume, but the children did not appear outwardly religious.

Newoldme23 · 20/01/2023 20:28

I have a Cohen. I became obsessed with the name early on and then after almost losing him and spending lots of time talking to him ( whilst pregnant) I couldn’t bear to change it after he came through.

it’s not commonly found outside of the Jewish community and I’m always aware that some may find it offensive.

We do get a lot of compliments from people that are unaware of its origin

YourWinter · 20/01/2023 20:30

No, it’s absolutely a common Jewish name and your child will forever be assumed to be Jewish. That may bother them when they’re older, even if you don’t care.

SuperCarBlondy · 20/01/2023 20:32

I know a few families who have a Cohen. Their siblings are very much of the Jayden/Kayden/Lacey type vibe.

BackT · 20/01/2023 20:41

It's inappropriate. Don't do it.

If you must, calm him Coen

wednesdayrobyn · 20/01/2023 20:41

Perhaps another spelling would help? I have a friend with a Coen. (They are a Jewish family).

PriamFarrl · 20/01/2023 20:44

As I understand it calling a child Cohen is considered disrespectful by the Jewish community.

brillianthopefulness · 20/01/2023 20:48

I know a Cowan which is pronounced the same way.

CPL593H · 20/01/2023 20:50

Just no. It isn't "a popular Jewish surname", it is the surname of people believed in Judaism to be the descendants of Aaron, the priestly family. It has a special and particular ritual significance.

Toddlingturtle · 20/01/2023 20:52

Totally inappropriate. Please don’t

IsThePopeCatholic · 20/01/2023 21:07

My neighbour’s boy is a Coen. The dad is a traveller/ gypsy.

ladymacbeth · 20/01/2023 21:08

brillianthopefulness · 20/01/2023 20:48

I know a Cowan which is pronounced the same way.

As a first name?!

brillianthopefulness · 20/01/2023 21:13

Yes as a first name. I wondered if it was a Gaelic name.

WGACA · 20/01/2023 21:16

I don’t think it’s appropriate. I have taught a child called Cohen before though.

BooCrew · 20/01/2023 21:17

I know a Coen. It's a German name, the family being of German heritage (and not Jewish).

ZoyaTheDestroyer · 20/01/2023 21:17

It’s a strange choice if you have no Jewish heritage, and if you are Jewish you would be very unlikely to use it as a given name as it’s a patrilineal surname. If you like Hebrew names there are lots of lovely options which don’t have the same religious significance.

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