Cohen is a common last name among Jews and a royal name in the Jewish religion, standing for someone who is the priest in a temple. Cohen is now gaining an unlikely following as a first name among people unaware of its religious heritage, possibly because of the character Seth on TV's The O.C. who was commonly called by his last name Cohen. While many may be attracted to the name's fresh, modern, strong sound, you should be aware that its use as a first name may be offensive to some on religious grounds. Forms Coen, Koen, Cowan and other spellings may stem from different sources.