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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    30

    Question Middle Name for Cohen

    My husband and I love the name Cohen for a boy. What do you think? I know it's the kind of name people either love or hate, or simply just don't "get."

    We're looking for middle name advice. We like Robert, Isaiah, Brady, and Evander. Just looking for more ideas.
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    361
    Is this a family name for you? I am very surprised by this trend toward naming children Cohen. Among Orthodox Jews, people with the surname Cohen are considered members of the priestly class, and have special duties within the religion. It is not used as a first name.

    It's a name that is so heavily tied in with the religion, that anyone in a coastal city would presume him to be Jewish. It would sort of be like a non-Christian naming their child Christian. You are kind of proclaiming him to be a member of the Jewish religion. In fact, I have a number of Orthodox friends who keep kosher and attend synagogue regularly, but also like to travel. When they arrive in a new city, they get a phone book from the hotel, flip to the C's, find someone with the surname Cohen, and call and ask if they know where synagogue services and kosher restaurants can be found.

    There was a phase during the 70's when a number of people gave their children names of Hindu gods and goddesses, despite having no connection with Hinduism. I'm not sure if members of the Hindu religion found that offensive, but I believe that trend stopped as people began to see that the names came with spiritual significance that needed to be understood if the name was to be used appropriately.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4
    I personally love the name Cohen! It was on our list, too! From your "likes", Cohen Isaiah is my favorite! Good luck!!

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by econo View Post
    Is this a family name for you? I am very surprised by this trend toward naming children Cohen. Among Orthodox Jews, people with the surname Cohen are considered members of the priestly class, and have special duties within the religion. It is not used as a first name.

    It's a name that is so heavily tied in with the religion, that anyone in a coastal city would presume him to be Jewish. It would sort of be like a non-Christian naming their child Christian. You are kind of proclaiming him to be a member of the Jewish religion. In fact, I have a number of Orthodox friends who keep kosher and attend synagogue regularly, but also like to travel. When they arrive in a new city, they get a phone book from the hotel, flip to the C's, find someone with the surname Cohen, and call and ask if they know where synagogue services and kosher restaurants can be found.

    There was a phase during the 70's when a number of people gave their children names of Hindu gods and goddesses, despite having no connection with Hinduism. I'm not sure if members of the Hindu religion found that offensive, but I believe that trend stopped as people began to see that the names came with spiritual significance that needed to be understood if the name was to be used appropriately.


    Cohen is not a family name for us. My husband was actually raised as an Orthodox Jew (His mother was Orthodox, father was Conservative, they dabbled in a bit of both sides.) I am aware of the duties that a Cohen has, and some of the specific rules they have (they are called first to the Torah, cannot enter cemeteries, etc.) However, being a Levi is almost just as much of an honorary role as being a Cohen and yet no one cares or thinks twice when people name their son Levi. Why? I don't know, I suppose because Levi has been considered a first name for so long, even though it started almost identically as Cohen did in the world of surnames. Perhaps the trend of people naming their sons Cohen will eventually make the name as common as Levi.

    Jews do name their sons Christian without being told it's inappropriate. They also use Christopher, Christina, Natalie, etc. Sure, the names hold no special honor or rules in the Christian church, but no surname does. To a Christian, names that mean such powerful things about Christ could be seen as inappropriate on someone that does not believe in Him.
    || Tyler Matthew ||
    || Cambry Victoria ||
    || Asa Jonathan ||
    || Jett Samuel ||
    || Teagan Emily ||
    || Ryder Benjamin ||
    || Spencer Andrew ||
    || Adelyn Mackenzie ||

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,514
    You should know that the opposition to this name goes far beyond not liking its sound or style. Nor is it just a case of mistaken identity, where people will presume your son to be Jewish. several rabbis have spoken out and said point-blank that they find the appropriation of the name to be offensive and they request non-Jews to stop using it. Now it's up to you whether or not a random group of religious leaders in a religion that's not yours means much to you. But this has become a polarizing name.

    It's become popular in the last 5 years due to the Aiden clones, where 2 syllable -en names have become the It Sound. The areas where it's most common is in the South and Midwest, where its primarily given by evangelical Christians who think they've found a nifty OT name that fits in with dominant aesthetics, and who don't know any Jews personally.

    My very heartfelt advice would be to leave this alone. If you like the connection to the priestly class, try Levi on for size. If you want one of the twelve tribes of Israel, there's Judah, Benjamin, Asher, Manasseh, Reuben, Dan, Ephraim, Simeon, even Gad and Zebulon. If you want a 2-syllable name ending in-en, there are literally hundreds.
    Blade, MD

    XY: Antoine Raphael
    XX: Cassia Viviane Noor

    Aquila * Chrysanthe * Emmanuelle * Endellion * Ione * Jacinda * Lysandra * Melisande * Mireia * Petra * Rosamond * Seraphine * Silvana * Theophane / Blaise * Cyprian * Darius * Evander * Giles * Laurence * Lionel * Malcolm * Marius * Peregrine * Rainier

    كنوز الصحراء الشرقية Hayat _ Qamar _ Sahar _ Amal _ Hanan / Altair _ Fahd _ Ilyas _ Sajjad _ Saqr _ Tariq

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