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Cohen

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Gender: Male Meaning of Cohen: "priest" Origin of Cohen: Hebrew Cohen's Popularity in 2017: #315

The name Cohen is a boy's name of Hebrew, Jewish origin meaning "priest". Cohen is ranked #315 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Mystical Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Elimination Game Boys Edition".

From the experts:

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.

Find other names based on Cohen using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Cohen

Cohen Bramall, English footballer
Cohen Griffith, Guyanese footballer
Cohen Saunders (b. 2009), stepson of golfer Sam Palmer Saunders

Pop Culture References for the name Cohen

Cohen the Barbarian aka Ghenghiz Cohen, character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels
Seth Cohen, character on "the O.C."

Comments

coen is not offensive Says:

2019-02-12T19:46:45

chill out it's just a name. No need to be so offended

NameObsession Says:

2019-02-06T04:02:19

Hi, I'm Jewish and Irish, I don't care at all if someone uses this name. Here's why: Just because Cohen means Priest in Hebrew, that does not mean that that is the only meaning. Language does not exist in a vacuum. In different cultures, Cohen means different things. In Celtic cultures Cohen means "son of Cadhan". It is unfair to say that anyone who uses this name is "ignorant". Really, you're the one who's ignorant for thinking that what the name means to you is the only meaning. If no one was allowed to use names that COULD be considered offensive to someone somewhere, the name pool would get a lot smaller very quickly. Yes, you need to have some awareness about these things, if you live in a community with a large Jewish population, you might want to avoid this one, but if you don't live in a community like that, you shouldn't have a problem. No one gets upset when children are named Preacher, Deacon, or Bishop. Cohen is no different.

sofiaishere Says:

2019-01-22T00:09:15

Nice, telling people who are legitimately against you using a name that does not belong to your culture and did not even do research on, to "get over it." Very classy.

Nicole2004 Says:

2018-08-13T02:03:10

I love this name!! In Austrailia it means thunder! What an awesome strong name for a little boy!!

atoz Says:

2018-07-23T22:05:54

whatever,, he has a job at the family company waiting for him anyways. i wouldn't even name my kid this, i'm just saying parents can name their kid that if they like it. like someone else already said, this name has more than one meaning and origin.
what about jesus? i'm christian and im not offended or triggered by parents who name their kid jesus

tfzolghadr Says:

2018-07-22T18:22:58

"I don't care if people are offended"... there's a good attitude! Unfortunately, you're not going to deal with their offense. Your son will. There are things that are sacred to people in certain cultures. If you appropriate those things, including names, and they get offended, this is a backwards and close-minded attitude to adopt.

tfzolghadr Says:

2018-07-22T18:19:48

The issue, as I see it, is that you are equating compliments with people liking the name. I complimented a friend's daughter's name recently. I hate the name, but I'm not rude enough to say it. Moreover, you don't really get to tell other people "get over it" when you are using *their* culture. If they are offended with how you used their culture, well, you're the one at fault. Lastly, you don't get to control how others will react to your son's name. It could be a burden for him, or it could be nothing. But please don't teach him that he can appropriate cultures and then have the arrogance to claim that others are wrong in their offense at how you (admittedly) ignorantly used their term.

mamanmia Says:

2018-05-27T04:50:21

As a Jew i would find it pretty offensive if someone i knew named their child this. Cultural exploitation is just not okay. No one would be impressed if people used a name offensive to Native Americans. Why should this be any different. Besides which it just makes you look ignorant and stupid for giving your child this name, like you don't know the meaning behind it.

tinarett Says:

2018-01-24T18:33:58

I love the name and agree with you there is a lot more out there to be offended about than just a name. I love Kohen Matthew.

tinarett Says:

2018-01-24T18:23:47

Tell that to the Kardashians. Her child was named Saint West.

tinarett Says:

2018-01-24T18:15:57

I don't understand why it could be offensive. All I can think of is the amazing musical composer Leonard Cohen that I can associate this name with. I like the name because of it.

ambercat Says:

2018-01-07T08:08:27

Will Shapiro, Kaplan, Rabinowitz, etc start showing up as given names next?

denmama9 Says:

2017-11-14T20:57:57

I'm unaware of any Native Americans being offended by the names Dakota or Cheyenne, so if that's the case, it may indeed be a different situation than Sierra or Deacon. But, to my first point, Cohen is not an exclusively Jewish name. It has multiple origins. A Jewish person, or someone very familiar with the Jewish religion, may choose not to use Cohen. But otherwise, I still think it's a usable name.

deesa Says:

2017-11-12T04:47:05

not speaking for most people, but the people with whom i’ve shared this conversation agree there are other “sound alike” names that are legitimate choices.

deesa Says:

2017-11-12T04:44:30

your baby, your choice.
but do you really want to put your son at a disadvantage? i’m not the only boss who probably wouldn’t hire him because i know he was raised by clueless people.
so i ask again, why do this to a baby?

lee_augusta Says:

2017-11-11T17:10:50

I feel sorry for your son. I hope someday you are able to pay for him to change his name.

lee_augusta Says:

2017-11-11T17:09:30

Yes, Dakota and Cheyenne should not be used because they offend many Native Americans. Has there been any comparable outrage amongst the Hispanic community against Sierra or the Christian community against Deacon? No? Then you're making a false equivalence.

Trinomial_nomenclature Says:

2017-11-11T16:18:45

Name your kid Coen if you must. Because it’s so “cool” and you “love it” so much. You don’t need that H.
Just know that naming a child Cohen or Kohen will loudly announce, to all us culturally-aware people, that you are ignorant, tasteless, and tone-deaf. This is a fine example of privilege and cultural appropriation. You don’t need to understand WHY a name is inappropriate, because it’s not your culture. You just need to know that it’s not okay.
I live in Los Angeles, and I’m not Jewish. We have a large Jewish population here, and simply from growing up in this cultural melting pot, I would be STUNNED to hear a child named this, and I would not be shy about my appalled reaction.
I’m happy that people like the way the same sounds. Hooray for you. You don’t NEED to use the spelling that belongs to someone else’s culture and heritage.

denmama9 Says:

2017-09-07T17:19:07

Why, though? There is more than one origin for Cohen, the Jewish religion being only one of them. The parents who name their child Cohen may, indeed, be ignorant of the Jewish religion, but that doesn't mean Cohen is a bad choice of name for them. What about the names Dakota and Cheyenne? Can those names not be used because they may offend Native Americans, even though they are also place names? How about Sierra? I know a lot of non-Hispanic girls named Sierra, which is a Spanish word. What about a child named Deacon? What about Adam, Eve, Moses, Abraham, Noah, or Mary, not to mention Jesus? Are those names off limits, too? Controversy over the name Cohen seems like a tempest in a teapot, to me.

SloaneSquare Says:

2017-07-24T13:35:09

Both also dreadfully wrong

atoz Says:

2017-04-13T20:20:41

sorry not everyone's thinking of how offended you are when they're naming their kid..

rosebudstar Says:

2017-01-23T16:05:43

Just wanted to point out that Leonard Cohen is not mentioned as a famous person bearing the name especially since his recent death has been coming to light.

NykkiJo Says:

2016-06-22T22:58:04

I had no idea about the meaning. I have a non-Jewish friend named Cohen and always thought it was lovely.

Guess I'll avoid using it myself for anything. :< Thanks, Berries.

mickie86 Says:

2016-05-29T19:44:14

My little nephew's best friend is named Cohen. They're in second grade. I think it is a cool name for a little boy.

deesa Says:

2016-05-26T09:07:09

exactly. I find the name highly offensive. but recognize it's the child who will bear the brunt of it. why do this to a baby?

EasterBunny Says:

2016-02-15T12:15:26

Isn't it more equivalent to naming a son Saint or Bishop? Cohen is like a priest, right, not the one person the whole religion is centred around...

Ccppww Says:

2016-01-28T07:26:11

i don't think this is an issue unless you're Jewish, and live in a community of some tradition. Right..? I'm Jewish, so I wouldn't go for it, but I don't think the rest of the world should be constrained by these considerations. Nor do I think people look down on the name. They probably just assume you're not Jewish if that's you're first name. :)

beanster Says:

2015-06-08T20:58:46

I'm Jewish- and I think this is a really nice name for everyone! Love it!

chibiyui Says:

2015-06-05T04:36:13

Lol, do people realize that most people will just complement you to cover up an awkward situation as opposed to actively engaging it? Like I'm totally going to tell you with little Didn't-bother-to-research-junior standing beside you that his name is offensive.

Natasha Hill Says:

2014-12-16T02:50:52

My son is named Cohen.. I never even knew it had Jewish ties or it's meaning or whatever.. I just loved the name.. Everyone has complimented me on the name.. and not one person has been offended. With all the weird names floating around I highly doubt my son will be effected in anyway over his name... It is 2014.. People don't care if you choose a name that is a last name.. As for religious.. There is tons of biblical names that people from all cultures use.. Get over it!!!

eveyalecia Says:

2014-12-14T18:18:35

I think anyone considering this name for their child ought to think twice. Even if you don't understand why it's offensive, or don't care that it is, keep in mind that your child is the one who is going to have to go through life (or at least until/if they decide to change it) bearing this name and all the baggage that goes with it.

KWest13 Says:

2014-11-19T22:58:02

WOW! My son's name is Kohen Matthew! I don't care if people are offended, there are plenty of offensive names out there and I don't get bent out of shape..... bottom line, he is my child and we LOVED his name when we found it! AND I get complements on his name ALL the time! If you love the name..... GO FOR IT!

TarynAmber Says:

2014-08-21T14:43:26

I never understood the idea that Cohen is offensive, but go ahead and name your kid Coen and nobody will bat an eyelash. People will still be rude about it because they sound the same (in the US, at least). If you call out that name on a playground or in a store, who is going to know the difference? The people who are going to be judgmental jerks about it aren't going to have any idea that the name is Coen, not Cohen.Because there ARE people out there who are going to be quick to judge the name as soon as it's spoken, not having any idea that it is a legitimate Germanic name and not the Jewish title. I'm sure many would even judge the spelling Coen, ignorantly assuming that it's just a butchered form of Coen and be even more rude about *that*. I enjoy the name, and Coen has been on my list since I was a teenager...but I
understand what I'll be getting myself into if it's a name I choose.

mckaylalove Says:

2014-08-18T06:16:14

Coen is a good alternative, I think. It sounds the same but has a completely different meaning and origin.

Guest Says:

2014-08-18T02:38:46

If it didn't have the sacred associations I'd totally love to use it but there are some things that are just off-limits.

James Says:

2014-08-18T00:39:51

Not quite. :-) Messiah is a lot different than priest. As a Christian Pastor I wouldn't even be offended at someone named Messiah (it's just a name!) but I would be worried if someone thought they were the messiah.

Guest Says:

2014-08-04T08:25:51

Why is this offending? I'm not very sure the reason behind it but this looks like a sweet name :/ Could someone kindly explain to me? ^_^

writtenmania Says:

2014-08-04T05:35:32

I feel like it isn't so much offensive as it is silly.

NaomiNY Says:

2014-06-08T23:25:13

Same here. I'm Jewish, too (on my mom's side), and I feel the same way you do about Cohen as anything but a surname.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:

2014-06-08T22:56:18

I'm not Jewish, but I know some people would be offfended by this. Maybe even some people I know. Therefore, I don't like it.

marshmallow1207 Says:

2014-02-14T03:20:41

I know a little boy named Cohen where I live, and it's not a big deal because I don't even think any Jewish people live where we are. BUT, if this little boy were to move to some place where there was a big Jewish population, I hate that his name would offend people, and he probably would have no idea. I used to not understand the big deal about this name, but now I understand that to Jewish people, naming a boy Cohen is the equivalent of naming a son Messiah to Christians.

writtenmania Says:

2014-02-14T01:04:03

don't do it, man. im jewish and if i met a little boy with the name cohen i would pity him and think of his parents as ignorant. sorry for being so brutally honest. but hey, if you name your boy cohen, name his sister kaganovich!

tfzolghadr Says:

2014-02-08T15:42:48

I've never understood the hype about this name. For any parents considering this name, please research the controversy behind this name and its ties to Judaism.

dramagrl19 Says:

2014-02-08T13:46:08

SO much controversy about this name, but I happen to love it. It is on my list as a middle name. :)