Coen or Cohan?

See the results of this poll: Coen or Cohan?

Respondents: 45 (This poll is closed)

  • Coen : 23 (51%)
  • Cohan: 22 (49%)

I prefer [name]Coen[/name], the Cohan spelling makes me want to say Co-hann.

I like Cohan better, even though [name]Coen[/name] has a more appealing history for me (a form of [name]Conrad[/name], I believe, which has significance for my family…).

I voted for Cohan it looks a lot better to me. [name]Coen[/name] seems really incomplete and off but that is just an opinion. I prefer the Cowan spelling most of all though.

To be honest, either spelling seems silly to me. If you’re going to go for [name]Cohen[/name], I think you should just spell it that way and deal with whatever criticism, or find a different name. I like [name]Cohen[/name] as a name, however I’m not jewish and don’t understand its potential offensiveness. I am catholic however, and am not offended when I meet someone named [name]Jesus[/name].

For me as a [name]Christian[/name], it does offend me when I hear someone named their child [name]Jesus[/name]. As much as I love a name, I’d rather not offend others with my name choice.

In general, I feel like I like the look of Cohan better that [name]Coen[/name], I think the H in it just makes it look more complete in my eyes. But I’m worried people will say co-han.

I think it’d be okay. :slight_smile: I have been thinking about it, and really, I think people would just try to say it the most natural way, you know? CO-HAN seems quite unnatural to me, lol. And it’s only one letter different from [name]Cohen[/name]–I don’t think you’d have too many issues, and once you introduce your son I think they’d pick up on it. :slight_smile: And I agree–much as I love the history behind [name]Coen[/name], it just looks incomplete to me without the “H”! I have heard that [name]Coen[/name] is traditionally pronounced like “coon” in Dutch, so there might be some pronunciations issues somewhere, too…

I am curious about why you can’t use [name]Cohen[/name]…?

Would it make a difference if you met someone named Gesus, or Jesis, or whatever different spelling? [name]IMO[/name], I don’t think the spelling makes a difference. The intention of the name is still there, so all other spellings just make it silly.

[name]Cohen[/name]… highly controversial indeed! I never knew! :slight_smile:

[name]Cohen[/name] is extremely offensive to about half the Jewish population, from what I understand. I know a few Jews that I would guess it wouldn’t bother in the slightest, but to others, it’s extremely offensive, like I said. It’s hard to explain why, because there’s no real correlation to any other religion’s name. A kohenim (cohen?) is a priest from the line of [name]Levi[/name], directly descended from [name]Aaron[/name] himself, from what I understand, and they live under very strict rules (aren’t allowed to marry widows and such to keep their bloodline pure; a line of priests specifically called by God, from what I understand). My best friend was a practicing Jew before she passed away last year, and she tried to explain it to me once–she said the closest she could think of was if an atheist called their son “God” and how a [name]Christian[/name] would feel about that. It’s not quite right, since cohen aren’t gods, and I honestly think a lot of Christians would think it was a dumb, pretentious name choice rather than a slight against their religion. I think it sort of relates to how a [name]Christian[/name] might view an atheist naming their daughter [name]Trinity[/name] or their son [name]Messiah[/name]–very charged, holy words (imo) that could only describe God. [name]Imo[/name], as a [name]Christian[/name], they have no right being used on humans because God is so much higher, and greater, and powerful, and deserving of respect and glory and reverence and honor… the trinity and [name]Messiah[/name] are names reserved for the Almighty God, and I just cringe when I hear people using them. But even then, I don’t think my reaction to [name]Messiah[/name] or [name]Trinity[/name] being used is anything quite like how a Jew would react if they met a [name]Cohen[/name]–it’s just a knee-jerk, instinct reaction and they are really offended that people not from their faith (which, from my Bible classes and such, it’s pretty obvious to me that they have protected their faith zealously since its inception millenia ago) take something holy and special to their faith and use it on someone who won’t appreciate it. That’s probably the best description I could give. :slight_smile:

While I love the sound and look of [name]Cohen[/name], I respect my Jewish friends (and Jews in general!) too much to use it, and from the posts @littlelady has posted already, I think she feels the same.

Some of the other spellings have different origins though, so to me that is compltely different than changing a spelling to be kree8tyve. From my understanding, [name]Coen[/name] is either [name]German[/name] or Dutch, I’ve seen a few different things so if I went with that spelling I’d probably look into it more. And Cohan is an Irish surname.

Well, as a [name]Christian[/name], [name]Jesus[/name] doesn’t bother me, unless it was actually said JEE-sus instead of hey-soos, because I know it’s just a common name in Hispanic countries. It’s not meant to infringe on [name]Christian[/name] beliefs and it’s seen as a very Catholic, very religious name by some in those circles.

But I don’t think the intention is still there with Cowan/Cohan/[name]Coen[/name]–they may sound the same (or similar), but they have completely different histories and are just appealing because they have a similar sound! [name]Coen[/name] is a Dutch variation of [name]Conrad[/name]. From what I’ve heard, Cowan and Cohan are Irish surnames. Not related at all to [name]Cohen[/name], and they’re not just trendy respellings, which is what Jesis and Gesus would be, if they were actually used (which I sincerely hope they’re not!).

The seriousness of the cohenim is reflected in our services every Shabbat. When called to say the blessings before the reading of the Torah, the rabbi calls out first for any cohenim in the shul. They get the first blessings automatically. Then the Levites, and lastly, the rest of [name]Israel[/name]. So for a Conservative, Orthodox, or Chasidic Jew, the cohenim are an important part of our faith. They are living aspects of the [name]Temple[/name]. And scientifically the DNA of the cohenim has been studied and the line is indeed pure. I hope this helps people understand better.

I prefer Cohan to Cowan, because I’ve heard people say cow-an, and I wouldn’t want “cow” in my child’s name. I think with any name you have to help with pronunciation sometimes and once people learn how to say it, that’s what they’ll use. As a teacher, I have to do this every [name]August[/name]. It’s no big deal.

I think just to prevent trouble, spell it Cohan. Your intent is not offensive and it is a legit name.

mrose makes a good point… are you going to introduce your son as “[name]Cohen[/name]-but-I-spell-it-Cohan”? I’ve had my [name]Cohen[/name] for 6 years & this is the first I’ve heard of the controversy. Anyway, as far as changing the spelling, what about Coehn? Different, but avoids “co-haan” and “cone” confusion. [name]Just[/name] a thought.

I have met more than one [name]Jesus[/name] where I live and I think it’s a hispanic cultural thing used mainly by Catholics, it is done out of respect in an honoring type way so I dont think it’s offensive at all and I happen to be Catholic.

I dont know anything about the [name]Cohen[/name] thing either but if it’s offensive I wouldnt use it or a version of it unless the other names are ok.

OK, I’ve been thinking about this and would like to share my thoughts:

Yes, [name]Cohen[/name] is a sacred name for the Jews. I equate it to a [name]Christian[/name] naming their child [name]Mohammed[/name] purely because they liked the sound of it, without considering the political aspect of the name. Think of how a Muslim might feel in this situation.

Having said that, there is a deeper issue, and that is appropriation.

The reason, I believe, that Christians find no name they can feel is offensive to them is because Christianity is the dominant religion and dominates western culture. They don’t understand appropriation because they’re the ones that exoticize other cultures.
When you are part of a minority group, you are used to the mainstream culture mostly ignoring your specialized customs and culture. You have your shul and holidays, live in your community (in this case the Jewish community) as well as living in a mainstream community also.
Now this actually happens all the time, and it’s level of offensiveness varies, but when the mainstream culture appropriates/gentrifies aspects of other cultures turning them into fads, this is shocking and has the potential to offend.
When mainstream culture picks and chooses little bits of other faiths and cultures to feed it’s fads it debases those things, because you’re not respecting any other part of that culture. It’s usurping and it feels uncomfortable.

thanks for listening to my little rant.