Cohan as a opposed to Cohen

Hiii so I am looking for a boys name and I stumbled across cohen only to research the meaning and find out its offensive toward Jewish people. So anyway I saw Cohan and I was typing cohen in and I went back and looked at it and it’s says it’s an [name_u]Irish[/name_u] name meaning wild goose and I like the meaning better and it’s pronounced differently and basically do you guy think it’s to similar or is it fine

[name_u]Welcome[/name_u] to NB!

I mean it’s a different name. So it’s probably fine. Unless you’re concerned about it being mistaken for it? If so, then maybe go with something else.

Similar names:


I’m an [name_u]Irish[/name_u] citizen and I’ve never heard of an [name_u]Irish[/name_u] person with the first name Cohan. I wouldn’t regard it as being an [name_u]Irish[/name_u] name. There does seem to be a (fairly rare) [name_u]Irish[/name_u] surname Cohan, but [name_u]Irish[/name_u] people don’t typically use surnames as first names.

I personally think it is too similar to [name_u]Cohen[/name_u].

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I’m not familiar with Cohan… I do like the sound but tend to stray from anything I’m afraid would be misconstrued as [name_u]Cohen[/name_u]. I have a few Jewish friends and I just wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt any of them (some of which are some of those Jews offended by the use of Cohen). There is [name_m]Coen[/name_m], which is a [name_m]Dutch[/name_m] variant of Conrad/Coenraad (I think it means “bold advisor” or something like that), and also Cowan (which has surname origins and also appears to be a Manx variant of an [name_u]Irish[/name_u] saint name, Comhghán (meaning “born together”). I would stay away from Cohan personally (also because I’m tempted to say coh-han, not coh-ehn), but I think Cowan and [name_m]Coen[/name_m] can be nice (although I think in [name_m]Dutch[/name_m] [name_m]Coen[/name_m] is traditionally said like “coon”? I could be wrong though).

I’ve stayed away from the name in general since regardless of the spelling, if anyone hears Cohen/Cowan/Coen, they’re going to think [name_u]Cohen[/name_u] regardless, I would assume? And that’s just more than I’d want to deal with. But if the different origin thing is enough to satisfy you, I think Cowan or [name_m]Coen[/name_m] are fine options.

Good luck!


I agree with everything that @ashthedreamer has said. If you do go with a soundalike that has a different origin, I would just say make sure it really is legitimate and has a different etymology and isnt just a made up/modern variant of [name_u]Cohen[/name_u].


I was in the same boat and decided to steer clear. It’s a great name but if it could be mistaken for the Jewish name I just wouldn’t.

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[name_m]Cohen[/name_m] means “Priest”. [name_f]Every[/name_f] [name_m]Cohen[/name_m] I know is Jewish. [name_m]Cohen[/name_m] is also a popular Jewish last name. When I hear the name [name_m]Cohen[/name_m], I perceive that person to be Jewish.

I would compare it with using [name_m]Jesus[/name_m] or [name_m]Mohammed[/name_m] or [name_m]Christian[/name_m]. If you spell [name_m]Christian[/name_m] as [name_m]Kristian[/name_m], does that make it different? Does that separate it from it’s religious history? [name_f]My[/name_f] argument would be no. But it’s up to you to make up your mind about that.

If Cohan is pronounced differently, it might be okay. It just looks like a unique spelling of [name_m]Cohen[/name_m] to me though.

[name_f]My[/name_f] answer is it’s too similar.

Cohan his 100% an [name_f]Irish[/name_f] surname. The great Irish-American performer [name_m]George[/name_m] M. Cohan popularized the song “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Boy.”
If you’re still worried about causing offense, you could also consider Coen, which is of [name_m]Dutch[/name_m] origin or any number of cute “co” names like Cody, Coda, or even Colridge.


There is a difference in pronunciation–Co-en versus Co-Han. But maybe [name_m]Conlan[/name_m] would work.

I worry that Cohan, despite being Irish, is too close to Cohen to avoid sounding Jewish or anti-Semitic if the parents are not Jewish.

It’s a different name. You’re ok