Male first name that's definitely not Jewish

This is more a question of perception than actual fact–I guess. I’m looking for a male name (for a character in a novel) that most people, upon hearing it, would absolutely know the character was not Jewish. But it needs to be in the Judeo-Christian realm, i.e., not “Mohammed.”

I originally named him Christopher and then, wouldn’t you know, I met a guy named Christopher who’s Jewish.

It’s a very small moment in the novel and the context is thus: the protagonist is worried about having ham for dinner for her husband’s old friend, because she thinks he’s Jewish because she thinks he looks Jewish and he’s from a metropolis on the east coast. Her husband uses this opportunity to say, rather snidely, “A name like ________ and you thought he was Jewish? What were you thinking?”

I may have to do it with the last name.

I’d suggest you go for a celtic name like Chad or Conway

or Clayton

Jesus, of course (even though the most famous person with that name was Jewish).

Names like Guiseppe, Vincent, Bernardo, Vittorio, Francisco, etc.

Adolph, if he was born after Hitler became famous.

I’ve never known a Jewish Patrick.


Most Hispanic names would work.

May I respectfully suggest that since in these modern and enlightened times there may be no such thing as “a Jewish name” (I know two different WASP moms here in the Heartland who named their little boys “Israel”), there may also be no such thing as a totally “non-Jewish name” (Although I have to say that “Adolf” comes pretty close. :smiley: ).

Just because you meet someone named “Seamus” or “Patrick” or “Jesus” (and he informs you, “It’s pronounced 'Hay-ZOOS”) is no guarantee that he isn’t Jewish. Parents name their kids all kinds of things nowadays.


John. Not Jon, John. With an H.

I would still go with Christopher, although Christian may be even clearer, but although common enough in other languages is not much used by English speakers. While Jews can name their kids what they like, Christopher is distinctly odd. As for John, no I am afraid that won’t work. There are innumerable Jews named John. And as for names like Giuseppe or Spanish names, well should they happen to be Italian, what do you think they are named? I actually did know a Giuseppe Levy (and we’ve all heard of Primo) which are perfectly reasonable names for Italian Jews.

I agree that Jesus is distinctly unlikely.

As for names like Chad and Corwin, well they are names with no religious significance. So again they could be anything.

Ceasar. <snort>

No seriously. How about Anthony?

You might think about Adolph.

My friends Chad Goldstein, Conway Steinberg and Clayton Weinstein won’t like the sound of that.
I would nominate the following:

any “state” name (ie Texas, Indiana, etc)

msmith, there was a restaurant in Los Angeles called Genghis Kohn. Yes, it was in a Jewish neighborhood.

I’d stick with a name with no religious significance at all. A nice "WASP"ish name like, say, Phillip Smith.

[sub]The Phil Smith I know is Jewish.[/sub]


I never thought I’d be able to work this anecdote into a conversation. But a girl I knew once dated a guy named “Juan Pablo” for months without realizing that he was (a) Mexican and (b) Catholic. Which might have been more understandable were she herself not also Mexican and Catholic.

Anyway, “Christian” would work.
If the visitor could change genders (you did say it’s a minor plot point) “Mary __________” might work as well.

Arthur, Siegfreid, Whalen, Tristan, Sequoia, Tecumseh, Geronimo, Cochise, Roland, Alfred, Kai, Mohandas, Gheran, Jehan, Percival, Hannibal, Julius, Horatio, Cletus, Kwan, Padraig, Brian, Connor, Shane, Ian, Erin, Bruce.

Dat’s funny, you don’t look Jewish!



Although I am sure most people would assume that someone with that name would not possibly be Jewish- I actually new a person who born into a Jewish family who was named Adolph…

Adolph JR no less

he went by “dolph”

or sometimes “dolphin” ( particularly when dressed in gender f**k drag.

Yes- the gay jewish (converted to) quaker who attended a small university in the south- and would up living in the door with all the football players… this was about 12 years ago BTW.

I know at least two Jewish Johns-with-an-H.


We used to dream of living in a door with football players.