Hello! My husband and I have Emmett, who is 6, then Alice, who is 4, and Leighton, who is 2. We have an issue with naming our last baby, a boy. We both love the name Shane, and it is our very first choice. However, the meaning is "God is gracious". This is where our issue is. Both my husband and I are non-religious, and we aren't raising our children with a religion. We don't want to give him a name tied to a religious meaning, and it can mean a lot to someone. We're both very Irish, and love those sort of names. We'd love some help! Thanks so much!
P.S.: If the baby was going to be a girl, he would have been Rowan. Is that any help?
Oh, easy one! I know exactly what you should name your baby: Shane.
About the meaning---I getcha, I do. But baby name meanings are not the actual meanings of names. Generally meanings are based only on the root words from which the names were formed. Other meanings can be totally arbitrary. Baby name books frequently disagree on what any particular name means.
Meanings are fun and may even significantly enhance a name for the parents, but that's it. Rowan means "little redhead," but if your baby had been a girl she needn't have been a redhead to possess that name, nor would your giving her that name have meant that you wanted her to be one. And the name Leighton means "meadow settlement," but you're not rearing Leighton as a meadow settlement and no one should think you were.
Shane in particular has a very tenuous connection to its meaning: Shane is the English version of one possible pronunciation of the Irish name Sean (the English version of the other possible pronunciation is Shawn). Sean, in turn, is the Irish version of John. The name John is a contracted form of the Hebrew name Johanan. And it's Johanan that means "God is gracious" in Hebrew. [Source for all this stuff: Oxford Dictionary of First Names.]
To me, this means that if you were rearing your children in that religion, you could think pleasantly of Shane's several-times-removed connection to that meaning. But the name Shane has, well, almost NOTHING to do with the name Johanan. The name Shane HAS no meaning. Name your son Shane! You love it, and the only real meaning of that name to you is going to be "Our Baby."