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Top Boy Names Ending in -en

by Pamela Redmond

Baby boy names ending in the letters -en are among the most fashionable names today, with choices such as Aiden, Hayden, and Owen leading the pack. Names rhyming with Aiden are especially popular, with seemingly any letter working in the lead and a range of spellings used in the middle.

Along with Aiden, the US Top 300 boy names include Brayden, both Cayden and Caden, three spellings starting with a J including Jaden and Jaiden and Jayden, plus three K versions including Kaden and Kaiden and Kayden. Further down the list, well-used boy names in this family also include Graydon and Zayden.

More classic boy names also are members of the trendy -en pack: think Stephen and Allen. Trendy en-ending names range from the literary Holden to the biblical Reuben to the surname-name Cohen. Unique boy names ending in -en that we recommend include Niven, O'Brien, and Quillen.

If you love the sound of boys' names that end in -en, be aware that the sound is more common than you'd think, given that it also includes boys' names that end in -an and -on, including such megapopular choices as Jackson, Mason, Ethan, and Jordan.

Here, all the boys' names on Nameberry that end in -en. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
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OwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "young warrior; well-born"
  • Description:

    Owen was derived from two names—the Welsh Owain and the Celtic Eoghan. Each are connected to Eugene, which ultimately came from the Greek word eugenes, comprised of the elements eu, meaning good, and genes, “born.” Owen became a Welsh patronymic surname during the Renaissance. The legendary St. Owen was a Benedictine monk who was a follower of St. Chad.

AidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aiden is a variation of Aidan, the anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán. Aidan/Aodhán was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.

JaydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Jaden or Jadon, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "thankful"
  • Description:

    Although there is a genuine Biblical personage named Jadon — in the Old Testament, he helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem — this version of the name can also be considered a modern invention. Jayden combines the “jay” sound found in the name Jason with the -den suffix used in names such as Aiden and Hayden. Other spellings include Jaydan, Jaydyn, Jaydon, Jaydin, and Jaden.

BraydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Irish surname Braden
  • Meaning:

    "salmon"
  • Description:

    Brayden is the top spelling of one of the epidemically popular rhyming cousins of Aiden, hitting the Top 100 in 2005.. It has dipped a bit recently, but is still widely used. Other popular spellings include Braden, Braeden, Braydon, Braiden, Braedon and Bradyn. Take your pick.

AydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aidan in all its many splendored varieties, particularly Aiden, had a spectacular rise up the list, and the phonetic Ayden came along for the ride. It is also used in Turkey.
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KaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kaden, modern invented name
  • Description:

    This version of Kaden is also a popular choice and one of the many boys' names starting with k that can also start with a C, as in Caiden, Cayden et al.. Kaiden Alenko is a character in the video game Mass Effect.

CamdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "winding valley"
  • Description:

    Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.

HaydenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fire"
  • Description:

    Hayden – a formerly obscure name that's risen to huge popularity – has dipped in this year's ratings. Though Hayden is among the most distinctive of the bunch, it gets lost in the crowd of Jaidens, Bradens, Aidans, and endless variations. Associated with Hayden Christensen, of Star Wars fame.

ZaydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    The most popular spelling of the fast-climbing member of the Aiden-rhyming clan is used by parents who love the first initial Z. Zaiden is nearly as popular, and Zaden is a ways behind.

StevenHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Stephen
  • Meaning:

    "garland, crown"
  • Description:

    Steven, the phonetic and now predominant spelling of the classier Stephen, has finally dropped out of the Top 100 after seventy years. Steve has become one of the ultimate regular-guy names, right up there with Dave and Joe. and there have been innumerable pop-culture role models among its bearers--from Steven Spielberg to Steven Soderbergh to Steve Jobs.
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HoldenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "hollow valley"
  • Description:

    Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates--though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield -- not coincidentally in tune with the Hudson-Hayden-Colton field of names. (Trivia note: Salinger supposedly came up with the name while looking at a movie poster promoting a film starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, though other sources say he was named after Salinger's friend Holden Bowler.) Another impetus was provided by a soap opera character introduced in 1985.

CadenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Caden is a key member of the rhyming contingent that dates all the similar sounding Cadens, Jadens, Braedons, and Aidans as part of a millennial megatrend.

KadenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Caden
  • Description:

    A popular member of popular family: Kadin, Kaeden, Kaiden, and Kayden -- along with Caden, Caiden, and Cayden, as well as Cade and Kade.

CaydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    A popular substitute spelling for Kaden. Kevin Costner chose Cayden for his baby boy.

DamienHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "to tame, subdue"
  • Description:

    Converting Damian to Damien – or Julian to Julien or Lucian to Lucien – adds a certain je ne sais quoi to names. But most people in English speaking areas will still pronounce this the same as the -an ending form. The French pronunciation is more like "dah-mee-u(n)".
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CohenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "priest"
  • Description:

    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.

JadenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God has heard"
  • Description:

    While Jadon is the authentic biblical name, Jaden is by far the more popular spelling, first noticed when Will and Jada Pinkett Smith used it for their now grown (and famous) son. It has since swept the country for both sexes, with a wide variety of spellings and rhyming cousins.

JensenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Jenson and Danish surname
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jens"
  • Description:

    A variation of Jenson, which is actually more popular than the original in the United States. This spelling also holds the distinction of being the most common surname in Denmark.

JaylenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    More popular than the Jalen spelling. Like other names with many variants, when you count up all the alternatives, the name is much more popular than it first appears.

StephenHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "garland, crown"
  • Description:

    Stephen, also spelled Steven, is a strong and likable classic, with the he's-a-great-guy short form Steve. Though not as well-used or fashionable as it was in its heyday -- it was a Top 25 name from 1946 to 1957 -- it's still a widely used name. It remains an even more popular in Ireland.
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WarrenHeart

  • Origin:

    English from French
  • Meaning:

    "park-keeper"
  • Description:

    Long lingering in limbo, Warren suddenly seems to be on the cusp of revival. One of the oldest recorded English surnames, Warren's popularity in the U.S. dates back to the nineteenth century, and by 1921, reached its peak at Number 24.

CaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    An increasingly well-used spelling of Caden/Kaden
  • Description:

    Variation of Caden and Kaden.

BowenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "son of Owen"
  • Description:

    Bowen is a Celtic surname representing two separate Celtic strains, one Welsh and one Irish, and entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2011.

JaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew variation of Jadon
  • Description:

    This spelling is now more popular than the original, though it's not quite as popular as Jayden or Jaden.

RaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "thunder and lightning"
  • Description:

    The name of the Japanese god of thunder makes an assertive choice, very much at home in the Western world. Because of the name's similarity to popular baby names Aiden and Jayden, most people will pronounce it RAY-den, but it's more properly RYE-den.
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AllenHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Allen is the spelling of this name -- other common spellings are Alan and Allan -- most associated with the surname; it might also be the most appropriate if you're trying to steer clear of Al as a nickname, as this can easily offer you Len or Lenny as options.

RubenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "behold, a son"
  • Description:

    International variant of Reuben that is actually much more popular than the original in the US.

KasenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cason
  • Description:

    Little used before the 2000s, both Cason and Kasen are now popular choices.

KamdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Camden
  • Meaning:

    "winding valley"
  • Description:

    Spelling Camden with a K makes it less of a place name—Camden is a downmarket city in New Jersey and an upmarket area of London—and more of a Kardashian-era confection, or maybe konfection. Both Kamden and Camden are in the Top 500 boys’ names.

EdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "place of pleasure, delight"
  • Description:

    This Biblical name was rising dramatically for boys, but has plateaued in recent years. Although it's more popular for girls, it's a delightful unisex choice. Eden is one of the Top 100 Boy Names in France.
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BraylenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Brayden meets Jalen.

SorenHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish and Norwegian variation of Severus
  • Meaning:

    "stern"
  • Description:

    This gentle Scandinavian name, soft and sensitive, is being discovered in a major way by parents in the US. It's most closely identified with the nineteenth century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, but there have been modern fictional Sorens as well, in The Matrix Reloaded and the book series Guardians of Ga'Hook, Charlie and Lola, and Underworld.

ZaidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Zaden, modern invented name
  • Description:

    Zaiden grafts the fashionable first letter z onto the Aiden/Kaiden/Jaiden group of names, to popular effect. Soundalike Zayden is even more popular.

CallenHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "rock"
  • Description:

    Callen is a unisex Gaelic name growing in popularity here. Its newfound trendiness is possibly related to the Chris O'Donnell character on "NCIS: Los Angeles", known only as G. Callen. Jazz musician Cal Tjader's full name is Callen.

RowenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Rowan
  • Description:

    While the Rowan spelling is in the Top 1000 for both boys and girls, this spelling is much more unusual and more heavily weighted toward the boys' side. That may be because of its spelling similarity to stylish brothers Owen and Bowen.
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JalenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    The new Jason, spelled many different ways, and popularized by basketball star Jalen Rose.

KaysenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cason
  • Description:

    Trendy Cason is becoming popular enough to have a variety of offshoot spellings in the Top 1000.

JulienHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "youthful, downy-bearded, or sky father"
  • Description:

    Julien is the handsome French form of Julian, which derives from Julius, a Roman family name. Its origin is shrouded in history, but possible roots include Latin iuvenis, meaning "youthfu"; Greek ioulos, meaning “downy-bearded”; or Jovis, a form of Jupiter, which means "sky father".

LandenHeart

  • Description:

    Variation of Landon.

BrycenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Bryson
  • Description:

    This name may be a variation of the more-popular Bryson, but it has appealed to enough parents to make it a widely used name in its own right.
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KohenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cohen
  • Description:

    Another name fallen to the plague of the K. Nonetheless, it has risen a bit in the charts since entering the US Top 1000 in 2011.

AdenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Although this variation is less popular than ultra-trendy Aiden, this simplified spelling doesn't do anything for the name.

AldenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "old, wise friend"
  • Description:

    Hot young actor Alden Ehrenreich, the new Han Solo, gives this formerly-stodgy surname name an attractive new image, making it a fresh successor to Aiden or Holden. Before it got this fresh shine, Alden was among the classic Thanksgiving baby names.

CullenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "holly tree"
  • Description:

    Cullen is an appealing Irish surname name that upped its cool factor considerably when it became the Twilight family name of Edward et al. It's considerably less popular than it was at its peak in 2010, but is still widely used.

DarrenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little great one"
  • Description:

    Darren and wife Sharon shop for fifties memorabilia on eBay. The Connecticut place-name Darien might offer an update.
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RaydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Rayden is yet another example of the dozens of new boys' names with the 'aden' sound.

CasenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cason
  • Description:

    This spelling variation of Cason isn't quite as widely used as the original.

ColtenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Colton
  • Description:

    This cousin to Colton, a very widely used name, never matched its popularity and is now losing ground.

BenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Ben, the diminutive of Benjamin or Benedict, can easily stand on its own as a simple, strong, nice-guy choice, though it's somewhat attenuated. Ben is this generation's Bob or Bill.

BreckenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Breccan; Irish
  • Meaning:

    "freckled, speckled"
  • Description:

    Brecken is a fresh, distinctively Irish alternative to similar-sounding (and much more popular) Beckett or Beckham. While Brecken is a spelling variation of the original Breccan, it's the most popular form of the name. By whatever spelling, it's a name we'll likely see rise in popularity.
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