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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.

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.

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.

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.

ReubenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "behold, a son"
  • Description:

    Reuben is derived from the Hebrew words ra’a, meaning "to see, to understand," and ben, "son." As a phrase it translates to "behold, a son." In the Bible, Reuben is Jacob's first-born son by Leah and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel.

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.

LucienHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Lucian
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Sophisticated Gallic version of Lucian, Lucien may appeal to parents attracted to this meaning over that of Lucas and Luke, which have a different root, and also looking for a more unusual choice.

RenHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Rene or Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "water lily; lotus"
  • Description:

    A very popular name for boys, also used for girls, in Japan, most familiar in the West as half of cartoon's "Ren and Stimpy," and as the hero in both the original and updated versions of "Footloose."

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.

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.

WrenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small bird"
  • Description:

    Wren may not be as time-honored a bird name choice as Robin or even Lark, but it's more fashionable. Given to just a handful of children a decade ago, in 2020 there were 850 girls and 150 boys in the US given this cool and quirky 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.

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.

OrenHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "laurel or pine tree"
  • Description:

    Soft and sensitive name often heard in Israel.

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)".

ArdenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "valley of the eagle"
  • Description:

    Arden is a gender-neutral name that's sleek and stylish but always seems to bob just below the surface of popularity, despite ticking all the boxes with its fashionable two-syllable, N-ending shape and it's awesome nature-inspired meaning. In the 2020 US statistics, 40 percent of the babies named Arden were boys to 60 percent girls.

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.

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.

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.

AudenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "old friend"
  • Description:

    The poetic, soft-spoken Auden has recently started to be considered as a first name option, used for both sexes, appreciated for its pleasing sound as well as its link to the distinguished modern Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden.

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.