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Aiden Names: the Rise And Fall of a Mega-Trend

Aiden Names: the Rise And Fall of a Mega-Trend

Aiden and boy names that rhyme with it have been all the rage since around the year 2000. Have you ever wondered about the history of this name trend? Or what the most popular Aiden-names are today?

Join us for a dive into this wave of names that swept the nation, and is now — very gradually — receding.

Top Aiden Names Over the Years

Before the 1970s, names rhyming with Aiden were relatively uncommon in the USA. The most popular was Hayden, which ranked in the lower reaches of the Top 1000 in the early 20th century. Adan also appeared in the baby name charts, sometimes higher. But this is a borderline Aiden-name: it's the Spanish form of Adam, properly spelled Adán and pronounced "ah-DAHN", although some parents today use it as a variant spelling of Aiden.

In 1970, Braden entered the Top 1000 baby names, probably inspired by already-popular names like Bradley and Brandon. It was the most-used Aiden-name from 1985-1989, but it didn't reach it peak popularity until 2005, when it ranked at Number 133.

Hayden took over as the most popular Aiden-rhyming name from 1990-1999, but reached its highest rank in 2007, at Number 71.

Aidan — the traditional anglicization of the Irish name Aodhán, meaning "little fire" — entered the Top 1000 in 1990, and rose fast. It took over as the most popular rhyming name from 2000-2005, and was at peak popularity in 2003 at Number 39.

Aiden, a modern spelling probably influenced by names like Braden and Hayden, entered the Top 1000 in 1995 and became the most popular spelling in 2006. At its peak, it ranked 9th in 2010-2011.

Jayden entered the Top 1000 boy names in 1994, and climbed even faster. It was the most popular Aiden-name from 2007-2013. It made it all the way to the Top 5, ranking in 4th place in 2010-2011. We think it's safe to call these two years the peak of Aiden-names.

As Jayden dropped, Aiden became the most popular Aiden-name again in 2014, and has been ever since. In 2022, it was the 29th most popular boy name in the US.

While all this was happening, further down in the charts many spelling variations of these names appeared, as well as other rhyming names like Kayden and Zayden.

Popular Aiden Names 2022

In 2022, 208 different names rhyming with Aiden appeared in the baby name charts. (Give or take: I have included names that may be pronounced differently, like Adan and Haydn.)

If you combine the spellings of names that sound alike, there are 25 Aiden-names in the charts this year. In order of popularity (with the number of different spellings in brackets) they are:

  1. Aiden (33)

  2. Kayden (42)

  3. Jayden (23)

  4. Brayden (14)

  5. Zayden (24)

  6. Hayden (11)

  7. Raiden (14)

  8. Tayden (5)

  9. Grayden (4)

  10. Drayden (5)

  11. Layden (5)

  12. Yeiden (4)

  13. Jakayden (3)

  14. Payden (3)

  15. Trayden (3)

  16. Shayden (2)

  17. Nayden (2)

  18. Vaden (2)

  19. Blayden (2)

  20. Sladen (2)

  21. Wayden (1)

  22. Clayden (1)

  23. Dayden (1)

  24. Saiden (1)

  25. Chayden (1)

Again, there is some guesswork here. For example, I have grouped Xayden with Zayden, but some people may pronounce it with a "Sh" or "Ks" sound.

Some of the rarer spelling variations include Aedin, Graydon, and Khaiden.

There are a few "extinct" Aiden-names, which have been used in past years but not 2022. These include Baden, Thayden, and Fayden.

Aiden Around the World and States

In Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England and Wales, Jayden is the most popular Aiden-name, followed by Aiden.

In Scotland, it's a tie between Aidan and Jayden. In its native Ireland, Jayden is the most popular, followed by Aidan — which, in its defence, has extra competition from spellings like Aodhán as well as Aiden.

In the US, Aiden is the most popular name of its kind in every state except six. Jayden is more popular in Maryland, Florida, Rhode Island, and Nebraska, and also Puerto Rico. Hayden is the most popular Aiden-name in West Virginia, and Brayden in Vermont.

Aiden Names: Rise and Fall

Looking at the birth numbers over the years shows us how the names have trended upwards and downwards.

Combining all names and spellings, fewer than 100 boys were given an Aiden name each year before 1914. The number broke 1000 boys each year in 1986, when Braden was the top name. And the number rose higher than 100,000 a year from 2007 through 2009, when Jayden was the top Aiden-name.

What goes up must come down, and today the numbers are decreasing. In 2022, 44,789 boys were given an Aiden-name — a loss of more than half since its peak popularity.

Some more recent additions to the Aiden group are still rising, like Raiden, but most of these rhyming names are on a downturn. This trend may be shrinking more slowly than it grew, but shrinking it is!

So what's the future for Aiden-names? The numbers of children getting them are calming down from the wild 2000s, but they remain very popular, with eight of them (Aiden, Jayden, Kayden, Brayden, Hayden, Kaiden, Ayden, and Zayden) in the Top 200 boy names. New spellings like Xayden and Eidan — a Spanish-friendly reflection of the pronunciation — are still rising. The Aiden craze is likely to have a slow fade, and some of its members may become modern classics.


*This post is adapted from one written by Kelli Brady, published in July 2017, using some of her data.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com