Bye, bye Brayden, adios Aiden!

June 7, 2016 Kelli Brady

By Kelli Brady, Name Freak!

In the early 2000s, Aidan began a major trend in the naming of boys. First came Hayden and Jaden, then the Aidan alternate spelling Aiden, which quickly overcame the original. Other rhyming names and their alternative spellings soon followed and quite a few of them broke into the Top 100. Here is a look at the -aiden names that have been in the Top 100, in order of appearance:

Aidan (2001-2010)
Hayden (2002-2011)
Jaden (2002-2008, 2010-2011)
Aiden (2003-2015)
Jayden (2003-2015)
Brayden (2005-2015)
Caden (2005-2008)
Kaden (2005-2008)
Ayden (2008-2015)
Kayden (2012-2015)

Some were briefly at the top, and others are still fairly present. The highest ranking currently is Aiden at #13, but as with most of the others, it is decreasing in use. When I did my first Playground Analysis for 2012, Aidan and its spelling alternatives were the #1 name in the country. But they lost top-billing in 2014 when Jackson and its spelling alternatives took over. The most recent Playground Analysis for 2015 shows the continuing fall of Jayden and its spelling alternatives as well. (Note: It also shows Kayden rising when all the spellings are combined, but each spelling of Kayden is decreasing, as we will see below.)

Now let’s look a little broader. Currently, there are 31 names that rhyme with Aiden in the Top 1000 boys list. Here they are listed with the year in which they reached their peak…

2003 – Aidan
2005 – Adan, Braden, Braeden
2006 – Aden, Hayden, Jadon, Kaden
2007 – Caden, Jaden, Jaydon
2008 – Aydan, Aydin, Caiden, Jaiden, Kaeden
2009 – Aaden, Aiden, Braiden, Braydon, Cayden, Jayden
2010 – Brayden
2011 – Aidyn
2012 – Ayden
2013 – Zaiden
2014 – Kaiden, Kayden, Zayden
2015 – Raiden, Rayden

You can see the trend go from Aidan, to Braden, to Caden and Jaden, and down the road to Zaiden and Raiden. You can also see the peaks of all but Raiden/Rayden seem to be in the past. If we look specifically at the last two years, only four names have had a positive difference in use. ALL other 27 names have had a decrease in use, with Jayden being the most dramatic drop…

Difference in Use Over the Past 2 Years
Raiden +128
Aaden +93
Rayden +72
Zayden +9
Kaeden -11
Caiden -12
Jadon -22
Aydan -35
Braeden -39
Aydin -44
Aidyn -46
Braiden -56
Adan -89
Kaiden -94
Jaydon -96
Braydon -101
Zaiden -104
Caden -106
Kayden -212
Braden -215
Aden -244
Hayden -253
Aiden -266
Kaden -312
Jaiden -415
Aidan -422
Cayden -523
Jaden -785
Ayden -1,210
Brayden -1,213
Jayden -3,282

Finally, to give an overall view of the popularity of these names, let’s look at one more list of numbers. The following are the totals of all 31 -aiden names from the Top 1000 for each year:

2000 – 21,678
2001 – 28,409
2002 – 39,900
2003 – 55,599
2004 – 62,726
2005 – 71,626
2006 – 80,147
2007 – 91,165
2008 – 97,514
2009 – 93,694
2010 – 89,206
2011 – 87,954
2012 – 82,102
2013 – 77,335
2014 – 73,167
2015 – 68,059

The total number of babies given these 31 names gradually rose from 21,678 in 2000 to its height of 97,514 in 2008. Since peaking, the total has gradually been decreasing, even with the addition of Rayden and Zayden in recent years.

So does this mean the -aiden trend is officially dying? The numbers don’t lie.

About the author


Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at!

View all of NameFreak!'s articles


8 Responses to “Bye, bye Brayden, adios Aiden!”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.