Bye, bye Brayden, adios Aiden!

Bye, bye Brayden, adios Aiden!

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 – Aidan2005 – Adan, Braden, Braeden2006 – Aden, Hayden, Jadon, Kaden2007 – Caden, Jaden, Jaydon2008 – Aydan, Aydin, Caiden, Jaiden, Kaeden2009 – Aaden, Aiden, Braiden, Braydon, Cayden, Jayden2010 – Brayden2011 – Aidyn2012 – Ayden2013 – Zaiden2014 – Kaiden, Kayden, Zayden2015 – 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 YearsRaiden +128Aaden +93Rayden +72Zayden +9Kaeden -11Caiden -12Jadon -22Aydan -35Braeden -39Aydin -44Aidyn -46Braiden -56Adan -89Kaiden -94Jaydon -96Braydon -101Zaiden -104Caden -106Kayden -212Braden -215Aden -244Hayden -253Aiden -266Kaden -312Jaiden -415Aidan -422Cayden -523Jaden -785Ayden -1,210Brayden -1,213Jayden -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 – 21,6782001 – 28,4092002 – 39,9002003 – 55,5992004 – 62,7262005 – 71,6262006 – 80,1472007 – 91,1652008 – 97,5142009 – 93,6942010 – 89,2062011 – 87,9542012 – 82,1022013 – 77,3352014 – 73,1672015 – 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

Kelli Brady

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!