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Alternatives to Hayden

Baby boy name you love but fear is overused? Here are some possible substitutes.
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EmmettHeart

  • Origin:

    English masculine variation of Emma, German
  • Meaning:

    "universal"
  • Description:

    Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.

NathanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "given"
  • Description:

    Nathan was derived from the name Natan, which came from Hebrew verb natan, meaning “gave.” In the Old Testament, Nathan was the name of a prophet and also that of one of King David's sons. Nathaniel and Jonathan are related names.

HudsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "Hugh's son"
  • Description:

    Hudson has risen quickly up the charts after emerging at the bottom of the list in 1995, now solidly in the Top 100.

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.

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.
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MasonHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "worker in stone"
  • Description:

    Mason has become mega-popular; it hit as high as the Number 2 spot in 2011 and has stayed near the top of the charts since.

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.

PrestonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "priest's estate"
  • Description:

    Britney Spears put this old-fashioned surname name back on the map when she chose it as her son Sean's middle name, which the family uses as his first.

WalkerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "cloth-walker"
  • Description:

    Walker is both a Waspy surname name—as in the W in George W. Bush—but it also has a gentle ambling quality and a creative connection to such greats as writer Walker Percy and photographer Walker Evans, whose father was also named Walker.

WadeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "at the river crossing"
  • Description:

    Wade has never been outside the US Top 1000 for boys - there's a reason for that. It has a clean spelling, fresh sound and is neither too trendy (unlike Kade or Cade) or too old-school (like Richard or Albert). We think Wade is a winning name.
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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.

CorbinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "crow"
  • Description:

    Corbin, the name of the castle where the Holy Grail was said to be hidden, came to the fore in the 1980s via actor Corbin Bernsen when he was the high profile star of LA Law, but its use is only now escalating as part of the mania for two-syllable names starting with c or k, as well as from the more youthful image of Corbin Bleu, the attractive actor-model-dancer-singer who was one of the stars of the Disney hit High School Musical.

EganHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little fire"
  • Description:

    Egan's likeness to the word eager gives this Irish surname a ready-to-please, effervescent energy, and it would make an appropriate substitute for the overused Aidan.

KieferHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "barrel maker; pine"
  • Description:

    Kiefer is a strong occupational surname associated with "24" star Kiefer Sutherland, but one that could well join the other 'er' surnames currently in favor. Keifer is a German surname transferred to first name use, derived from two old Germanic words, kien and forhe, both of which mean "pine tree."

SlaterHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "maker of slates"
  • Description:

    Slater has a more genial, friendly feel than most trade names. Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance used it for one of their twins.
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SladeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the valley"
  • Description:

    Evoking the image of a shady glen, Slade could make a distinctive middle name. It entered the Top 1000 in 2007, and has been seen as a character name on the TV show "Smallville." It's also a name that pops up in comic books and video games.

LanderHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "territory"
  • Description:

    Possibility in the Landon vein.

CardenHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "wool carder"
  • Description:

    Highly unusual but stylish-sounding occupational name, with a pleasant association with gardens.

HaddenHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "heathery hill"
  • Description:

    Rarely heard Hayden alternative -- though, mark our words, you'll spend your life correcting everyone's pronunciation and spelling.

HaywardHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "guardian of the hedged enclosure"
  • Description:

    Possible Hayden alternative.
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