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Alternatives to Braden

Love the boys' name Braden but fear it's overused? Here are some possible substitutes.
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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.

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.

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.

CadeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "round; or, barrel"
  • Description:

    Strong, ultramasculine, and modern, Cade shot up the popularity lists around the millenium—it was as high as Number 201 in 2001—along with cousins Caden and Cale, but has been in decline since. It's Like Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, and Beau; it was worn by a character in Gone With the Wind.

    There's a Cade Skywalker in the Star Wars universe, and Keith Carradine named his now-grown son Cade.

EamonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Edmund
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy protector"
  • Description:

    Eamon is one of the traditional Irish names that has not yet emigrated to the US. This Irish name pronounced ay-mon was popularized by early president of the independent republic Eamon de Valera (birth name George), who was born in the United States to an Irish mother and a Cuban father. Eamon definitely has possibilities as a successor to the epidemically popular Aidan/Aiden.
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LandonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "long hill"
  • Description:

    Landon is a popular surname name; it's been dropping slightly in recent years but has surpassed its once more popular rhyming cousin Brandon. For some it may bring back nostalgic memories of Little House on the Prairie 's understanding Pa, played by Michael Landon.

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.

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.

BramHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch variation of Abraham
  • Meaning:

    "father of multitudes"
  • Description:

    Bram has an unusual measure of character and charm for a one-syllable name; it started as a hipper-than-Abe diminutive of the biblical Abraham, but is also an independent Irish and Dutch name, made famous by Irish-born Dracula creator Bram (nee Abraham) Stoker. Bram is currently Number 16 in the Netherlands; Bram Howard was a character on The West Wing.

BrockHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "badger"
  • Description:

    Brock is a rock solid name, with a touch of preppy sophistication. It ranked solidly in the 200s-300s from 1975 until 2014, but has since tumbled a bit.
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BrendanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "prince"
  • Description:

    According to Irish legend, Saint Brendan the Voyager was the first European to touch American soil, and his name has been established here for decades, peaking in the late 1990s. It first appeared on the US charts in 1941, especially popular, not surprisingly, for Irish-American boys. It is sometimes confused with the English surname name Brandon.

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.

BaileyHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "law enforcer, bailiff"
  • Description:

    Extremely amiable, open-sounding surname that's gradually being taken over by the girls.

TrentonHeart

  • Origin:

    English, place-name
  • Meaning:

    "Trent's town"
  • Description:

    There's only one Trenton, New Jersey, but it's a widely used name, more for its fashionable -on ending than the reference to the city. Since 2007, however, Trenton has been on a steady decline. Trenten is another popular spelling.

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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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."

CardenHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "wool carder"
  • Description:

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

ZadenHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    A nouveau member of the Aidan/Braden/Jaden group. Yet another variation on a too-trendy genre -- never the most original way to go, even if there aren't yet many Zadens on your block. Still, a Z initial always adds zest and this is a name many boys would love to have for their very own.

BrannonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Brennan
  • Description:

    Occasionally used as an alternative to Brandon or Brennan.