Today’s Baby Name of the Day was originally published on February 14, 2012. It was substantially revised and re-posted on December 15, 2014. Thanks to Amy for suggesting the update in honor of her son!
Is this name an on-trend invention, or a neglected classic, long overlooked?
Thanks to Matilda for suggesting Aidric as our Baby Name of the Day.
Aidric: At the Court of Charlemagne
Let’s start with the case for history: at the court of Charlemagne in the ninth century, there lived a court official who would eventually be named Bishop of Le Mans and later considered a saint.
His name is usually recorded as Aldericus in Latin.
That wouldn’t have been his name for daily use, and the process of importing a name into Latin and then exporting it into dozens of other tongues often transforms the name considerably. (Just look at Nigel.)
The -ric ending is big in names from the era. It means ruler or power, and you’ll find it in Leofric and Baldric and Eadric.
Names starting with Al- are common, either from adal – noble, or ael – elf. Ai is rarer, but not unknown.
The saint’s name is recorded as Alderic and Aldric and Aidric, too. Catholic.org lists the saint’s name as Aidric.
It’s possible to make the case that this is a very old and storied name, indeed.
Aidric: Cousin to Aiden
The Baby Name Wizard lists Aidric as an “exotic traditional.”
Up until 2005, the name had never been given to more than five boys born in the US. Public records show a handful of men answering to the name through the years, but not enough to register in the Social Security database.
Then in 2005, there were 11 newborn Aidrics.
What else happened that year?
The first edition of Laura Wattenberg’s The Baby Name Wizard was published.
By 2013, there were 66 newborn Aidrics, with incremental increases every year in between.
Doubtless some parents found Aidric in the baby name book. And Swistle has boosted the name, too – here’s a birth announcement on her site.
Others could have cobbled the name together from popular sounds:
- Unless you’ve been living far outside the English-speaking world, it’s impossible to ignore the rise of Aiden. Aiden has just recently left the US Top Ten, but Jayden still ranked #9 in 2013. Rhyming names abound, meaning that the aid sound is super-popular these days.
- The -ric/-rick ending has a longer history, heard in go-to names like Eric, Patrick, and Frederick over the years, as well as newer possibilities, like Maverick and Kendrick.
Today the name is steadily on the rise. Variant spelling Aidrick is too rare to register in Social Security stats, but is mentioned, too.
Aidric: History & Style
Aidric has just enough history to make the name feel rooted. And style-wise, Aidric is exactly on trend.
It’s a powerful combination.
Still, Aidric remains an uncommon name, and it will probably strike some others as an invention, a smoosh of the oh-so-popular Aid with the conventionally masculine -ric ending.
If you’re after something just a little bit different, and don’t mind explaining your child’s name to the curious now and again, Aidric is one to consider.
What do you think of Aidric? Is it a historical name ready for revival, or too close to Aiden and company?