Baby BoyHe’s a member of the -aden tribe, a recent invention with an Irish surname sound.

Thanks to Margaret for suggesting Caden as our Baby Name of the Day.

Spellings abound for Caden.  In the US Top 1000, there’s:

  • Caden, ranked #152
  • Kayden, at #99, the most popular of the possibilities
  • Kaden, #128
  • Kaiden, #154
  • Cayden, #164
  • Caiden, #295
  • Kaeden, #802

Add it up, and it is quite the popular sound.

Some sites claim that he’s Irish.  It’s easy to see how that could be possible.  There’s MacCaddan, MacAdain, MacAidin, and even MacCadain.  Some of the names come from Adam – as in son of.  Or maybe Cadan, which has some use as a given name in medieval Ireland.  More recently, the name is used in Cornish and Welsh.

There’s also Cade.  The name sounds cowboy cool in 2013, but Cade has lots of possible origins as a surname.  On the occupational front, he might be a cousin to Cooper.  The French word for cask was cade.  He might also be a place name, or related to Cada or Cædda, an Old English personal name.  Which reminds me – there’s also Cædmon, a seventh century Anglo-Saxon poet, notable because he’s the first English poet whose name we know.  I don’t think there’s any connection between Cædmon and Cadan, but the sounds are similar.

It is tough to tie the rise of Caden to the Celtic Cadan and company.

Instead, Caden was barely a blip before the 1990s.  Kayden, too.  Most surname names popular today have some history of use in earlier years.  Tyler, Carter, Hunter – before they were Top 100 picks, they were in sparing use when families promoted mother’s maiden names to the first spot.  Even surname names that haven’t found favor in recent years – like Smith or Johnson or Jones – have similar histories.

Caden’s rise came with the ascendancy of Aidan, Aiden, Jayden and friends.

Celebrities who have used the name include:

  • Kevin Costner has a son named Cayden Wyatt, born in 2007.
  • Actor Kevin Alejandro went with Kaden in 2008.
  • Model Angie Everhart welcomed a son called Kayden Bobby in 2009.

Of course, all of the -aden names have some currency for girls, too.  But it hasn’t hurt their popularity.  Kayden seems like the most feminine of the bunch –  just a few letters away from Kaitlyn, and quite close to other nouveau names like Kaydee.  And yet, he’s the most popular spelling for boys, too.

With all of this in mind, Caden seems like the most restrained of the spellings.  He’s not classic, but it feels like he could be a successor to those Celtic rarities, more of a cousin to Brian and Ryan than Raydon and Zaiden.

If you’re after a modern invention of a name that looks more sophisticated than many, Caden’s straightforward spelling makes him a possibility.  The only trouble is that there’s really no way to separate Caden from the dozens of sound-alike names that are so popular today.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. My nephew is a Caden. He’s five. I cannot stand his name. Not that I would say anything. My brother and I have very distinctive first names (Anna Maria is my middle) and I know he wanted something common for his son. Too bad I just don’t like the aden trend. I think if Caden was a stand alone I might be okay with it but with all the other Aiden names out there it is just too much.