;Original title: "Bucking Bronco." N...Cade sounds at home on a horse, a name just right for a little cowboy.

He’s been in sparing use since the 1970s, and ranked #370 in 2012.

That means that he’s actually fallen quite a bit from his high of #201 in 2001.  But he remains right in step with so many Top 100 choices for boys, like Luke, Blake, Chase, and Jace as well as other Western-flavored picks like Wyatt.

But what if you’re not sure that your little guy will be at home on a bucking bronco?

Consider a formal name for Cade.  There are more options that you would ever guess, and some of them take the name in other directions – scholarly, quirky, medieval, international.  One of them could be just right for your little guy.

Getting to Cade: Modern Inventions

Caden – Maybe the logical long form for Cade, Caden has a simple spelling, but tends to blend in with Aiden, Kayden, Braeden, and company.

Cadence – It’s so popular for girls that Cadence is probably off the table for boys … and yet there’s no reason this noun name is feminine other than use.

Getting to Cade: Obscure Traditionals

Arcadio, Arkady, Arkadios, Arcadius – It’s an Ancient Greek name referring to a region – Arcadia – named for arktos – bear.  There’s a martyr Saint Arcadius from around the year 300, and a bishop Saint Arcadius from the 500s.  Arkady is the Russian form.  It is a surprisingly rich cluster of names that are seldom heard in English, but could work well.

Cadel – This name caught my attention when Cadel Evans won the Tour de France – the first Australian to claim that honor.  More commonly spelled Cadell, his given name is Welsh, and was used for medieval kings.  More recently, Cadell and Cadel are surnames.  But the cyclist could help bring it back to first name status.  The Welsh element cad means battle, and is likely the basis of all the Welsh names on this list.

Caedmon, Cadmon – We only know of Cædmon from the writings of Saint Bede.  According to the historian, Cædmon was a seventh-century Christian poet.  It is said that his most famous composition came to him in a dream.  While spelling might be a hassle, I find Caedmon surprisingly wearable for 2013.

Cadmus – This one comes straight from Greek mythology.  Cadmus is a prince, brother to princess Europa. After Zeus falls for Europa and kidnaps her, it is Cadmus who sets out to rescue his sister.  Along the way, Cadmus founded Thebes, created an early alphabet, and had lots of other adventures along the way.  Or so goes the legend.  Now that everyone is using Atticus, this one might be an undiscovered -us name with potential.

Caradoc – Another Welsh name, with ties to the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, as well as the history books.  It is sometimes spelled Caradog, which seems less attractive to me, and probably comes from Caratacus – a first century British chieftain who tried to resist the Roman invasion of his lands.  While Cary might be the natural nickname, Cade might work, too – and make this obscurity wearable for today.

Leocadio, Leocadius – I’d hear of Saint Leocadia, but wasn’t sure if there was a masculine form.  It turns out there are two.  Leocadia is pretty rare; the masculine forms are even less common.  But if you’re looking for a formal name for Leo or for Cade, they are possibilities.

Getting to Cade: Surname Spins

Cadbury – Is this one too bunny?  It was a surname before the family established their confectionery.  If it is on your family tree, it might be a possibility – or it might be a little bit hard to wear.  Maybe in the middle spot …

Cadogan – Derived from a Welsh given name, Cadogan is better known as a surname and place name.  Cadogan has a quirky rhythm, reinforced by Sir Cadogan – one of the portraits guarding Hogwarts common rooms in the Harry Potter series.

Cadwalader, Cadwallader – Another Welsh name, Cadwalader means “battle leader.”  It’s a strong meaning, and an interesting sound – a little more daring than Callahan or some of the more common three-syllable surname names for boys.

Kincaid – He’s last on the list, and he just might be my favorite!  A Scottish place name originally spelled Kincaith, it likely means something like “top of the pass.”  He’s a strong name for boys that manages to feel fun and unexpected, too.  You could spell the name Kincade to emphasize your desired nickname.

Are there other ways to get to Cade that I’ve missed?  Would you consider any of these names?

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.

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  1. I know a baby named Caedmon, well I know his grandma. 🙂 I’d never heard the name until he was born.

    I kind of like Cade. Not really my personal style but I’d like him on someone else’s son.

    There’s a Caden in my daughter’s 3rd grade class, but I don’t think he goes by Cade and the name does blend in with all the other -aiden names to me.

    Cadbury is way too chocolate for me. Mmmm, good chocolate. Definitely better in the middle.

  2. I love Kincaid!

    There’s a character in the Harry Dresden series who is a gun for hire called Kincaid (it’s his last name, first name is Jared) so it feels like a very masculine name to me.

    1. That’s right! I haven’t read that series in three or four years – I must be MANY books behind by now!

    1. Love Leocadia! Once upon a time, my “twin girl” names were Alixandrie and Leocadie. Now they’re Rosemary and Theodora – Romy and Thora.