With combined spellings, I also found 25,451 Jaydens, 13,249 Braydens, 5,102 Haydens and 2,320 Zaydens. When more rare names like Grayden, Bladen, Slayden and Waden are added in, the total number of boys with names rhyming with Aiden was more than 94,000, or more than 4.6 percent of all names for boys in 2011.
I calculated 4.9% for 2009. (Never did 2010.)
From Pandora Radio’s bio for the band Needtobreathe:
Named after acclaimed University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, brothers Bear and Bryant “Bo” Rinehart were born and raised in rural Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, where their pastor father ran a church camp.
I’m reading Lisa Napoli’s Radio Shangri-La: What I Discovered on my Accidental Journey to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth, and wouldn’t you know it? Chapter Five starts with an account of baby naming customs in Bhutan:
If you walked into any village in all of Bhutan and shouted “Karma,” a quarter of the heads would turn. There are only about fifty names in the whole country … As Bhutan becomes more modern, some of the more daring Bhutanese parents break tradition in order to distinguish themselves, altering the spelling of familiar names or abbreviating them.
Napoli also explains that monks traditionally choose children’s names, but some of the boldest parents are also changing that custom. I have a feeling that there’s enough there for a book in itself!
An especially interesting development is the middle-class fashion for retro kitsch, with old-fashioned names such as Alfie, Charlie, Lily and Florence among the fastest-growing. Perhaps this yearning for the past is a good thing. But isn’t there a hint of Cath Kidston tweeness in the hordes of young Ernests and Olivers, Esmes and Maisies? Some friends, or friends of friends, are coming up with names that wouldn’t be out of place in a PG Wodehouse novel. It’s not quite reached the Bertram Wilberforce (or even Pelham Grenville) stage, but it’s getting there.