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Aaden, Adan, Aden, Adin, Adyn, Aedan, Aeden, Aedyn, Aiden, Aidin, Aidon, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, and Aydon

.: Of all the posts I’ve ever written, the one which has received the most comments was my first baby name rant. To date, it has received 32 comments. The comments turned into a thread, with various readers responding to earlier comments. The most recent ones are from some angry readers. This one came from someone afraid to list a real name, choosing to use “What’s the big deal”:

Are you kidding me with this? Aren’t there more important things over which to obsess than what other people name their clhildren? Please don’t attempt to speak on behalf of the “poor, unsuspecting child” who, you argue, hasn’t a chance in life if he’s been given a unique name…

(And, BTW Randy, I find it poetic that you have such a problem with all of the different spellings of people’s names, yet have such a hard time wrapping your brain around the correct spelling of “stupid” …that’s the irony that made ME laugh). Why don’t you post something as fervently hostile about a topic that’s actually meaningful …like, I don’t know, the war, or fighting leukemia, or the pitfalls of modern healthcare, …anything. Names? You’re joking.

Seems this person completely missed the point of using the word “stoopid” in the original post.

Erik followed with:

Would you be the one slapping and kicking people?. I know you wouldnt talk that smack in front of fathers who named their child one of those names. Who are you to judge who should have kids and who shouldnt? Do you think your God or just smart enough to speak on his behalf? I named my baby Ocean Why dont you come over to my house and try slapping me?!

To which I replied:

I’m not sure that would be necessary. I think if federal legislation was developed and passed, preventing parents from giving their children names that will result in the crap getting kicked out of them when they are older, and from generally being humiliated and laughed at for the rest of their lives, slapping parents wouldn’t be required.

And lest you think this is an isolated viewpoint, (as mentioned above) please check Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing: A Primer on Parent Cruelty. It covers stupid baby names much better than I could ever do.

Finally, another reader, once again afraid to use her real name, writes:

I’m pregnant and if it is a boy I plan to name him Aedan. Don’t like it? Kiss my @$$. It isn’t your choice to make and my kid will appreciate the fact that I didn’t name him some retarded generic, biblical name like John, James, Joseph, etc.

To which I replied:

Good luck with your impending birth, and with giving your child his name, Aedan. And you can kiss my ass as well, let’s make it mutual. I can’t speak for all the men who have been given “retarded generic, biblical” names like John, James, Joseph, but at least their parents didn’t name them Jawnn, Jaymzz, or Josiffe.

I stand by what I wrote. Kids given names with insanely twisted spellings, in the misguided belief that it will make them “unique”, need our sympathies and understanding. More than likely, they’ll have the sh*t kicked out of them when they’re older. BTW, read Ken’s comment about giving your children names with odd spellings. Not everyone agrees with you, whomever you are – what is your name, anyway? You’re not married to Erik, are you?

I figure there must be a few dozen more ways to spell Aidan than the 14 listed above. Why not add some random diacritics, and run with it: Äidan, Äiden, Äyden, and so on, using Ä or  or à or Ą or Æ or Ẩ or Ặ, and so on. Finally, consider a Canadian variation: you could spell his name Eh-den.

Derryl, what does Aidan make of all this? Is he concerned that you didn’t choose an aberrant spelling of his name?

I guess it’s time to review the Alberta Baby Names for Boys 2004, Girls 2004, Boys 2005 and Girls 2005. In the meantime, if you find any gems, let me know. – ŖåήδËỷ

13 Responses to “Aaden, Adan, Aden, Adin, Adyn, Aedan, Aeden, Aedyn, Aiden, Aidin, Aidon, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, and Aydon”

  1. Jane Says:

    A few years ago Marcel (middle name Francis) sent for a copy of his birth certificate from NWT and was horrified to discover that his name was really Marcelle Frances. He had to do a legal name change. English not his mum’s first language – not sure what his dad’s excuse was…

    Names are a very sensitive subject – I have always had to be very careful what I said to people so as not to offend them by revealing what I really think about their child’s name. Of course they probably think my kids’ names are boring (Thomas and William).

    My brother named his daughter Daisy – my mum’s reaction was “but that’s my dog’s name!” It could have been worse, though – his choice for a boy was Grimner (Odin’s travelling name)…


  2. Jayson Says:


    I suspect that what is really behind the hullabaloo around unique names is this: by confering their offspring with a novel or special name, parents want to confirm the inherent “specialness”” in their children. The problem is that along with the special name, the assertivenss training, the pre-pre school, and hearing every day how wonderfull, unique and special they are, these kids are sure to grow up arrogant, self centered, conceited pieces of work.

  3. Derryl Says:

    Aidan tells me he thinks they’re all weird spellings, and he’s happy he has the one we gave him. Of course, not only did we decide to give him the conventional spelling (as conventional as can be had for a name that, frankly, wasn’t that common not long ago), the spelling was chosen because backwards it spells Nadia, which is the Romanian version (Jo is Romanian) of my mother’s name, Nadine.

    Personally, I find this mighty amusing, since I’m the one with the weird spelling. Yeah, it’s given me some grief over the years, but never enough to get under my skin.


  4. Sea of Flowers Says:

    Bad Manners and Bad Names…

    My old friend Randy has mentioned, in a post called Aaden. Adan, Aden etc. that he recently got some unwanted, unfriendly comments on a two year old blog entry, Bad Baby Names. Randy was caught commenting on people who bestow unique and precious names …

  5. Brad Says:

    In fairness, sometimes different baby names can be attributed to a parent’s spelling weakness.

    My sister is named Kathyrn (not Kathryn or Catherine) simply because my dad didn’t know the correct spelling when my mother sent him to register her birth.

    Makes me grateful I’m not named Brodley or Breadley, or some variation thereof. (People who have referred to me as Bratley over the years notwithstanding)

  6. linda Says:

    There’s an interesting discussion on baby names in _Freakonomics_, chapter 6 ” Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?” It doesn’t make value judgments but it does look at trends and what seems to be behind them.
    Also, just heard a couple of days ago on CBC that the fastest rising name for girls in the United States is Nevaeh. Wonder why? Read it backwards. Story here:,,1778424,00.html

  7. cdc Says:

    I named my daughter C- – – -(pronounced kira), and she gets every verbalization of her name, which recently she has started to correct people. My name is not odd, but rare, and teachers were known to say in front of my class mates ïsn’t that an odd name” which didn’t go over well with me, and made me a tad uncomfortable in highschool. Today I am proud and pleased to have such a unique name. My two bothers were named uncommon scottish/english names, one which is a common female name, but differnt spelling. They both received grief on behalf of their names. One brother shortened his name, but a few years later went back to his original name. Would I name a child differently after all these experiences – I don’t know. My daughters name is special and unique, which she appears to now enjoy!

  8. Kae Verens Says:

    My name is Kae, my wife is Bronwyn, my son is Jareth, and my daughter is Boann.

    The whole point of a name is to be a label. There is no point giving the same name to everyone – that would just be confusing (I had a friend John Murphy, who’s best-friend was John …Murphy, who’s dad was called …John… …Murphy…).

    Think about it – “K.A.E.” – will you remember that tomorrow? Will you confuse me with someone else?

    If a name is not unique (or at least, rare), then it’s pointless. You may as well call people “hey, you!”

  9. Kae Verens Says:

    oh – to add a bit of a name-based anecdote: My name was not always “Kae Verens”. At one point, I had a much more bland name (which I always thought was as uninteresting as the name “Ug” must have been to cavemen). I changed it because I got fed up being addressed by a name that I had not chosen and did not like.

    My brother, though, didn’t, and his name is unfortunate for a different reason. He calls himself “Mick” now, but he used to call himself “Mike” – “Mike Hunt”. Say it out loud. If you don’t get it, say it to your partner and see if you get a slap.

    Anyway… nothing wrong with “strange” names. At one time, even “John”, “Jack”, “James” and “Ulysses” would have been new.

  10. Randy Says:

    Hello Kae. I appreciate your comments, thanks for writing.

    I have a problem with parents who choose a name, like Aidan, and then work diligently to create the most obscure spelling possible. Yes, I know, every parent’s child is the most special child on Planet Earth, but good grief, to what extent does this need to happen? What is with this driving need to make one’s child unique by choosing a name that may result in said child having the crap kicked out the her or him for years to come?

    I have no particular thoughts on the names of you or your family members. I’ve known a Bronwyn, I worked with a Kae, but haven’t see the other names. I have no idea how to pronounce Boann. I would assume these names have a history or lineage connected with your home country and culture.

    I have a friend named Derryl Murphy. His dad is George Murphy, and his mom is Nadine Murphy. Derryl married a woman named JoAnn, whose parents are named George and Nadine. His sons are Aidan and Brennan. Derryl’s sister is named JoyAnne. JoyAnne married a guy named Darryl. We don’t get any of them confused.

    I will certainly remember your name. I don’t think names need to be unique; my name is Randall, I use Randy. My brothers are Christopher and Todd, parents are Michael and Loretta. My niece is Jocelyn, my nephew Elliott. Christopher and Michael are about as far from being unique as I can imagine – should I think of my brother and father any less as a result?

    I have no children, so perhaps I would think differently if I was holding a newborn son or daughter. Somehow, I doubt it. I have a number of favorite girl names, such as Annie, Laura (and any derivation therein, such as Lauren, Laurel, etc.), Heather, Kate, and many more. Less so for boys – there are few male names that work for me anymore, but I still wouldn’t invent a name if I had a son.

    I know of a couple whose names were Randy and Darlene – they named their daughter Randelene. I know of another couple who named their daughter Jameasina, a contraction, I believe, of James and Tina. Unique? Yes. Bizarre? No doubt.

    Despite what you may think about me in this regard, I do find names fascinating. When I meet someone for the first time, and they tell me their name, I am always interested in the spelling. Last night at our folk music festival, I met a woman named Sheryl. I asked, “Do you spell it with a C or an S?” She said S. There is nothing more frustrating that having someone assume the spelling of your name based on its sound. If I met you in person for the first time, how pretentious would it be to assume your name was spelled K-A-Y?

    Watch for my rants about the 2004 and 2005 Alberta baby names sometime soon. 🙂

  11. Kathleen Says:

    I don’t get this debate Aedan is the original Gaelin spelling of the name, which we used for our son. The others are “twists” on this name.

  12. aidan Says:

    my name is spelled aidan.

  13. Lizzie Says:

    Just think how annoyed these parents will be when us other parents are over here trying to figure out how to spell your child’s name, so we don’t offend not the child, but the parent. Because all the child really cares about is that you say their name correctly. It bothers the parents more because it was their choice of spelling, and no one can get it right. It really won’t start to affect the child until he or she is older and peers start misspelling their name wrong. And in the end they really end up angry at the parents for giving them names no one can spell. But I’m not gonna judge you, just don’t judge me when your kid comes home with a Valentine’s card and their name isn’t spelled right. :/

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