Aidan/Aiden are anglicizations of the Irish Gaelic male name, Áedán, which was originally a diminutive form of Áed, meaning, “fire.”
In Celtic mythology, Áed was the name of a sun god, considered to be one of the Children of Lir, who were cursed to live as swans for 700 years, until, according to other legends, Christianity was brought to Ireland and they had learned everything there was to know of Irish song and poetry.
Currently, Aiden is the 16th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). Aiden/Aidan did not appear in the U.S. top 1000 until 1995, when he came in as the 935th most popular male name.
In Ireland, the name has always been fairly prevalent, as it was the name of a popular 7th-century saint. Aiden/Aidan’s rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 62 Aidan (Australia, 2007)
- # 21 Aidan (Canada, B.C., 2008)
- # 60 Aidan (Ireland, 2008)
- # 293 (the Netherlands, 2008)
- # 12 (Scotland, 2008)
Other forms of the name include:
- Áed (Ancient Gaelic)
- Áedán (Ancient Gaelic)
- Áedh (Ancient Gaelic)
- Aidan/Aiden (English)
- Aodh (Gaelic: Modern Scots/Irish)
- Aodhagán (Gaelic: Modern Scots)
- Aodhán (Gaelic: Modern Irish)
- Iagan (Scottish)
The name is borne by American actor, Aidan Quinn (b.1959), who may have been responsible for the name’s sudden appearance in the U.S. top 1000 in the early 90s, eventually sparking its huge spike in popularity.
A feminine Irish form is Aideen.