Big in 2007: Naming your child ‘Raiden’

The United States Social Security Administration has revealed the top baby names for 2007, and much of the list is unsurprisingly banal. The top three boy names are Jacob, Michael, and Ethan; the top three girl names are Emily, Isabella, and Emma. Nothing to see here, move along.

But most surprising — and something that made me pause and say “What the f**k, why?” — was that the name “Raiden” actually made the list. Surely it was only number 931, but the fact that it’s even on there at all is a real head-scratcher, and makes me question the sanity of some American parents. 

According to Wikipedia, “raiden” is Japanese for “thunder and lighting,” which is a pretty frightening name for a child in itself. But let us not forget the popular Mortal Kombat character. Or the Raiden in Metal Gear. Or Fatal Fury. Or the several side-scrolling shooters. The list goes on.

But I’m not one to judge — my wife (seriously) wants to name our potential future son Lincoln so that we can call him “Link” for short. I put a stop to that thinking real quick. But the question remains — is anyone here named Raiden? Or have you or are you thinking about naming your son after a videogame or a character in a videogame?


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Nick Chester
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