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Origin, Meaning, And History of Maxwell

Maxwell is a popular name given to baby boys. However, recently, it has been used for naming girls too. Originally, Maxwell was a Scottish surname, meaning ‘Mack’s stream,’ where the word ‘Mack’ is a shorter version of ‘Magnus,’ a Scandinavian name. And ‘stream’ was taken from an Old English word ‘Wella.’ When we combine the two words, we get Maxwell, which means ‘one who lives by the great stream.’

Depending on the origin of the name, there are several different meanings. For instance, in English, it means capable, while in Latin, it means great. Some speculate that it may also have Irish roots due to its similarity with the surname Miskell. However, the spelling may have changed over the years, leading to it now being known as Maxwell.

Despite the name originating as a first name, it has been used as a surname as well. It has roots of Scottish with being a habitational name from Melrose, in Roxburghshire, Scotland. Herbert de Maccusweil is the first recorded person with a surname. He had moved from England to Scotland under the reign of William I and Malcolm IV in the 12th Century.

Although there aren’t many known variants of the name Maxwell, you may also explore a cute nickname for your little one. Nicknames such as Maxie, Maxi, Wellie, Welly, Max, and Mack may work the magic.

In the fictional forum, Maxwell has been used several times as a given name and as a surname. Most notably, the teen-favorite American drama, The Vampire Diaries, had a character named Peter Maxwell. The 1995 Japanese anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Wing had a character named Duo Maxwell, who was a pilot.

A song by The Beatles called Maxwell’s Silver Hammer had a character named Maxwell Edison. In their advertisements, the insurance company, GEICO, introduced a pig named Maxwell, garnering much popularity. It turns out that Maxwell is quite a popular name and can be a good choice for your baby.


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One who lives by the Great stream
 M..  Ma..  Mag..  Mah..  Maj..  Mak..  Man.. 

How To Pronounce Maxwell?


Famous People With The Name Maxwell

  • Maxwell George SchneiderAn American singer-songwriter who famously performed in Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Maxwell CaulfieldA British-American actor, known for his performance in 1986 movie, The Supernaturals
  • Maxwell Scherrer Cabelino AndradeA former Brazilian footballer who played for Paris Saint-Germain
  • Maxwell M. ScherzerAn American professional baseball pitcher who is an eight-time MLB All-Star and a proud holder of 30 official titles
  • Gerald Maxwell RiveraAn American singer and record producer with three Grammy Awards

Maxwell On The Popularity Chart

On the popularity front, Maxwell has been doing quite well. The graphs by the Social Security Administration below show in great detail its popularity and ranking over time.

Popularity Over Time

The graph depicts the fluctuation in the popularity of the name Maxwell. It saw a high of 3364 names per million in the year 2000, followed by a low in 2007 and rising again in 2014.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Over the years, the ranking of babies named Maxwell has been significantly dropping. The name ranked the highest in 1980 and the lowest in 2007, as per the graph.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Maxwell

The sound of pronouncing Maxwell may intrigue you, but you may want a similar sound for your second or third child, check the names below to get more information on this.

Names With Similar Meaning As Maxwell

If the meaning of Maxwell stuck with you, Check below to know more names with similar meanings for an endless list.

Name Numerology For Maxwell

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