Gender: Masculine
Origin: German

The name is a short form of any name beginning with the Max element. It has been used as an independent given name in German-speaking countries and its usage has spread elsewhere.

Its usage as an independent given name may have been popularized by the German-language tale as written by Wilhelm Busch,  Max and Moritz (1865).

Currently, Max is the 14th most popular male name in Germany, (2011). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 6 (Kazakhstan, 2010)
  • # 17 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 20 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 23 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 27 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 32 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 41 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 45 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 49 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 51 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 70 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 71 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 98 (United States, 2010)
  • # 240 (France, 2009)


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “greatest”
Eng (MAKS-sim-mus)

The name comes directly from the Latin word for “greatness” and is found in several Roman designations, such as the Circus Maximus in Rome and was used as a title to denote importance in the case of the Pontifex Maximus (the highest priest in ancient Rome).

The name was most notably borne by Claudius Maximus, a 2nd-century stoic philosopher, and it was also borne by several saints.

In recent years, the name has seemed to experience a surge in popularity. In the English-speaking world, his popularity might be due to the popularity of other Max names and the release of the 2000 Ridley Scott film, Gladiator, in which the hero is named Maximus (as played by Russell Crowe).

In Europe, especially in Belgium and the Netherlands, both the male and feminine forms are very trendy. This may have been due to the marriage of Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to the Argentine-born Maxima Zorreguieta (b.1971).

Currently, Maximus 233rd most popular male name in the United States, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 9 (Belgium, Maxime, 2009)
  • # 19 (France, Maxime, 2009)
  • # 35 (Argentina,Máximo 2009)
  • # 825 (the United States, Máximo 2010)

In French, Maxime is occasionally bestowed upon females, but is far more common among males. It is currently the 444th most popular female name in the Netherlands, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Màxim (Catalan)
  • Maksimká Максимкá (Chuvash)
  • Maksim Максим (Croatian/Belarusian/Bulgarian/Macedonian/Serbian)
  • Maxim Максим(Czech/Dutch/Hungarian/Kazakh/Romanian/Russian/Slovak/Ukrainian/Uzbek)
  • Maximus (Dutch/English/German)
  • Maxime (French)
  • Maksime მაქსიმე (Georgian)
  • Maximos Μάξιμος (Greek)
  • Miksa (Hungarian)
  • Massimo (Italian)
  • Massimino (Italian)
  • Maksims (Latvian)
  • Méme (Occitanian)
  • Maksym (Polish)
  • Máximo (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Maximino (Portuguese)
  • Macsen (Welsh)
  • Maxen (Welsh)

Feminine forms include:

  • Massima (Italian)
  • Massimina (Italian)
  • Maxima (Hungarian)
  • Maksyma (Polish)
  • Máxima (Spanish)


Durer Maximilian I 1518 BRGender: Masculine
Origin:  Latin
Meaning: “one who is great.”

The name is derived from the Roman cognomen Maximilianus which refers to someone of greatness. The name was borne by a 3rd century martyr. It was borne by several other Christian martyrs, including Maximilian of Lorch, a Christian martyr of Austrian heritage and Maximilian of Antioch. The name was especially popular amongst the Habsburgs, starting with Frederick III who gave it to his son Maximilian I (1459-1519) to honour the two ancient Roman generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, in this case the name was suppose to be a blend of Maximus and Aemilianus. It was also borne by Maximilian II of the Holy Roman Empire, another Habsburg (1527-1576). Maximilian I Duke Bavaria (1573-1651), Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (1662-1726), Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria (1727-1777), Maximilian I of Bavaria (1756-1825), Maximilian II of Bavaria (1811-1864), Prince Maximilian of Baden (1867-1929) and Maximilian I of Mexico (1832-1867). It was also borne by a 20th-century Polish Catholic priest who was killed at Auschwitz known as St. Maximilian Kolbe.

In recent years, in the United States, the name has grown significantly in popularity, it currently comes in at # 300 of the Top 1000 Male Names. It is popular in other countries, especially in Germany and in Sweden. In Sweden, it was the 88th most popular male name in 2007. Its designated name-day is October 12. Other forms of the name include (listed alphabetically by nationality):

  • Maximilián (Czech/Slovak)
  • Maximiliaan (Dutch)
  • Maximilien (French)
  • Miksa (Hungarian)
  • Massimiliano (Italian)
  • Maksymilian (Polish)
  • Maksimiljan/Makso (Serbo-Croatian/Slovenian)
  • Maximiliano (Spanish/Portuguese)
  • Maksimilian/Maks (Russian/Ukrainian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Maximiliana (Czech/Slovak, German, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Maximilienne (French)
  • Massimiliana (Italian)
  • Maksymiliana (Polish)

A common diminutive is Max