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)


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