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Maxwell Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Maxwell including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Maxwell Overview

  • Meaning: The name Maxwell means “great stream.”
  • Gender: Maxwell is traditionally a masculine name but has recently been used for girls too.
  • Origin: Maxwell was originally a Scottish surname meaning Mack’s stream.
  • Pronunciation: “MACK-swell”
  • Popularity: Maxwell is a very popular name.
  • Nicknames: Mack, Max, Maxi, Maxo.
  • Variations: Mackswell, Maxwell.
  • Namesakes: Maxwell, R&B singer; Maxwell Andrade, soccer player; Maxwell Cotton, actor.

What Does Maxwell Mean?

The name Maxwell means “great stream.” Initially, this name was created from the Scottish surname, Mack. There was an area that was known as Mack’s Well. Over time this name was shortened to Maxwell.

Depending on where the name comes from, it may also have slightly different meanings. The English meaning is “capable,” while the Latin meaning is “great.”

What is the Origin of the Name Maxwell?

Maxwell originally comes from the Scottish surname Mack, a place called Mack’s Well. Mack’s Well was near Melrose in Roxburghshire.

The name Maxwell can also come from the Irish surname Miskell, as the spelling changed a little over the years as it was adopted into a first name.

There are some Jewish origins to the name though the source is unclear. It may have been borrowed from the original Scottish name or an Americanized version of a once traditional Jewish name.

How Popular is the Name Maxwell?

Maxwell has enjoyed fairly steady popularity in the last 20 years. In all that time, it has never dipped below the top 150 names until recently (1).

Maxwell’s name spiked in popularity when Lance Armstrong chose it for his son. Later, it had another spike when Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Sloane used it for their respective daughters.

How Do I Pronounce Maxwell?

To pronounce Maxwell say “MACK-swell.”

The easiest way to pronounce Maxwell is to think of the original meaning of Mack’s Well.

Is Maxwell a Boy or Girl Name?

Traditionally Maxwell was a boy’s name. More often than not, it would be listed as a boy’s name.

However, in the last few years, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Sloane chose to use their daughters’ names instead. This has led to a slight rise in Maxwell being used for girls.

Variations of Maxwell

Variations of Maxwell do not go far from the original name. In both of the variations we found, there are only slight deviations in the spelling.

  • Mackswell
  • Maxwell

Nicknames for Maxwell

Thanks to the ease in breaking up this name, there are a few different options for nicknames. We found most of the nicknames focus on the first half of the name.

  • Mack
  • Mackie
  • Max
  • Maxi
  • Maxo
  • Welly

Similar Names to Maxwell

When looking for similar names to Maxwell, most focus on using M and X in the name. A few similar names can also be found by dropping the M and concentrating on the Ax aspect.

  • Aksel
  • Axel
  • Axl
  • Max
  • Maxine
  • Maxim
  • Maximo
  • Maximus

Middle Names for Maxwell

As Maxwell is hard on those middle consonant sounds, popular middle names tend to opt for something softer. Here are a few options for middle names for someone named Maxwell.

Sibling Names for Maxwell

Choosing sibling names for Maxwell is a deeply personal thing for each family. It may be that you are trying to stick with names that start with M. Or perhaps you are trying to choose other names of Scottish origin. Lastly, you could simply be looking for a name that sounds good with Maxwell when you inevitably call out for all your children simultaneously.

Regardless of your preference, here are a few options that we have found for Maxwell sibling names.

Famous People Named Maxwell

Due to the simmering popularity of this name, there are not many famous people with it. Some of the options we went with are even children of famous people.

  • Maxwell: An R&B singer.
  • Maxwell Alston Sutter: Son of Ryan Sutter, TV personality.
  • Maxwell Andrade: Brazilian soccer player.
  • Maxwell Cotton: Actor best known for the films Elysium, Gangster Squad, and Like Dandelion Dust.
  • Maxwell Edward Armstrong: Son of Lance Armstrong, former professional road racing cyclist.

Maxwell in Popular Culture

Thanks to its steady yet low popularity, Maxwell has been seen in various movies, shows, and books. We have chosen just a few of those characters here.

  • Duo Maxwell: Character from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing who is a pilot.
  • Enrico Maxwell: Character from Hellsing who is an archbishop.
  • Maxwell: A character in the show Hamtaro.
  • Maxwell: A character in the survival video game Don’t Starve.
  • Maxwell Edison: Named in Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, a song by the Beatles.
  • Maxwell Q. Klinger: A character in the show M*A*S*H.
  • Maxwell Sheffield: A character in the television show The Nanny.
  • Maxwell the Pig: A character in GEICO commercials.
  • Peter Maxwell: A character in the television show The Vampire Diaries.

Maxwell FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Maxwell.

Is Maxwell a Popular Name?

The name Maxwell has had steady yet low popularity over the years. It has never been a trendy name but has remained in the top 150 names in the last 20 years.

Is Maxwell a Good Name for a Boy?

Traditionally Maxwell was a name for a boy and remains mostly a boy name at present. However, there has been some recent use of Maxwell as a girl’s name.

Is Maxwell a Biblical Name?

Technically no. The name Maxwell comes from the Scottish surname Mack. However, the name has been popular in Christian families.

Is Maxwell a First Name?

Today we mostly see Maxwell as a first name. Originally it comes from the Scottish surname Mack. It may also come from the Irish surname Miskell. Today we still see Maxwell used as a surname.

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