Meaning and Origin of the Name Maxwell

The meaning of Maxwell hails from twelfth century Scotland, where a man by the name of Max, or Macs, lived and owned land on the river Tweed. After his passing, one of the landmarks that preserved his name was a fishing pool or weil, which produced the name Macchwel. From then on, owners of the land containing Max have well used Maxwell as part of their surname and the name eventually transferred into the given name usage.

Popularity of the Name

The popularity of Maxwell is often overshadowed by its shorter version, Max, that was also the original form of the name. While Max was the 29th most popular boy’s name in England according to the 2013 statistics, however Maxwell did not make the top 100.

Famous People Called Maxwell

Nevertheless, many famous people bore the name both as surnames and given names. Most people who inherited Maxwell as a surname are of Scottish ancestry such as the mathematician James Clerk Maxwell. Ian Robert Maxwell, a Member of the Parliament and media proprietor, chose Maxwell as a new surname to replace his original, Czechoslovakian, one.

Even fictional characters bear the name Maxwell, such as the British born Broadway producer in the American sitcom, the Nanny. Brazilian footballer, Maxwell Scherrer Cabelino Andrade, is a proof that Maxwell’s popularity as a given name is not limited only to Great Britain.

Useful Resources

  • Discover the meaning and popularity of other boys’ names on this website.