The name Max is the common shortening of Maximilian, a Germanic first name which can ultimately be traced back to the common Roman family name Maximus, meaning 'greatest'.
It was the name of several early Christian bishops and martyrs, which no doubt contributed to its spread through Europe. Historically, it has been particularly common in Germanic and Slavic countries.
In recent years, it has grown in popularity in the UK, and in 2012 was the most 18th most popular baby name for boys.
Famous people called Max:
Maximilien Robespierre, French revolutionary
Max Factor, Polish cosmetics tycoon (born Maksymilian Faktorowicz)
Maxim Gorky, Russian author
Max Baer, American heavyweight boxer
Max Schmeling, German heavyweight boxer (famously fought Max Baer in 1933)
Maximilian Schell, Oscar-winning German actor
Max Weber, German philosopher and political economist
Can be shortened to: Max is a diminutive of several names - Maximilian, Maxim, Maxwell or Maximus - which parents could consider as full names. Surnames to avoid Max with:
Surnames beginning with an 'S' sound, ie. Sanders or Sackler, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.
Foreign variants include Maximilien (French), Massimo (Italian), Miksa (Hungarian), and Maksimilian (Russian). Similar English names include Mack, Maddox, Rex and Felix.
The female version of Max in English is Maxine. Maximiliane is a German female variant.
Celebrities who named their baby Max:
Christina Aguilera, Cynthia Nixon, Henry Winkler, Jennifer Lopez