Quick Facts on Axel
- German, Nordic
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Father of peace
Etymology & Historical Origin - Axel
The name Axel is the Scandinavian and German form of the old Biblical name Absalom. Absalom in turn is derived from the Hebrew name Avshalom which means ‘my father is peace’ and developed into the name Axel in Scandinavia through the Old Norse name Ásleikr. In the Bible (specifically 2 Samuel 13-21) we learn about Absalom, the rebellious son of King David. We are also told that “in all of Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish.” [2 Samuel 14:25]. Not only do we learn that Absalom was one cold stone fox of ancient Israel, but, like Samson in the book of Judges, he also has some pretty famous Biblical hair. So abundant are these tresses that when he gave himself his annual haircut it weighed “200 shekels” (about five pounds). With all of these fine blessings and good fortunes in life, Absalom still can’t seem to suppress his rebellious streak. First, he kills his older half-brother and heir to the throne Amnon (for good reasons, we might add) and, fearing reprisal from his father, flees Jerusalem for a few years (eventually they reconcile and Absalom returns). Once back in Jerusalem, Absalom wastes no time conspiring against his father by making all sorts of “campaign promises” to the Israelites “if he were king.” Eventually, he steals the hearts of the people and declares himself king (forcing David to flee). David raises an army that would finally defeat Absalom in the famous Battle of Ephraim Wood. In an attempt to escape, the young son jumped on a mule and fled. Only, remember the long hair? Well, like Samson, it ended up being his downfall. Absalom’s hair got caught and tangled in an oak tree leaving him there dangling vulnerably “between the earth and the heavens.” David’s army commander orders Absalom killed despite David’s firm orders that no harm should come to him. Upon hearing of his death, David famously laments in 2 Samuel 18:33 “O my son Absalom, my son, my son! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” This story is the classical Freudian tale of a son’s rebellion against his father, only in this case, Absalom’s “father is peace.” Interestingly, the name Absalom has never been particularly common in the English-speaking world. The Scandinavians, however, don’t shy away from this Biblical story. They embrace their form of the name: Axel. It is currently the 15th most popular name in Sweden.
Popularity of the Name Axel
The name Axel appeared on the U.S. popularity charts way back in the late 1880s and very early 1900s. However, by 1920 the name retreated into the shadows and fell off the naming charts altogether. It would not be until 1989 that the name Axel would return from its lengthy 70+ year hiatus. In the past twenty or so years, Axel has managed to recapture over 800 positions on the U.S. popularity charts. Although never a Top 100, it may be just a matter of time given its current trajectory and the fact that it’s experiencing the height of its popularity right now. Axel is a great choice for a boy’s name, particularly if one or both of the parents are of Scandinavian descent. The name has a strong, masculine resonance to it, like a one-two punch. It’s never been overused so it has an off-beat quality that matches its coolness factor. Let’s just hope your boy doesn’t rebel like the son in the Biblical story after which Axel is named. We like a little rascally spirit in our children, but definitely not overly rebellious. Father just needs to remember: keep the peace. With those parting words, we wish you all the luck.
Popularity of the Boy Name Axel
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Axel
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Axel
Axel Lidenbrock (Journey to the Center of the Earth) Axel is the narrator and main character of Jules Verne’s 1864 science fiction novel, A Journey to the Center of the Earth. He is the cautious and reluctant nephew/associate of Professor Liedenbrock, who nonetheless is responsible for breaking the code that allows the journey to the center of the earth. Along with their guide, Hans, they encounter fantastic creatures and exciting adventures along their way, although Axel is almost humorously set against the whole experience in the first place. As their journey progresses and climaxes, however, Axel matures and finds a surer way of meeting the world – with curiosity rather than apprehension, with receptivity rather than fear.
Popular Songs on Axel
Axel F - the theme song to the 1984 movie Beverly Hills Cop by Harold Faltermeyer
Children's Books on the Baby Name Axel
Axel and the Farmer (Ben Birdy) - Axel is as tall as a tree, strong as an earthquake, and...smart as a rock. It’s time he learned a lesson or two. A charming short fable. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Storm Rider: Axel Storm (Shoo Rayner) - Axel Storm's parents are rock stars - and they just want Axel to be a normal boy! But when he goes to stay with his crazy uncles, Axel always ends up stealing the show...Axel's parents are performing at a very cool concert. But there's a dangerous thunderstorm on the way -- not cool! Can Axel and his genius Uncle Taylor save the day? Recommended for ages 7-10.
Famous People Named Axel
Famous People Named Axel - Prince Axel of Denmark (royalty); Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose, Jr., co-founder of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses); Axel Hugo Theodor Theorell (Nobel Prize Winner, medicine); Axel Paulsen (Olympic gold medalist and inventor of the figure skating Axel jump first used in 1882)
Children of Famous People Named Axel
Famous People who Named their Son Axel - Will Ferrell (comic/actor)
Axel - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures
Axel - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Axel.
Personality of the Boy Name Axel
Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.
Variations of the Baby Name - Axel