Axel is the perfect heavy metal rock name, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose (born William). Axel is a popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, who was a son of King David, and is the name of the title character of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.
Growing in popularity, along with a lot of other names featuring the powerful letter 'x', Axel is now at Number 160. It entered the popularity list in 1989, one year after the release of one of Guns N' Roses biggest hits. It is very popular in Scandinavia (as high as Number 15 in Sweden), Germany and France.
Axel was chosen by Will Ferrell for his third son, and also by Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson for their boys, and it's the middle name of Tiger Woods' boy Charlie. Axel Foley was the character played by Eddie Murphy in the "Beverly Hills Cop" movies and, going further back, was the name of an important character in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.