MY-el or MA-ELL
French or Breton
"chief or prince"

Mael Origin and Meaning

The name Mael is a boy's name of French, Breton origin meaning "chief or prince".

The name of a fifth century Breton saint, Mael is a popular boys' name in contemporary France, though it is usually spelled with a diaeresis or umlaut - Maël. Mael is the Breton spelling, and the pronunciation is almost like the English word mile, with two distinctive syllables.

Popular in Belgium, Quebec, and Switzerland too, Mael ranked in the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2023. Given to more than 200 boys, it has international flair, a gentle appearance and a pleasing sound that is reminiscent of popular Miles and familiar Noel.

Used in Anne Rice's series The Vampire Chronicles and the video game series Ace Attorney, Mael also an ancient Welsh boys' name, and an old Irish word meaning "bald" or "monk", which was used to form names such as Malcolm.

Among Spanish speakers, it is used as a diminutive of Ismael, another fast riser in 2023, and perhaps another reason for its increased popularity

# 979 in the US

Mael Rank in US Top 1000

# 1179 on Nameberry

Mael Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Mael Popularity

Famous People Named Mael

  • Saint Maël5th century Breton hermit
  • Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid (Malachy I)high king of Ireland
  • Mael Sechnaill mac Domnaill (Malachy II)high king of Ireland
  • Máel ColuimEarl of Atholl, Mormaer of Atholl between 1153/9 and the 1190s
  • Máel ColuimKing of Strathclyde
  • Máel Coluim of MorayMormaer of Moray
  • Máel Coluimson of the king of the Cumbrians, possible King of Strathclyde or King of Alba

Mael in Pop Culture

  • Maelvampire in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles
  • Maela sea god in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series
  • Maëlcharacter in the French movie LOL (Laughing Out Loud)
  • Also a Welsh namepronounced MYLE and meaning "prince"