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Gender: Male Meaning of Magnus: "greatest" Origin of Magnus: Latin Magnus's Popularity in 2017: #721

The name Magnus is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "greatest". Magnus is ranked #721 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Attitude Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

Magnus, a powerful name with a commanding presence, is one of the newly unearthed ancient artifacts; it dates back to Charlemagne being called Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great. It was picked for their sons by Will Ferrell (whose wife Viveca Paulin is Swedish), Kristy Swanson, and Elizabeth Banks—likely credited for this name's jump into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013, as one of the year's fastest-rising names. Its fashionable s ending may keep it in popular use.

A royal appellation in Scandinavia, Magnus was the name of six early kings of Norway and four of Sweden; it is still a highly popular name in Denmark and Norway.

Magnus has made appearances as a vampire in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and as a character in Roald Dahl's Matilda. And for an extra ego boost, in Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers, there's the following dialogue:
"'Magnus is my name. It's rather a good name, I think, sir.'
'A very good name, indeed,' said Mr. Pickwick."

Find other names based on Magnus using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Magnus

Magnus the Good, King of Norway and Denmark
Magnus II, King of Norway
Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway
Magnus IV-VI, Kings of Norway
Magnus I-IV, Kings of Sweden
Magnus Brostrup Landstad, Norwegian poet
(Sven) Magnus Øen Carlsen, Norwegian chess champion
Magnus Johnson, American politician
Magnus Hirschfeld, German physician
Magnus Scheving, Icelandic actor and TV producer
Magnús Ver Magnússon, Icelandic strongman
Magnus Norman, Swedish tennis player
Magnus, ring name of Nicholas "Nick" Aldis, English pro wrestler
Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, Swedish statesman and general
Magnus Hubert Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes, English composer
Magnus Paajarvi, Swedish hockey player
Pompey Magnus aka Pompey the Great, Roman consul and general
Ore Magnus Lawson aka Lil' O, American rapper
Magnus Wollter, son of actor Sven Wollter
Magnus Jackson Diehl, son of actor John Diehl and singer Julie Christensen
Magnus Paulin Ferrell (b. 2004), son of actor Will Ferrell
Magnus Hart Swanson Eisler (b. 2007), son of actress Kristy Swanson and skater Lloyd Eisler
Magnus Mitchell Handelman (b. 2012), son of actress Elizabeth Banks
Magnus Hamilton Miller (b. 2012), son of singer Jennifer Nettles

Pop Culture References for the name Magnus

Magnus "Maggie", character in 2005 movie "Hitch"
Magnus Bane, immortal warlock in The Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series
Magnus Martinsson, character in the Wallander series
Magnus, character in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, Lestat's creator
"Magnus Powermouse," children's book by Dick King-Smith.
Dr. Magnus Honey, Miss Honey's father and Agatha Trunchbull's brother-in-law in book/movie "Matilda"
Dr. Helen Magnus, character in TV show "Sanctuary" (played by Amanda Tapping)
Magnus, one of the dragon elders in game "Spyro the Dragon"
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, book series
Magnus the Rogue, character in the game "Minecraft Story Mode"
Magnus Pórsson, character in the Netflix Original, "Sense8"
Magnus Christensen, character in Danish TV drama "Borgen"
Magnus Burnsides, character in the podcast "The Adventure Zone"

Magnes, Manius, Manyus

Magnus's International Variations

Mánas, Magnuss (Scottish Gaelic) Mauno (Finnish) Manus (Irish) Maghnus (Irish Gaelic) Måns (Swedish) Mogens (Danish)


Jessica Says:


Ugh. I named my son Magnus in 2013 after 5 generations of men named Magnus on my mom's side. It wasn't even in the top 10,000 - much less 1,000 when I named him Magnus. I really hope this doesn't become a common name.

Ruanne Says:


Moose. :)

bearcub27 Says:


Ever since watching "Matilda" as a little girl, this name has been such a guilty pleasure for me. I have a hard time imagining it on a modern boy, but Mags is the cutest nickname :)

ccmrath Says:


I've always heard Mags as a nickname for Magnus. I've seen this names used among Danes and Scandinavian-Americans (there are quite a few where I live in the US). It's a strong name.

RoddyThlayli Says:


I find it kind of weird how often Magnus seems to be used in teen fiction (Magnus Chase and Magnus Bane, as people have already mentioned), compared to the fact that it has almost never been used in real life, at least in the US.

danirose01 Says:


One of my favorites for a boy, but I love these strong names.

Wittyusername103 Says:


I like you.

Carol Says:


i always think of Max as a nickname, they mean similar

yourlocaldumpster Says:


I love this name because Magnus Bane from the Mortal Instruments and Magnus Chase from Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard.

FeatherWrites Says:


I know a guy named Magnus! He's pretty cool, and suits the name well. I think Magnus is a great name. :D

Michaela Says:


Magnus is so puffed-up and pompously over-bearing.

TruthIsNotAnOpinion Says:


Not just any condoms. Very large condoms. That's a subliminal plus.

TruthIsNotAnOpinion Says:


I named my son Magnus after my Danish great grandfather. We call him Mags. And it's tough.

vintageisfave Says:


I actually met a baby named Magnus. He was the son of one of my mom's friends. When he was born I was 5 years old, and I thought his name was "Magnets" lol!

Sorceress Says:


It's great name for a kid.

chellemma1 Says:


I know a few people called Magnus and they all just go by Magnus, if people do shorten it at all they use Mags or Mag, not Maggie.

Jordan Lawson Says:


I think I would use the nickname Gus! All the letters are there so I think it could work. But that's just me.

lyndseycooke Says:


magnus is in the mortal instruments series too so its my favorite

headintheclouds Says:


Love this name! It's strong with history, sounds great too. Has the same feel as king-like Alexander, the same command and presence, while also being unique without being unknown/obscure.

Shishi Says:


Lol Yass! Fangirls unite!

HollyMaxSpencer Says:


Glitter! :D

mabespark Says:


Very strong.

Shishi Says:


The character is amazing I love magnus bane to death!

LadyVanRaven Says:


Sounds like a cool name...except I can't help but think of how close it is to the name Agnes. I wouldn't use it for that reason sadly (but that's me).

Shishi Says:


I thought it was Mangus at first

mckaylalove Says:


I love Magnus. And i don't see the connection to the mortal instruments as a detriment. That character is pretty cool.

faithnamer Says:


I don't think it really needs a nickname since it's already pretty short.. Don't you think? For some names, you just have to add a 'y' to the end if you want a nickname ;)

Guest Says:


It's starting to grow on me but I still think of condoms (sorry to be crude). And Maggie is the only nickname?

NaomiNY Says:


When I hear the name Magnus, I think of a character from Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat".

Guest Says:


I want to like this name but it makes me think of condoms...

Shishi Says: