• 125k Sam
First Name
125k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
12k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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How to Pronounce Sam

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Sam mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Sam

"Sam" is a name of English origin, and it means "Short form of Samuel or Samantha". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adverb Sam
Together.

Etymology: AS. same. See Same (a.)

noun SAM
a Surface to Air Missile.

Etymology: acronym

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A guided missile fired from land or shipboard against an airborne target
Wiktionary
  1. A diminutive of the male given name Samuel, or rarely of Samson. Also used as a formal given name.
  2. A diminutive of the female given name Samantha.
  3. (Ireland, informal) The Sam Maguire Cup awarded to the All-Ireland GAA football winning team.

Sam was also found in the following language(s): Luxembourgish

Notable Persons Named Sam

Sam Claflin is an actor. He was most prominent from 2010 to present. Sam was given the name Samuel George Claflin on June 27th, 1986 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK.

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Sam Neill is an actor and voice actor. His most notable accomplishments were from 1975 to present. Sam was given the name Nigel John Dermot Neill on September 14th, 1947 in Omagh. Sam is also known as Neill and Nigel John Dermot.

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Sam Harris is an author, neuroscientist, non-profit executive, philosopher, and neuroscience. Sam was given the name Samuel Benjamin Harris on April 9th, 1967 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.

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Sam Worthington is an actor and writer. His most notable accomplishments were from 2000 to present. Sam was given the name Samuel Henry John Worthington on August 2nd, 1976 in Godalming, Surrey, England.

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Sam Elliott is an actor. His ongoing career started in 1968. Sam was given the name Samuel Pack Elliott on August 9th, 1944 in Sacramento, California, U.S. Sam is also known as Kyle Peterson.

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Sam Vokes is a soccer player for the Burnley F.C., A.F.C. Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Leeds United F.C., Bristol City F.C., Sheffield United F.C., Norwich City F.C., Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., Wales national under-21 football team, and Wales national football team. Sam was born on October 21st, 1989 in Southampton, England.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Sam

Michael Sam is a football player. Michael was born on January 7th, 1990 in Galveston, Texas.

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Yosemite Sam is a prospector, cowboy, sailor, many others, prospecting, and list of yosemite sam cartoons.

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She was most prominent from 2010 to 2010. Eliza was born on November 17th, 1984 in Vancouver.

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Sidney Sam is a soccer player for the FC Schalke 04, FC Kilia Kiel, Holstein Kiel, Hamburger SV II, Hamburger SV, FC Kaiserslautern, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04 II, Germany national youth football team, and Germany national under-21 football team. Sidney was born on January 31st, 1988 in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany.

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Magic Sam was a blues musician. He was most active from 1957 to 1969. Magic was given the name Samuel Gene Maghett on February 14th, 1937 in Grenada, Mississippi. He passed away on December 1st, 1969.

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How popular is the baby name Sam in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 457 0 457 #36 boy name
1881 481 0 481 #31 boy name
1882 555 0 555 #30 boy name
1883 476 0 476 #33 boy name
1884 533 0 533 #33 boy name
1885 492 0 492 #35 boy name
1886 519 0 519 #34 boy name
1887 463 0 463 #38 boy name
1888 612 5 607 #34 boy name
1889 492 6 486 #40 boy name
1890 496 7 489 #41 boy name
1891 418 0 418 #43 boy name
1892 551 0 551 #38 boy name
1893 488 7 481 #42 boy name
1894 515 8 507 #43 boy name
1895 492 5 487 #43 boy name
1896 518 0 518 #43 boy name
1897 483 5 478 #45 boy name
1898 543 0 543 #42 boy name
1899 469 0 469 #44 boy name
1900 832 11 821 #34 boy name
1901 486 7 479 #41 boy name
1902 566 7 559 #41 boy name
1903 552 0 552 #41 boy name
1904 608 5 603 #40 boy name
1905 628 8 620 #39 boy name
1906 558 6 552 #43 boy name
1907 639 8 631 #43 boy name
1908 649 5 644 #46 boy name
1909 708 8 700 #44 boy name
1910 901 13 888 #39 boy name
1911 934 6 928 #47 boy name
1912 1,338 13 1,325 #63 boy name
1913 1,550 23 1,527 #66 boy name
1914 1,898 18 1,880 #67 boy name
1915 2,366 27 2,339 #68 boy name
1916 2,336 23 2,313 #74 boy name
1917 2,469 14 2,455 #72 boy name
1918 2,528 23 2,505 #75 boy name
1919 2,420 36 2,384 #75 boy name
1920 2,306 23 2,283 #84 boy name
1921 2,392 26 2,366 #85 boy name
1922 2,377 28 2,349 #84 boy name
1923 2,230 24 2,206 #89 boy name
1924 2,150 30 2,120 #91 boy name
1925 2,119 25 2,094 #91 boy name
1926 2,055 22 2,033 #92 boy name
1927 1,926 23 1,903
1928 1,791 32 1,759
1929 1,759 30 1,729
1930 1,686 17 1,669
1931 1,478 20 1,458
1932 1,471 18 1,453
1933 1,369 18 1,351
1934 1,330 7 1,323
1935 1,373 10 1,363
1936 1,254 18 1,236
1937 1,228 13 1,215
1938 1,175 15 1,160
1939 1,131 9 1,122
1940 1,157 10 1,147
1941 1,203 12 1,191
1942 1,297 17 1,280
1943 1,337 15 1,322
1944 1,223 10 1,213
1945 1,145 7 1,138
1946 1,309 8 1,301
1947 1,424 8 1,416
1948 1,250 10 1,240
1949 1,111 8 1,103
1950 965 10 955
1951 1,051 15 1,036
1952 952 10 942
1953 894 12 882
1954 885 14 871
1955 883 11 872
1956 962 11 951
1957 1,082 10 1,072
1958 1,190 13 1,177
1959 1,309 13 1,296
1960 1,228 17 1,211
1961 1,211 16 1,195
1962 1,090 23 1,067
1963 1,026 9 1,017
1964 966 9 957
1965 789 16 773
1966 693 14 679
1967 621 11 610
1968 573 8 565
1969 591 8 583
1970 613 13 600
1971 550 9 541
1972 505 6 499
1973 483 6 477
1974 442 6 436
1975 429 9 420
1976 397 0 397
1977 361 5 356
1978 423 7 416
1979 384 7 377
1980 378 12 366
1981 383 0 383
1982 381 7 374
1983 371 11 360
1984 370 6 364
1985 359 11 348
1986 388 8 380
1987 487 6 481
1988 485 6 479
1989 508 5 503
1990 589 5 584
1991 597 7 590
1992 574 0 574
1993 573 11 562
1994 553 0 553
1995 569 0 569
1996 535 8 527
1997 489 5 484
1998 489 0 489
1999 497 0 497
2000 520 6 514
2001 563 10 553
2002 558 0 558
2003 578 0 578
2004 600 7 593
2005 568 12 556
2006 601 16 585
2007 621 9 612
2008 625 21 604
2009 595 15 580
2010 562 12 550
2011 558 14 544
2012 513 5 508
2013 490 14 476
2014 532 12 520
2015 531 12 519
2016 491 17 474

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Sam popular?

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Popularity of Sam as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Sam as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Mississippi, South Carolina, or Alabama.

Popularity of Sam as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Sam as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Louisiana, California, or New York.

Common last names for Sam

  • Jones
  • Smith
  • Williams
  • Johnson
  • Brown
  • Davis
  • Miller
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Cohen
  • Wilson
  • Taylor
  • Moore
  • Thomas
  • Green
  • Thompson
  • White
  • Martin
  • Robinson
  • Young

Common first names for Sam

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Sam U.S.
  White 12.06% 64.26%
  African American 27.84% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 33.73% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 17.93% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 3.07% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 5.37% 16.26%

Of Last Name Sam

People with the last name Sam are most frequently White, African American, Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander, or American Indian and Alaska Native

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Sam

  • How Popular is the name Sam? Sam is the 557th most popular name of all time. As a last name Sam was the 2,974th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Sam have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 124,704 babies born with the first name Sam in the United States. That's more than enough people named Sam to occupy the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with an estimated population of 109,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Sam? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 457 new born babies.
  • When was Sam first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Sam is Friday, December 25th, 1863.
  • What year had the most people named Sam born? The highest recorded use of the first name Sam was in 1918 with a total of 2,505 babies. That's a lot of babies named Sam!
  • Random Sam Factoid: According to the 1925 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Sam ranks 82nd in popularity as a baby boy's name in Arkansas. Imagine that, 54 babies in Arkansas have the same name as you in 1925.
  • Weird things about the name Sam: Your name in reverse order is Mas. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Msa. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Sam? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 12,053 people with the last name Sam.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Sam? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 4 of them will have Sam as their last name.

What Sams Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Sam

Name poster for Sam(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.