Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Sam

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 552
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Sam

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Sam

Sam is an abbreviated version often used for the names Samuel, Samson and/or Samantha; however, it has developed into an independently given name by itself (mainly for boys). Sam was Frodo’s hobbit sidekick in J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular novel “The Lord of the Rings” (1954). In hobbit speech, which Tolkien took from Olde English, Sam’s full name is “Samwise” meaning ‘half wise’ – suggesting that Sam means ‘half’. We guess it could be said that Sam is sort of “half” a name anyway. Interestingly, Sam is also the Croatian word for “alone”. Sam has had a successful career as an independently given name in its own right (like Max or Ben). It’s one of those names that many parents just prefer shortened and stand-alone. In fact, Sam is hugely popular in the Netherlands, but it is also a Top 50 choice among boy names in the nations of Ireland and Belgium, and a Top 100 in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, England and Australia.

Popularity of the Name Sam

Sam has been a consistently used name in the United States since the U.S. government first began tracking naming trends in 1880. In fact, back at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, Sam was at the top of his game (in the year 1900 Sam was ranked #34 on the charts). The name finally fell off the Top 100 list in 1928 and has yet to return to his glory days. Sam has been on the decline ever since – it appears as if American parents far prefer the full name Samuel to the pet form Sam. Still, Sam remains at levels of low-moderation on the charts. Like Max and Ben, Sam is a simple one-syllable name. It’s darling on a little boy (or girl even!) and yet it ages nicely into adulthood. Sam is an all-around risk free choice.
Popularity of the Boy Name Sam
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Sam

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Sam

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Sam

    Sam (The Killers) Sam is a character in Ernest Hemingway’s 1927 short story, “The Killers”, one of his most famous, which was also adapted to the movies. Sam is the black cook at the diner where two thugs come looking for a hit. Although this is the basic plot, and Hemingway’s alter-ego, Nick Adams, is at the center of it, Sam’s character seems to have an entirely unspoken history and back story all his own. This is 1920s Chicago, someone is looking to kill someone else, and Sam is having none of it. He is staying out of the way in the kitchen, and in his opinion, nobody else should get involved, either. Sam is a realist. He knows that these men are killers and that the law is as corrupt as they; there will be no justice from that direction. He submits to the indignity of being tied up and being racially slandered. In his way, he is doing exactly what the target of the hit is doing – he is accepting his fate as inevitable, which it is, and doing so with “grace under pressure”, Hemingway’s most admired virtue.

    Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) Sam(wise) is one of the major characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Lord of the Rings, written in stages from 1937 to 1949, and published in trilogy form in 1954 and 1955. It is the third best-selling novel of all time, and has been the subject of numerous movies, television and radio series, toys and games. Sam is Frodo Baggins’ gardener, as well as his faithful companion and protective rescuer. A hobbit he is, but he is also a sensitive lover of poetry and seeker of the wonders of the world. He is the one who carries the load while Frodo carries the ring; when he temporarily has possession of the ring, he resists all temptation to keep it and enjoy its power. He is fiercely loyal to Frodo, and would do anything for him. When his family (13 children, no less!) is raised and his wife, Rosie, dies, Sam goes off to the Undying Lands to be reunited with Frodo. He is an honorable character, indeed, but we still have to wonder why he gets a crack at immortality and Rosie doesn’t?

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Sam

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Sam

    All About Sam (Lois Lowry) - Everyone knows Sam Krupnik. He's Anastasia's pesky but lovable younger brother. This is Sam's big chance to tell things exactly the way he sees them. He has his own ideas about haircuts, nursery school, getting shots, and not eating broccoli. Sam thinks a lot about being bigger and stronger, about secret codes and show-and-tell. Make way for your little brother, Anastasia. Here for the first time is Sam Krupnik's life story. What a life! Also in the series are the books Attaboy, Sam!; Zooman Sam; and See You Around, Sam! Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Don't You Feel Well, Sam? (Amy Hest) - Booklist gives this one a starred review and says: "This follow-up to the best-selling Kiss Good Night will comfort little ones like a cozy blanket that’s tucked in just right." In the little white house, Mrs. Bear is putting Sam to bed, when suddenly -- HCK HCK! coughs Sam. Mrs. Bear gets some syrup. But the syrup tastes bad, and there’s too much of it on a too-big spoon, and it’s too hard to swallow. What will make Sam feel better? Acclaimed picture-book creators Amy Hest and Anita Jeram revisit Sam and Mrs. Bear as they share a quiet moment of comfort that is enough to conquer the coldest night. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Good Morning, Sam (Marie-Louise Gay) - Sam and Stella series. “I’ll help you get dressed,” said Stella. “No,” said Sam. “I can do it by myself.” But Sam takes a roundabout route to getting dressed and, as usual, his big sister Stella is there to help…but this time Sam has the last laugh. Vibrant and humorous, Marie-Louise Gay's stories and pictures explore the endearing, intimate scenes of young childhood. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Good Night, Sam (Marie-Louise Gay) - From the “Stella and Sam” series. “Stella,” whispered Sam, “are you sleeping?” “Yes,” answered Stella. “Aren’t you?” Sam can’t sleep without his beloved dog, Fred. But where could he be? Sam knows that Fred is afraid of the dark, of the monster that lives in the closet and of the giant toad that lurks downstairs. Luckily, Stella is there to reassure Sam as they search everywhere. Marie-Louise Gay's delicate watercolors, full of expression and humor, complement this delightful story. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Kiss Good Night (Amy Hest) - Tuck someone in with a kiss good night. "It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street. In the little white house, Mrs. Bear was putting Sam to bed." Outside, the wind blows and the rain comes down. Inside, it is Sam's bedtime. Mrs. Bear reads him a story, tucks him in, and brings him warm milk. "Are you ready now, Sam?" she asks. "I'm waiting," he says. What else does Sam need before going to sleep? Could Mrs. Bear have forgotten a kiss? Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Sam and the Firefly (P. D. Eastman) - Illustrated in color. Starred review by the School Library Journal who says: “The story of an incredible twosome that provides interest, suspense and word repetition.” Recommended for ages 4-7.

    Sam and the Lucky Money (Karen Chinn) - This year Sam gets to spend his New Year's gift money any way he chooses. Shopping carefully in his favorite Chinatown stores, he is disappointed to find that everything he wants is too expensive. Deciding to forgo a tasty sweet or a new toy for himself, Sam donates his money instead to a barefoot homeless man. Full color. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Sam Sheep Can't Sleep (Jenny Tyler) - This story book features phonics-based text and is designed to help children crack the reading code with ease. It features colour illustrations, fold-out flaps and a phonic breakdown of the words in the book. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Sam the Minuteman (Nathaniel Benchley) - "Get your gun!" Sam's father said. "The British soldiers are coming this way!" Sam's father was a Minuteman. Sam was ready in a minute. Father and son rushed to the village green. Other Minutemen were already there. Through the long night they waited and waited. Then, at dawn, the soldiers came! In this exciting I Can Read Book, Nathaniel Benchly recreates what it must have been like for a young boy to fight in the Battle of Lexington. Arnold Lobel's vivid pictures give a poignant reality to the famous battle that marked the beginning of the American Revolution. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Sam's Ball (Barbro Lindgren) - In this funny picture book, a toddler named Sam, who knows what he wants, stops clever Kitty from stealing his new rubber ball. Recommended or ages 2-6.

    Sam's Cookie (Barbro Lindgren) - In this funny picture book, a toddler named Sam, who knows what he wants, quarrels with Doggie, who steals his tasty cookie. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Sam, Bangs & Moonshine (Evaline Ness) - Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman’s daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality. Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the winner of the 1967 Caldecott Medal. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Savage Sam (Fred Gipson) - From the author of “Old Yeller”. Chicago Sunday Tribune says: "Gipson again has given us a purely wonderful trunk of Americana, and one of those rare books to be enjoyed on many latitudes of brow elevation.” Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Sensitive Sam: Sam's Sensory Adventure Has a Happy Ending! (Marla Roth-Fisch) - Appropriate for children, families, and professionals, this wonderful book brings to life the story of Sam, whose over-sensitivity creates chaos and frustration in his life. Sam's various sensory sensitivities adversely affect Sam's experiences, both at home and in the classroom. He walks readers through his typical day of sensory blunders (which many kids and families may find all too familiar!). Finally, at the suggestion of Sam's teacher, his parents take Sam to see an occupational therapist. Sam describes the process in a non-threatening, child's perspective that is sure to sooth young readers who may be facing the same challenges. With occupational therapy, a new "sensory diet," and the love and support of his family, Sam concludes: "Treating sensory challenges takes some patience, and love, too. And now I LIKE doing lots of things, I used to hate to do!" Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Stella, Fairy of the Forest (Marie-Louise Gay) - Stella and Sam series. Stella’s little brother, Sam, wonders whether fairies are invisible. Stella assures him that she has seen hundreds of them and says that if she and Sam venture across the meadow and into the forest, they are likely to find some. So begins another adventure of Stella, the irrepressible redhead, and her slightly apprehensive little brother. But Sam surprises Stella and himself by having a few ideas of his own — ideas that ensure a wonderful end to a perfect day in the woods. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Stella, Princess of the Sky (Marie-Louise Gay) - Stella and Sam series. When Stella’s brother, Sam, cries "Stella! Stella! Look! The sky is on fire!" the pair begin a new adventure exploring the wonders of the natural world. A vast, luminous sky, the sun, the stars, and the rising moon form the backdrop for their nocturnal expedition. As they encounter raccoons, fireflies, tree frogs, and bats, Sam wonders if the moon can swim, if the sun wears pajamas, or if he can catch shooting stars with his butterfly net. Stella, as always, has an answer for every question. Marie-Louise Gay delights readers once again with this whimsical, tender, and humorous book that captures perfectly the freshness of young children discovering the world. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Super Sam! (Lori Ries) - “Neon-colored cartoons done in pencil, crayon, and watercolor chronicle the imaginative indoor play of a boy and his toddler brother. Petey shadows Sam, who wears a blankie cape, "flies" around the room, lifts a (toy) truck over his head, and saves his sibling when the child's finger is injured. Full spreads with minimal text, often repeating "super Sam," invite beginning readers to try this book on their own. A cozy tale of brotherly affection (review by Gay Lynn Van Vleck). Recommended for ages 3-6.

    What Are You Doing, Sam? (Marie-Louise Gay) - Stella and Sam series. In this wonderful addition to the ever-beloved Stella and Sam books, Sam decides to teach Fred, the dog, some new skills, including swimming, cooking, rolling over and painting. Of course, Fred finds a way to subvert each experience in order to do exactly as he pleases and create maximum mess. Big sister Stella watches the goings-on with amusement as she keeps checking up on them, asking, “What are you doing, Sam?” Recommended for ages 2-6.

    When Stella was Very, Very Small (Marie-Louise Gay) - Stella and Sam series. When Stella was small she thought she was a turtle, that trees could talk, and that words were like ants running off the pages of her books. She couldn’t tie her shoes, but she could survive a wild sandstorm. Marie-Louise Gay has gone back in time to answer the questions often asked by the children who read and love her Stella books. Although she didn’t know what she would find when she started to explore Stella’s childhood, she soon realized that when Stella was very small, she saw the world in her own unique way — with wonder, curiosity and the sense that everything is possible. And when Sam came along, what could be more natural than to try to pass this sense of wonder on to him? A story of a lovely, tiny Stella, whose world is full of small adventures and slivers of magic. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? (Jean Fritz) - In early America, when all the men wore ruffled shirts and rode grandly on horseback, one man refused to follow suit. He was the rebel leader Sam Adams, a plainspoken gent who scorned ruffles, refused to ride a horse, and had little regard for the King. This lively biography is a nice, personal look at a leader and his times. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    You Can Do It, Sam (Amy Hest) - Sam goes all by himself to deliver treats to his friends in an endearing new tale from the creators of the New York Times bestseller Kiss Good Night and Don't You Feel Well, Sam? Booklist says: "Little ones will find this both a suitable precursor to nap time and a spur to be brave and act generously — just like Sam." Recommended for ages 3-6.

  • Famous People Named Sam

    Famous People Named Sam

    Famous People Named Sam - Uncle Sam (personification of the U.S. government); Sam Crawford (baseball player); Sam Demel (baseball player); Sam Donaldson (news reporter); Samuel "Sammy" Davis, Jr. (entertainer); Sam Elliott (actor); Sam Houston (American statesman); Sam Mendes (film director); Sam Rockwell (actor); Sam Shepard (playwright/actor); Sam Snead (golfer); Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart); Sam Warner (co-founder of Warner Bros. Studios); Sam Waterston (actor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Sam

    Children of Famous People Named Sam

    Famous People Who Named Their Child Sam - Tiger Woods (golfer, daughter named Sam); Charlie Sheen (actor, daughter); Denise Richards (actress, daughter); Barry Levinson (filmmaker, son named Sam); Tim Daly (actor, son named Sam); William Hurt (actor, son anmed Sam)

Personality of the Boy Name Sam

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 - Sam

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