Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Samson

Samson is an ancient Biblical name from the Hebrew “Shimshon” (שִׁמְשׁוֹן) probably derived from “shemesh” meaning “sun”. In the Bible, Samson is one of the last of the major Judges who predated the Kings of Israel. His story is told in Judges 13-16 starting with his Nazarite birth to a barren woman. Nazarites (as explained in Numbers 6) take a vow to God; they are considered separate from all others and specifically consecrated to God, and this is basically how Samson came into the world: completely dedicated to God. But Samson is not best known as a Nazarite or one who judged Isreal for twenty years. Rather, Samson is most remembered from the Old Testament story of “Samson and Delilah” (Judges 16:1-20). Nazarites (as explained in Numbers) were not allowed to drink alcohol, come in contact with a dead body, or cut their hair. Samson could only stick to one of these rules (the hair part). Samson was known for his Herculean strength – strong and mighty of proportions that only the Bible can conjure up. Samson roamed the lands eating animal carcasses, killing people with donkey jawbones, antagonizing the Philistines and fornicating with prostitutes. Enter Delilah. Apparently, she had him at “hello” because he quickly divulged to her the secret source of his strength – his hair. Having received a bounty from the Philistines, Delilah arranged for his hair to be cut off while he unwittingly slept on her lap. Mighty like an ox was Samson, but apparently not the sharpest knife in the old Israelite drawer. The manipulative seductress Delilah took advantage of this fact and betrayed her lover Samson. Having lost his hair – and thus his exceptional strength – Samson was captured by the Philistines who gouged his eyes out and brought him in shackles to their temple. After pleading with God for one last dose of mighty strength, Samson tore down the pillars of the Philistine temple killing himself and all 3,000 of his enemy. As a masculine given name among English-speakers in the Middle Ages, usage of Samson was largely influenced by a 6th century Celtic saint known as Saint Samson of Dol. Born in Wales, Samson would eventually go on to found several monasteries in Northern France and become one of the seven founder saints of the Celtic region of Brittany. The Normans reintroduced the name Samson to Great Britain after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

All About the Baby Name – Samson

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME SAMSON

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME SAMSON

The name Samson has a somewhat weird history on the American male naming charts. Never popular or widely used, Samson did appear once on the charts in the late 1800s but would remain off the charts for most of the 20th century. His first appearance in more recent years came in 1977 and between then and now Samson has basically fallen on and off the charts. Surprisingly, this charmingly simple Biblical name has always been a rare choice among American parents (even compared to exotic Biblical names like Nehemiah). There really aren’t very many Samsons or Delilahs running around American playgrounds today. So if you’re looking for an original name, one with a bright etymology (“sun”) and an interesting story – Samson might be a name to consider. It’s also an alternative choice to the overly popular Samuel. Thanks to the Biblical Samson, the name is synonymous with Herculean strength and beautiful, long locks. You may just never want to cut your son’s hair!!

Quick Facts

ON SAMSON

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

671

PRONUNCIATION:

SAM-sәn

SIMPLE MEANING:

Sun

Characteristics

OF SAMSON

Multi-talented

Intuitive

Oneness

Idealistic

Philanthropy

Independent

Perfection

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Samson

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SAMSON

Popular Songs

ON SAMSON

Samson
a song by Regina Spektor

Run Samson Run
a song by Neil Sedaka

Old Man Samson
a song by Whole Wheat Bread

As Strong as Samson
a song by Procol Harum

Samson and Delilah
a song by the Grateful Dead

Famous People

NAMED SAMSON

Samson Satele (football player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SAMSON

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Samson

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SAMSON

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Samson