Meaning and Name Origin
Samuel \s(a)-muel\ as a boys' name is pronounced SAM-yoo-el. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Samuel is "God heard". Also possibly as "requested of God", "God's heart" or "God's name". Biblical: the prophet and judge who anointed Saul and David as kings of Israel. The name was used by the Puritans and usage peaked in the 19th century. Opera singer Samuel Ramey; lexicographer Samuel Johnson; playwright Samuel Beckett; author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain); actor Samuel L. Jackson.
For more information, see also the related boy name Kemuel.
Samuel is a very prominent first name for men (#60 out of 1220, Top 5%) and also a very prominent surname for all people (#1678 out of 88799, Top 2%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Samuel for boys. Samuel reached its peak rank of #17 in the U.S. then, and is presently at #23. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Below is a graphed comparison of the popularity of the boy name Samuel and associated names. Prominent variation forms of Samuel (#23 a year ago) ranked in the Top 1000 are Sam (#533 a year ago), Sammie and Sammy. Usage of these boy names was at its most widespread during the years 1940-1949 and is now much lower, with the versions Sam, Sammie and Sammy becoming less trendy. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Samuel is pronounced similarly to Samael. This name tends to be less commonly used than Samuel.