What does Samuel mean?
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 "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 (#1711 out of 150436, Top 1%). (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. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
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) are Sam (#533 a year ago), Sammie and Sammy. Usage of these boy names was at its most widespread during 1940-1949 (usage of 0.809%) and is now much lower (usage 0.361%, down 55.4%), with the versions Sam, Sammie and Sammy becoming less trendy. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
Samuel is pronounced similarly to Samael. This name tends to be less commonly used than Samuel.