Samantha, a long-popular feminization of Samuel, while still in the Top 35, is finally beginning to fade after years of widespread use, though still a lovely name. The popularity of Samantha was originally inspired by the nose-twitching heroine of TV's Bewitched.
Samantha has been in English-speaking use since the eighteenth century, particularly in the American South, and drew attention via Grace Kelly's Tracy Samantha Lord character in High Society, featuring the song "I love you, Samantha," and then was revitalized by the sensual Kim Cattrell character on Sex and the City.
Some of today's parents may well go directly to nickname Sam, or consider an alternative like Samara.
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