There's a poem that was written, if I recall, right in the middle of the seventeenth century - by a Cavalier, no doubt - "Amarantha
, sweet and fair, Oh braid no more thy shining hair". Something like that! And Anthea
was also in use round about then as a literary name or nickname. So it wouldn't be much of a stretch for a family to choose reliable Samuel
for a boy, trendy Aramantha for a girl, and then on her arrival to just merge the two ... .
an American invention which spread to England? Interesting if so!
I saw a totally ghastly movie once, a spinoff of GWTW crossed with Showboat, in which the Southern belle leading lady was Amantha. Not Samantha
, not Amanda
. She used to peer intently into the middle distance as if short-sighted, no doubt reading from the cue board. And that name failed to catch on!