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Scriptsשִׁמְשׁוֹן Ancient Hebrew
PronouncedPron.SAM-sən English

Meaning & History

From the Hebrew name שִׁמְשׁוֹן (Shimshon), derived from שֶׁמֶשׁ (shemesh) meaning "the sun". Samson was an Old Testament hero granted exceptional strength by God. His mistress Delilah betrayed him and cut his hair, stripping him of his power. Thus he was captured by the Philistines, blinded, and brought to their temple. However, in a final act of strength, he pulled down the pillars of the temple upon himself and his captors.

This name was known among the Normans due to the Welsh bishop Saint Samson, who founded monasteries in Brittany and Normandy in the 6th century. In his case, the name may have been a translation of his true Celtic name. As an English name, Samson was common during the Middle Ages, having been introduced by the Normans.
DiminutivesSam, Sammie, Sammy English
Other Languages & CulturesSampson Biblical Greek Shimshon Biblical Hebrew Shimshon Hebrew Sansone Italian Shamash Semitic Mythology
User SubmissionSámson


Samson destroying the Philistine temple in an image by Gustave Doré (1866)Samson destroying the Philistine temple in an image by Gustave Doré (1866)


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Entry updated July 11, 2018   Contribute