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Surname Samela - Meaning and Origin

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Samela: What does the surname Samela mean?

The surname Samela appears to have multiple potential origins, suggesting that it may have evolved independently in different regions. It is found in several countries, including Italy, the Philippines, and in the USA. Some sources suggest that Samela could have Italian origins given its presence in the southern part of the country, but its exact meaning in Italian language or culture is unknown.

In other regions like the Philippines, surnames were often assigned or chosen based on a variety of factors, including occupational or geographical characteristics, so Samela could also have a related significance. However, without more specific ethnolinguistic or historical data, it’s hard to determine a definitive meaning.

In general, it's important to remember that the meaning of a surname can largely depend on its historical, geographical, and cultural context. Some surnames have clear meanings linked to professions, locations, or personal characteristics, while others like Samela may have meanings that have been lost or obscured over time.

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Samela: Where does the name Samela come from?

The surname Samela is most common today in countries with Eastern European populations such as Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. It is a variation of the surname Samele which is a combination of the Lithuanian “sam” (meaning “same”) plus the suffix “ela.” The surname Samela is also found in other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Brazil, likely due to migration from Eastern European countries.

In the United States, the surname Samela is most prevalent in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. According to, 876 people in the United States bear the surname Samela. The population in Indiana is the highest at 477, followed by Pennsylvania (297), Michigan (94), and Nebraska (8).

Importantly, the Samela surname is not limited to Eastern Europeans. Records show that immigrants from other continents, such as Latin America and Asia, also carry the same surname. Demographic trends suggest that these non-Eastern European populations continue to make up the majority of individuals with the surname.

Therefore, the surname Samela is most commonly found today in Eastern European countries, but is also relatively widespread in other parts of the world such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, and other countries determined by immigration patterns.

Variations of the surname Samela

The surname Samela is a variation of the Spanish surname Samala, as well as from the Jewish progenitor Seligmann. Samala is a patronymic surname derived from the given name Samuel, meaning "God has heard" in Hebrew. It is commonly spelled as Samala, Samela, Samalaa, Samelaa, Samalá, and Samelá.

It also has several related variants and surnames, which are derived from the same origin of the patronymic name ‘Samuel’, such as Samelle, Samella, Samelli, Samillo, Samull, Semal, Simel, Salaman, Salman, Salamanca, Samell, and Salamun.

In addition, Samela is also a Sephardic surname, deriving from the Hebrew word 'shemelah', meaning 'smooth', 'soft', 'silky', 'leveled', and 'even'. It is usually found not only in Spain but also amongst Sephardi Jews and other countries of Mediterranean origin.

In Germany, Samela has also been used as a family name since the Middle Ages. Other related spellings and surnames adopted by people in Germany include Sammele, Sammell, Saemmell, and Sammler.

In the United States, Samela is an Americanised spelling of the surname, as is the variation Sammy. It is primarily found amongst German-Americans, and the surname is more commonly found today in the Northeastern parts of the United States than in other areas.

Finally, Samela has close connections to the name Samele which was used amongst early Italian immigrants to the United States. This variant is sometimes spelled as Samelle, and is more commonly found amongst Italian-Americans today.

Famous people with the name Samela

  • Christophe Samela: Christophe Samela is a French actor best known for his performances in numerous stage plays, films, and television shows. His most notable film roles include Philippe in 9 mois fermes (2009) and Jean-Paul in Un jeu d'enfant (2014).
  • Sofia Samela: Sofia Samela is an Argentine singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer. She has released several acclaimed music projects, including her debut solo album Rayo de Sol (2017).
  • Pierre Samela: Pierre Samela is a French politician who served as a member of the French National Assembly from 2002 to 2012. He also served as Mayor of the French town of Moulins-sur-Cèze from 1995 to 2002.
  • Anna Samela: Anna Samela is an Icelandic actress and singer. She is best known for her lead role in the Icelandic musical Dvergakonurnar, which was nominated for Best Musical at the 2018 Icelandic Theatre Awards.
  • Þór Samela: Þór Samela is an Icelandic football player who currently plays for the Icelandic football club Íþróttafélagið Víkingur. He has also represented Iceland in several youth teams.
  • Iñaki Samela: Iñaki Samela is a professional Spanish basketball player who currently plays for CB Ciudad de Córdoba. He has also represented Spain in international tournaments, such as the 2009 FIBA European Championship.
  • Ismael Samela: Ismael Samela is a Spanish journalist, TV presenter, and documentary filmmaker. He is best known for hosting the investigative documentary show Salvados, which is broadcast on Spanish television network la Sexta.

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