Origin: Germanic, Greek, Sri Lankan
Meaning: most sites I've seen have listed it as being a feminine form of Samuel meaning "God has heard" or "name of God", or a combination Samuel and Anthea, from Greek meaning "flower, blossom".
It could also be the English form of Dutch Sijmentje, the feminine form of Sijmens which is the Dutch form of Sigmund meaning "victory, protection" from Germanic elements sigu (victory) and mund (protection).
I've also seen Samantha as possibly having been influenced by the Greek feminine name Psamanthe, a variant of Psamathe meaning "sand goddess" from Greek psammos (sand) and theia (goddess); the form Psamanthe was occassionally used in some translations of Ovid's Metamorphosis.
Samantha is also a Sri-Lankan masculine name derived from Saman, the name of a Sri-Lankan god meaning "the rising morning son". From what I could find, it's used as a purely male name in Sri Lanka.
Nicknames: Sam, Sammy/Sammie
- Saman (Sri Lankan)