In its long form, Samuel sounds dapper and old-fashioned, like the gray-haired captain of a Mississippi river boat or a berobed Supreme Court justice.
Break it down to Sam, however, and you have a modern-day kid who's ready to have some fun.
"Hey, that kid's called Samuel!"
"That sounds really old-fashioned. He looks like he should be a Judge"
"He should call himself Sam, he looks like a kid who's ready to have some fun!"
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