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Did you know: This is the meaning behind Samsung’s name

The tech giant's ambitious goals are reflected in its name.
By
February 9, 2024
Samsung logo stock photo from CES 2024 (3)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

In our little corner of the tech world, Samsung is by far the most recognizable brand name in the space, often considered synonymous with Android itself. Samsung phones are perpetually a part of Android Authority’s best smartphone roundups, and there’s good reason why Samsung is one of the biggest phone manufacturers in the world. It’s a position the tech giant held for 13 years, taking over from Nokia all the way back in 2010, and only recently dropped to a close second place behind Apple, according to IDC’s 2023 market share data.

Samsung has a rich and storied history that can be traced back to 1938, but if you’ve ever wondered where the name “Samsung” comes from and what it means, you’re in the right place.

What does Samsung mean?

Samsung is the combination of two words — Sam and Sung — that translate to “three stars.” According to Samsung’s official history. It was chosen by founder Lee Byung-chull to reflect his vision for the company, with “three” meaning large, plentiful, and strong, while “star” represents bright, lofty, and eternally shining. In fact, the three stars were a significant part of Samsung’s logo from its inception in 1938 to 1993, until it changed to the iteration we are more familiar with today.

From the Stars to the Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra 2
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

Samsung introduced the Galaxy branding with its first smartphone back in 2009, the Galaxy GT-I7500, before the start of the Galaxy S series that we all know and love in 2010 and the now-defunct Galaxy Note line in 2011. While it may seem logical and fits right in with Samsung’s “star” theme, the history behind the Galaxy name isn’t as simple.

As mentioned by author Geoffrey Cain in his book Samsung Rising (which is an excellent read), the Galaxy name didn’t have anything to do with the stars. While this particular anecdote hasn’t been acknowledged by Samsung, Cain says that Ed Ho, a former Senior Vice President at the company, mentioned that “Galaxy” comes from a Terlato Wines bottle of the same name that high-level Samsung executives enjoyed. Cain continues, saying that the name of the wine was used as inspiration because it had a “premium ring” to it.

And now you know the meaning behind the name of one of the world’s largest companies and the interesting reason behind its most popular Galaxy branding!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus samsung badge
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

It’s not just smartphones, either. Samsung Electronics, which first came into fruition in 1969, makes everything from laptops, tablets, and processors to dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators. If it’s an electronic gadget, Samsung probably has an option for you.

And while the Electronics division accounts for nearly 70 percent of the company’s revenue, Samsung also has a presence, either globally or in its home country of South Korea, in the fields of shipbuilding, construction, insurance, defense, advertising, and entertainment. All while holding strong to its family-owned roots.