Help! I am 36 weeks pregnant and equally like these two first names. I keep going back and forth on which one to use and my husband likes both of them the same as well. We have already settled on the middle name of Grace (it's a family name). Our last name starts with E and is three sylabulls (kind of like Enderman). I love that Eliza is a more unique name and kind of has a spunky, sassy feel to it but worry about too many vowels (although my husband's first name begins w/ E so it would be kind of cute for them both to be EE)...on the other hand, I have long loved the name Samantha, and all of the various nickname possibilities that go with it (Sam, Sammy etc.) and, even though it's more popular, we don't know anyone who has that name in our circle of friends/family.
I personally like Eliza more. It may just be because I went to school with over 20 Samantha's. Of course, with the next generation, it probably won't be as popular. I think that as long as your last name doesn't being with 'El...." it will be fine. Good luck!
My name is Samantha, and while I hated it at first, I absolutely love it now. If my name weren't Samantha, it'd probably be on my list of definitely possibilities. My votes goes to Samantha. Besides, Eliza makes me think of Eliza Thornberry. :P
I'm 28 weeks and am choosing Samantha. So you can't have it! Just kidding. It has my vote. I am also worried about the popularity of the name, but like you said i don't know anyone in our circle with it.
If it helps, Eliza is of Hebrew origin and means "My God is a Vow." It comes from the name Elizabeth. In 2008, it was ranked 328.
Samantha is Aramaic and means "Listener" (always good in a child!) It is a form of the name Samuel. It was ranked 11th in 2008 and seems to have been in the top 20 for quite some time, so she may have other kids in her class with the same name.
Grace is Latin and means "Good Will" It comes from Gratia. It was 21st last year and seems to have been in the top 30 since 1999.
Anyways, Eliza is less "common" of a name and sounds very pretty. Good luck with whatever you decide!