Modern coinage, most common in North America. It is of unknown origin, probably a fanciful coinage based on Marlene or Charlene, or both. It became famous in the 1950s as the name of the American actress and beauty columnist Arlene Dahl (b. 1924).
English, Dutch, and Jewish: variant of Samson. The -p- was introduced in the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Shimshon. The English surname has also long been established in Ireland. In North America, this name has absorbed other European cognates, for example Greek Sampsonakis, Sampsonides.