What's in a name (Smith)
Smith is such an ordinary name isn't it? well read on to find out just how much an impact this Common name has made on the world.
- Common name
- Smith is a worker
- But why Black?
- Not just people but many places as well.
- If you want to keep yourself anonymous
- We need you
What’s in a name? lets take Smith for example, its an old English family name, in fact, its the most common surname in the United Kingdom, as well as Australia and the United States
Its also the second most common name in Canada.
Smith is a worker
The name derives from smið or smiþ, the Old English term meaning one who works in metal, but nowadays its more recognized as a worker, as in shoe-smith, someone who works with shoes, Gold-smith, Copper and Silversmith are self explanatory likewise Metal-smith, there are others including Gunsmith, locksmith and so on. People who worked with tin was a Tin-smith, there’s also a White-smith, a Wheel-smith and Green-smith, (These were those who worked with copper after it oxidised) the name Six-smith has nothing to do with six smiths but it is deviation of a sickle or scythe-smith.
But why Black?
But I got to thinking how come a person who makes objects from wrought iron or steel is called a Blacksmith? And no,a Blacksmith its not a man who shoes horses, he’s called a farrier.
So why Black? It appears its because he smites (hence Smith) Iron (Black metal) this is the colour metal goes when its heated, so there you have it a Blacksmith is someone who Smites black metal.
There’s a mountain called Smith as well as a Volcano, a fort and a chart, a trick in skateboarding is call a “Smith Grind” and part of weight training equipment is called a Smith Machine.
Not just people but many places as well.
It goes on, there is a Smith Center, a County, a Tower, a river, a Collage even a Valley can all be found in America, one of the craters on the moon has the name smith , In Britain one of the biggest and most well known book shops is W.H.Smith and Smiths Crisps have been nibbled for many years.
The oldest record of the name dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, in those days, inherited names were still virtually unknown, in 975 Ecceard Smith was recorded in County Durham, North East England.
If you want to keep yourself anonymous
The name is so common that people who wish to remain anonymous will call themselves Smith, an Englishman is often referred to as John Smith, John was at one time the most common given name in England which is where the name originates.
Germanic, Romance, Celtic and Slavic languages all have there own variation of the name Smith. In my next "What's in a name" I will be looking at colours and how we came to be called after them.