What's in a name (Smith)

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 27th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2eqpzy87/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Languages

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

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.

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Tags

Coppersmith, English Grammar, English Language And Literature, English Names, English Terms, Gold-Smith, Name, Origin, Silversmith, Smith, Surname, United Kingdom

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author avatar johnnydod
Freelance writer, Musician, Ecologist, Realist
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“Writers write while dreamers procrastinate”
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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Nov 2011 (#)

Yes I will be interested to read on how I became "Brown" lol!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Nov 2011 (#)

Yes I will be interested to read on how I became "Brown" lol!

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author avatar Retired
6th Nov 2011 (#)

Lol! That was MAJOR fun to read! Mark's comment added a comedic punch too.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
7th Nov 2011 (#)

Very interesting. Who's that kid in the picture next to the star?

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author avatar johnnydod
7th Nov 2011 (#)

lol That little boy is me some while back steve hahaha

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author avatar rama devi nina
7th Nov 2011 (#)

Interesting and entertaining. ;-) bravo on your star.

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author avatar LOVERME
7th Nov 2011 (#)

lovely

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author avatar Delicia Powers
7th Nov 2011 (#)

A rose of a name and article... very fun, yet informative...thanks johnnydod:0)

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author avatar Buzz
7th Nov 2011 (#)

The Brits have many descriptive names that spilled into America and other colonies. One can spell doom to having a funny English name like "Gosling".:)

They have counterparts, too, in Latin or Spanish, like "Curtis" and "Cortez"...ha, ha.

Thanks, Johnny.

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author avatar johnnydod
7th Nov 2011 (#)

Nice to see your import Buzz

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author avatar Sam Bralley
7th Nov 2011 (#)

and those musicians known as 'AeroSmith'-- congrats on the star...

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author avatar johnnydod
7th Nov 2011 (#)

I missed that one Sam

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
7th Nov 2011 (#)

Zyskowski is the last name in the White Pages phone book. When he had someone after his name and they got "knocked off" Zyskowski had many, many calls asking him how he felt about it. Just a useless piece of information which amuses me.

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author avatar johnnydod
7th Nov 2011 (#)

Interesting Ivy

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author avatar Bridgitte Williams
8th Nov 2011 (#)

LOL, loved this, great photos with! :-) Williams is a common name too, here in the USA. Thanks for your insight and info, enjoyed.

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author avatar johnnydod
8th Nov 2011 (#)

I have more of these articles in the can Ivy

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author avatar Shashi Mehta
8th Nov 2011 (#)

Nice to know the story behind the name -- smith

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author avatar johnnydod
8th Nov 2011 (#)

Thanks Shashi

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author avatar Songbird B
19th Nov 2011 (#)

Really fascinating and insightful article Johnny..A great Star page...

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author avatar johnnydod
19th Nov 2011 (#)

Cheers Bev

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