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What’s in a name?

let's 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.


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 Blacksmith?

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.

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.

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