This Is Why Smith Is Such A Common Surname

It’s a fact of history that all civilizations needed smiths to work metals and other materials in order to create the necessary artifacts of daily life. So it shouldn’t be surprising that as common as “Smith” is in the English language, it has many parallel names in other languages and cultures. While these names aren’t always obviously related to Smith, their popularity in their native countries is due to the same reason: The smiths were very important workers that could be found in almost any settlement, and there were a lot of them.

As noted by Big Think, this includes Belgium, where a popular surname is Desmet or De Smet, which translates to “the smith,” the French Lefevre or Lefebvre, which means “blacksmith,” and even the Slovenian Kovačič, which means “smith” and is the third most common surname in Slovenia. There are also forms in Turkish (Demirci), Arabic (Hadad), and Gaelic (McGowan, which is the Anglicized form of Mac Gobhann or Mac Ghabhann, both of which mean “son of the smith”).

And there are the more obvious variations, like the German forms Schmidt (also a common surname among Jewish people), Schmitt, Schmitz, and Schmid, as well as the Flemish version Smit, according to Ancestry.

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