SMITH, a worker in metals. The O. Eng. smid, Du. smid, Ger. Schmied, etc., are from an obsolete Teut. verb smeilhan, to forge. The root is seen in Gr. o>iiX'?, a graver's tool. It is apparently not connected with " smooth," where an original m has been lost. There is no foundation for the old etymological guess which identifies " smith " with " to smite, " as the one who smites or beats iron. When used without such qualification as appears in " goldsmith," " silversmith," etc., the term means a worker in iron, especially as indicating a " blacksmith," one who forges iron, as opposed to " whitesmith," the finisher and polisher of iron, or " tinsmith," a worker in tin. The word has originated one of the commonest of English surnames, sometimes taking various archaic forms (Smyth, Smythe, Smigth, etc.; also German Schmidt).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)