Old English smið "blacksmith, armorer, one who works in metal" (jewelers as well as blacksmiths), more broadly, "handicraftsman, practitioner of skilled manual arts" (also including carpenters), from Proto-Germanic *smithaz "skilled worker" (cf. Old Saxon smith, Old Norse smiðr, Danish smed, Old Frisian smith, Old High German smid, German Schmied, Gothic -smiþa, in aiza-smiþa "coppersmith"), from PIE root *smi- "to cut, work with a sharp instrument" (cf. Greek smile "knife, chisel"). Attested as a surname since at least c.975.
Old English smiðian "to forge, fabricate, design," from the source of smith (n.). Related: Smithed; smithing.
Smith (smĭth), Hamilton Othanel. Born 1931.
American microbiologist. He shared a 1978 Nobel Prize for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics.
American microbiologist who isolated bacterial enzymes that could split genetic DNA into fragments large enough to retain genetic information but small enough to permit chemical analysis. The existence of these compounds (called restriction enzymes) was earlier predicted by Werner Arber, and their discovery revolutionized genetic engineering. For this work Smith shared the 1978 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with Arber and Daniel Nathans.