1560s, "one who shoes horses," from French ferrier "blacksmith," from Latin ferrarius "blacksmith," noun use of adjective meaning "of iron," from ferrum "iron" (in Medieval Latin, also "horseshoe"); see ferro-. An earlier form of it in English was ferrer, ferrour "ironsmith" (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French ferreor, from Medieval Latin ferrator "blacksmith."
"cant-hook having a strong spike at the end," used by lumbermen, 1878, said to be named for a John Peavey, blacksmith in Bolivar, N.Y., who supposedly invented it c. 1872. Other sources ascribe it to a Joseph Peavey of Stillwater, Maine, and give a date of 1858.
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" (source also of 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" (source also of Greek smile "knife, chisel").
Attested as a surname at least since c. 975. Other common surnames meaning "smith" in nearby languages include Ferraro (Italian), Haddad (Arabic), Kovács (Hungarian, a Slavic loan-word), Kowalski (Polish), Herrero (Spanish), Kuznets (Russian), MacGowan (Irish, "son of the blacksmith").
Old English wryhta, wrihta (Northumbrian wyrchta, Kentish werhta) "worker," variant of earlier wyhrta "maker," from wyrcan "to work" (see work (v.)). Now usually in combinations (wheelwright, playwright, etc.) or as a surname. A common West Germanic word; cognate with Old Saxon wurhito, Old Frisian wrichta, Old High German wurhto.
Smith was the general term for a worker in metals, and wright for one who worked in wood, and other materials. Hence, in the later English period, smith (which, in Anglo-Saxon, when used without any characteristic addition, was understood as applying more particularly to the worker in iron,) became the particular name of a blacksmith, and wright of a carpenter, as it is still in Scotland. [Thomas Wright, "Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies," 1884]