by 1979 (when toys were launched for the English language market by the Wallace Berrie company). The comic characters by Belgian artist Peyo first appeared in 1958 as Les Schtroumpfs. The name, and the language of the Schtroumpfs, were said to have developed after Peyo momentarily forgot the word for "salt-shaker," and said schtroumpf (a nonsense word), and from there he and his friend began jokingly replacing words with schtroumpf. Most languages seem to invent their own words for the creatures of the comics, but the Dutch translation Smurf was carried on into English.
updated on January 23, 2021