Origin of surname Smrt

Discussion in 'Looking for Ancestors' started by John Bachtell, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. John Bachtell

    John Bachtell New Member

    Hi, My mother's paternal surname is Smrt. The name was changed during immigration to the U.S. to Smirt, and at least this branch settled in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Can anyone explain the origins of this surname? I understand the translation is death.


    John Bachtell
  2. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi John,

    The word smrt is a generic Czech word meaning "death". It can also mean "skeleton" in some contexts. The word can be used to refer to a thin or unhealthy looking person (vypad√° jako smrt - he looks deathly thin/unhealthy), and it can be the name of a character depicting death in a carnival procession or during Halloween etc. I found that there are currently 77 people in the Czech Republic with that last name and that the name is ranked 20,821 on the popularity chart. The female version of the name is Smrtov√°, which is probably what your mother's last name was before she emigrated.


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