From an Old French personal name of Germanic (Frankish) origin, derived from wald ‘rule’ + heri, hari ‘army’. This was adopted by the Normans and introduced by them to England, superseding the native Old English form, Wealdhere. It was a very popular name in medieval England, normally pronounced ‘Water’.
English: habitational name from Smethwick in the West Midlands, or a lost Smithwick in the parish of Southover, Sussex (last recorded in 1608). Smethwick is named with the genitive plural of Old English smiþ ‘smith’ + wīc (see Wick). The surname has been established in southern Ireland since the 17th century.