From Old Norse smali (“livestock”). In the sense “herdsman” (attested since the 17th century) the word is a shortening of smalamaður (“herdsman”), which is derived from this word in the sense “livestock”. The sense “assembler” is derived from the “herdsman” sense, being a poetic translation of English assembler. Ultimately derived from the adjective smalr (“small”), from Proto-Germanic *smalaz, referring originally to smaller livestock, such as sheep and goats. Compare German Schmalvieh (“small livestock”).
- (obsolete, collective) livestock
- herder, herdsman
- (figuratively) someone who gathers people for an event, such as voting
- (computing) assembler (compiler for assembly language)
- ^ “smali” in Ritmálssafn Orðabókar Háskólans. Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- ^ “smali“ in Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog. University of Copenhagen. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- ^ “smali” in: Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon — Íslensk orðsifjabók, 1st edition, 2nd printing (1989). Reykjavík, Orðabók Háskólans.
- Icelandic: smali
- Faroese: smali, smala
- Norwegian: smale
- Swedish: smale (“sheep or goats”) (dialectal, collective), smala (“sheep”) (dialectal, countable)