Posted by R. Berg on October 21, 2003
In Reply to: Smithereens posted by ESC on October 21, 2003
: : I submit that the word 'smithereens' refers to the sparks or slag-waste in a Smith's shop. Therefore, the phrase: "Blown to smithereenes" refers to that part after the blow, not worth keeping.
: Interesting. We have discussed this word some, but I can't find much in the archives.
The Oxford English Dictionary says that "smithereens" means atoms or fragments and is a variant of "smithers," which is "of obscure origin."