The word "silver" appears in Anglo-Saxon in various spellings, such as seolfor and siolfor. A similar form is seen throughout the Germanic languages (compare Old High German silabar and silbir). The chemical symbol Ag is from the Latin word for "silver", argentum (compare Ancient Greek , rgyros), from the Proto-Indo-European root *her- (formerly reconstructed as *ar-), meaning "white" or "shining": this was the usual Proto-Indo-European word for the metal, whose reflexes are missing in Germanic and Balto-Slavic. The Balto-Slavic words for silver are quite similar to the Germanic ones (e.g. Russian [serebro], Polish srebro, Lithuanian sidabras) and they may have a common origin, although this is uncertain: some scholars have suggested the Akkadian sarpu "refined silver" as this origin, related to the word sarapu "to refine or smelt".
Silver is useful in the manufacture of chemical equipment on account of its low chemical reactivity, high thermal conductivity, and being easily workable. Silver crucibles (alloyed with 0.15% nickel to avoid recrystallisation of the metal at red heat) are used for carrying out alkaline fusion. Copper and silver are also used when doing chemistry with fluorine. Equipment made to work at high temperatures is often silver-plated. Silver and its alloys with gold are used as wire or ring seals for oxygen compressors and vacuum equipment.
The Smi are often known in other languages by the exonyms Lap, Lapp, or Laplanders. Some Sami regard these as pejorative terms, while others accept at least the name Lappland. Variants of the name Lapp were originally used in Sweden and Finland and, through Swedish, adopted by many major European languages: English: Lapps; German, Dutch: Lappen; French: Lapons; Greek: (Lpnes); Hungarian: lappok; Italian: Lapponi; Polish: Lapoczycy; Portuguese: Lapes; Spanish: Lapones; Romanian: laponi; Turkish: Lapon. In Russian the corresponding term is (lopari) and in Ukrainian (lopari).
The first probable historical mention of the Sami, naming them Fenni, was by Tacitus, about 98 A.D. Variants of Finn or Fenni were in wide use in ancient times, judging from the names Fenni and Phinnoi in classical Roman and Greek works. Finn (or variants, such as skridfinn, "striding Finn") was the name originally used by Norse speakers (and their proto-Norse speaking ancestors) to refer to the Sami, as attested in the Icelandic Eddas and Norse sagas (11th to 14th centuries). The etymology is somewhat uncertain, but the consensus seems to be that it is related to Old Norse finna, from proto-Germanic *finthanan ("to find"), the logic being that the Sami, as hunter-gatherers "found" their food, rather than grew it. As Old Norse gradually developed into the separate Scandinavian languages, Swedes apparently took to using Finn exclusively to refer to inhabitants of Finland, while Sami came to be called Lapps. In Norway, however, Sami were still called Finns at least until the modern era (reflected in toponyms like Finnmark, Finnsnes, Finnfjord and Finny) and some Northern Norwegians will still occasionally use Finn to refer to Sami people, although the Sami themselves now consider this to be a pejorative term. Finnish immigrants to Northern Norway in the 18th and 19th centuries were referred to as "Kvens" to distinguish them from the Sami "Finns". Ethnic Finns are a distinct group from Sami.
The word Lapp can be traced to Old Swedish lapper, Icelandic lappir (plural), probably of Finnish origin; compare Finnish lappalainen "Lapp", Lappi "Lapland" (possibly meaning "wilderness in the north"), the original meaning being unknown. It is unknown how the word Lapp came into the Norse language, but one of the first written mentions of the term is in the Gesta Danorum by 12th-century Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus, who referred to the two Lappias, although he still referred to the Sami as (Skrid-)Finns. In fact, Saxo never explicitly connects the Sami with the "two Laplands". The term "Lapp" was popularized and became the standard terminology by the work of Johannes Schefferus, Acta Lapponica (1673), but was also used earlier by Olaus Magnus in his Description of the Northern people (1555). There is another suggestion that it originally meant "wilds".
In Finland and Sweden, Lapp is common in place names, such as Lappi (Satakunta), Lappeenranta (South Karelia) and Lapinlahti (North Savo) in Finland; and Lapp (Stockholm County), Lappe (Sdermanland) and Lappabo (Smland) in Sweden. As already mentioned, Finn is a common element in Norwegian (particularly Northern Norwegian) place names, whereas Lapp is exceedingly rare.
In the North Smi language, lhppon olmmo means a person who is lost (from the verb lhppot, to get lost).
Smi refer to themselves as Smit (the Smis) or Spmela (of Smi kin), the word Smi being inflected into various grammatical forms. It has been proposed that Smi (presumably borrowed from the Proto-Finnic word), Hme (Finnish for Tavastia) ( Proto-Finnic *m, the second still being found in the archaic derivation Hmlinen), and perhaps Suomi (Finnish for Finland) ( *sme-/sma-, compare suomalainen, supposedly borrowed from a Proto-Germanic source *sma- from Proto-Baltic *sma-, in turn borrowed from Proto-Finnic *m) are of the same origin and ultimately borrowed from the Baltic word *m, meaning "land". The Baltic word is cognate with Slavic (zemlja), which also means "land". The Smi institutionsnotably the parliaments, radio and TV stations, theatres, etc.all use the term Smi, including when addressing outsiders in Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, or English. In Norwegian, the Smi are today referred to by the Norwegianized form same, whereas the word lapp would be considered archaic and pejorative. In northernmost Sweden, the word lapp is in use and not seen as derogatory or taboo.
Terminological issues in Finnish are somewhat different. Finns living in Finnish Lapland generally call themselves lappilainen, whereas the similar word for the Smi people is lappalainen. This can be confusing for foreign visitors because of the similar lives Finns and Smi people live today in Lapland. Lappalainen is also a common family name in Finland. As in the Scandinavian languages, lappalainen is often considered archaic or pejorative, and saamelainen is used instead, at least in official contexts.