The popular cartoon “The Smurfs” made its first appearance on October 23, 1958 as a Belgian comic strip series created by cartoonist Pierre Culliford (aka Peyo). The name “Smurf” and the accompanying language came during a meal Peyo was having with his colleague and friend André Franquin. Having momentarily forgotten the word “salt”, Peyo asked him (in French) to pass the schtroumpf. Franquin jokingly replied: “Here’s the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back…” and the two spent the rest of that weekend speaking in “schtroumpf language”. The name was later translated into Dutch as Smurf, which was adopted in English.
At the time, Culliford was the creator of the Franco-Belgian comics series titled Johan et Pirlouit which was set in Europe during the Middle Ages and included elements of sword-and-sorcery. In 1958, Spirou magazine published the story La Flûte à six trous (“The Flute with Six Holes”). In this story they met a tiny, blue-skinned humanoid creature in white clothing called a “Schtroumpf”, followed by his numerous peers who looked just like him. The characters proved to be a huge success and the rest, as they say, is history. (wiki, Spirou)