This paper examines the Scandinavian terminology for ‘soot’ in connection with a number of Saami appellatives with a view to deciding which of them are native and which result from borrowing. Special attention is paid to the problem of adopting loanwords in Northern Europe, especially in the Scandinavian Peninsula. Two Proto-Germanic words denoting ‘soot’ are discussed from the morphological and etymological point of view. It is suggested that the West Germanic noun *hrōta- m./n. ‘soot’ is closely related to PG. *sōta- n. ‘soot’, which, in turn, is derived from the Proto-Indo-European verbal root *sed- ‘to sit’. The present authors intend to demonstrate that WG. *hrōta- derives from the Indo-European archetype *ku̯u-sōdo- ‘bad soot; thick layer of soot’, originally ‘what a soot!’. The original semantic distinction between PG. *sōta- and WG. *hrōta- seems to be preserved in the use of two independent Saamic loanwords, cf. Saa.N suohtti ‘soot (in the chimney)’ and ruohtti ‘big layer of soot’. The remaining Northern Saami words under analysis include čađđa ‘charcoal, soot’ (< Proto-Saamic *će̮δe̮ ‘carbon, charcoal, soot, grime’ < Ur. *ćüδ́i ‘coal, charcoal’), giehpa ‘soot’ (< PSaa. *kēpe̮ ‘id.’, probably a Proto-Baltic loanword) and gožu ~ gohčču- ‘soot, layer of soot, deposit of smoke or soot on things near a fireplace’ (< PSaa. *kočɔ̄j ‘soot’). Establishing the etymologies of this rich Saami terminology concerning ‘soot’ is significant to the gradual change of Saami lifestyle from a nomadic hunter-gatherer one towards a nonperipatetic community reliant on farming, animal husbandry and fishing.