Element Oddities: 11 Chemical Symbols that is confusing Explained

Element Oddities: 11 Chemical Symbols that is confusing Explained

A lot of the chemical symbols for elements within the regular dining table make sense; you can find a tiny selection, nevertheless, that seem to bear no reference to their element’s title. A few days ago, questions about these elements came up, so here’s a look at their confusing symbols, along with the reasons behind them after the periodic table of rejected element names.

Sodium – Natrium (Na)

Sodium’s Latin name, ‘natrium’, derives through the Greek ‘nítron’ (a name for sodium carbonate). Its initial supply may very well be the Arabic work ‘natrun’. Lots of contemporary languages nevertheless call the element natrium in the place of salt, plus it’s this title that its symbol that is chemical, arises from.

Potassium – Kalium (K)

‘Kalium’ is potassium’s Latin name, and derives from the Arabic ‘al qal ī y’, meaning “calcined ashes” (the ashes left whenever plant product is burned). A number of modern languages still refer to potassium as kalium, and the name lends the element its chemical symbol, K as with sodium.

Iron – Ferrum (Fe)

Iron’s Latin name, ‘ferrum’, offers it its icon Fe; it simply means ‘iron’ or ‘sword’, and it is possibly of Semitic origin. The element is famous by many different names in various languages, with a few sources suggesting there are over 200 different names for it. There’s an inventory of 213 of those right right right here.

Copper – Cuprum (Cu)

There’s no shortage of elements called after places, but copper’s title is much more subdued than many. Copper’s Latin title had been ‘cyprium’, which itself arises from ‘kypros’, the Greek title for Cyprus. The area of Cyprus ended up being centuries that are famous for the copper reserves. The title ended up being fundamentally simplified to ‘cuprum’, and also this sooner or later morphed to the English version, copper.

Silver – Argentum (Ag)

The Latin title for silver, ‘argentum’, is thought to derive initially from A indo-european language, most likely referring into the metal’s shininess. The united states Argentina is termed after silver (albeit indirectly as mention of the Río de la Plata) and it is the country that is only be called after a tsdates chemical element, as opposed to the other means around.

Tin – Stannum (Sn)

Tin’s Latin title, ‘stannum’, could be based on the Indo-European ‘stag’ (dripping) because tin melts at the lowest heat. There’s also speculation it can be based on the Cornish ‘stean’ as a result of Cornwall’s famous tin mines, though likewise, other people declare that this term is simply based on the Latin.

Antimony – Stibium (Sb)

The Latin ‘stibium’ derives from the Greek word ‘stíbi’, meaning attention paint, talking about the utilization of antimony substances being an old eye cosmetic. This term is in turn likely based on Arabic or Egyptian. Few countries relate to antimony as stibium today, despite its sign.

Tungsten – Wolfram (W)

Wolfram ended up being called following the mineral it absolutely was present in, wolframite. This might be from the German ‘wolf rahm’, or ‘wolf’s foam’, talking about the actual quantity of tin ‘eaten’ because of the steel during its removal. Wolfram continues to be found in a few languages. Tungsten is from Swedish, and means hefty rock – significantly apt, because it’s the 7th densest element within the regular dining table.

Silver – Aurum (Au)

The Latin title for gold had been ‘aurum’, meaning ‘yellow’, derived through the word ‘aurora’ (‘dawn’). The name ‘gold’, used in Germanic languages, means ‘yellow, shining metal’; a great many other European languages utilize derivatives of aurum.

Mercury – Hydrargyrum (Hg)

Mercury’s initial Latin title was actually ‘argentum vivum’ (living silver), but Latin later borrowed through the Greek ‘hydrargyros’ (fluid silver) to provide ‘hydrargyrum’. The English that is original name the element ended up being ‘quicksilver’. Alchemists considered that it is near to silver, and as a result of this they called it Mercury, following the earth closest to your Sun. A number of the other metals understood since antiquity received names corresponding towards the planets, too, but Mercury’s is alone that’s stuck.

Lead – Plumbum

Lead’s Latin title, ‘plumbum’, most likely originally derives from a language Ancient that is pre-dating Greek. This Latin name normally the origin associated with English words that is‘plumbing ‘plumber’, because of the historic utilization of lead in water pipelines.

References & Further Reading

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