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Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

A lot of the chemical symbols for elements within the regular dining table make sense; you will find a little selection, nonetheless, that seem to bear no regards to their element’s title. Following the regular table of refused element names a couple of days ago, questions regarding these elements arrived up, so right here’s a review of their confusing symbols, combined with the reasons for them.

Sodium – Natrium (Na)

Sodium’s Latin name, ‘natrium’, derives through the Greek ‘nítron’ (a true title for salt carbonate). Its initial supply will be the work ‘natrun’ that is arabic. Lots of contemporary languages still call the element natrium in place of sodium, also it’s this title that its symbol that is chemical, originates from.

Potassium – Kalium (K)

‘Kalium’ is potassium’s Latin name, and derives from the Arabic ‘al qal ī y’, meaning “calcined ashes” (the ashes remaining 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 title, ‘ferrum’, provides it its expression Fe; it simply means ‘iron’ or ‘sword’, and it is possibly of Semitic origin. The element is famous by an array of 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 these right right here.

Copper – Cuprum (Cu)

There’s no shortage of elements known as after places, but copper’s title is much more slight than many. Copper’s Latin title had been ‘cyprium’, which it self originates from ‘kypros’, the Greek title for Cyprus. The area of Cyprus ended up being famous hundreds of years ago for the copper reserves. The name ended up being sooner or later simplified to ‘cuprum’, and also this sooner or later morphed to the English variation, copper.

Silver – Argentum (Ag)

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

Tin – Stannum (Sn)

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

Antimony – Stibium (Sb)

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

Tungsten Wolfram that is)

Wolfram ended up being called following the mineral it had been present in, wolframite. This really is from the‘wolf that is german, or ‘wolf’s foam’, talking about the quantity of tin ‘eaten’ because of the steel during its removal. Wolfram continues to be utilized in a few languages. Tungsten is from Swedish, and means hefty rock – notably apt, because it’s the 7th element that is densest into 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 number of 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 offer ‘hydrargyrum’. The English that is original name the element ended up being ‘quicksilver’. Alchemists considered that it is near to silver, and due to this they called it Mercury, following the earth closest towards the Sun. A few of the other metals understood since antiquity got names corresponding towards the planets, too, but Mercury’s is the only person that’s stuck.

Lead – Plumbum

Lead’s Latin title, ‘plumbum’, most most most likely originally derives from a language pre-dating Ancient Greek. This Latin name normally the foundation regarding the English words that is‘plumbing ‘plumber’, as a result of historic usage of lead in water pipelines.

References & Further Reading

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