Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

All of the chemical symbols for elements within the table that is periodic sense; you will find a little selection, nevertheless, that seem to bear no regards 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 title for salt carbonate). Its original supply may very well be the Arabic work ‘natrun’. Lots of modern languages nevertheless call the element natrium in place of salt, also it’s this title that its chemical expression, Na, 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 remaining whenever plant product is burned). Much like sodium, a quantity of contemporary languages nevertheless relate to potassium as kalium, and also the title lends the element its chemical icon, K.

Iron – Ferrum (Fe)

Iron’s Latin title, ‘ferrum’, provides it its sign 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 names that are different it. There’s an inventory of 213 of these right right right here.

Copper – Cuprum (Cu)

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

Silver – Argentum (Ag)

The Latin title for silver, ‘argentum’, is thought to derive initially from a language that is indo-european most most most likely referring to your 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 having a chemical element, as opposed to the other means around.

Tin – Stannum (Sn)

Tin’s Latin title, ‘stannum’, might be produced from the Indo-European ‘stag’ (dripping) because tin melts at a reduced heat. There’s also speculation it may be produced by the Cornish ‘stean’ because of Cornwall’s tin that is famous, though likewise, other people declare that this word 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 a historical eye cosmetic. This term is in turn likely based on Arabic or Egyptian. Few nations relate to antimony as stibium today, despite its expression.

Tungsten Wolfram that is)

Wolfram ended up being called following the mineral it absolutely was present in, wolframite. This really is from the‘wolf that is german, or ‘wolf’s foam’, talking about the quantity of tin ‘eaten’ by the steel during its removal. Wolfram continues to be utilized in a few languages. Tungsten is from Swedish, and means hefty rock – notably apt, since it’s the 7th densest element into the regular table.

Gold – 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 name 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 due to this they called it Mercury, following the earth closest towards the Sun. A number of the other metals understood since antiquity received 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 origin regarding the English words that is‘plumbing ‘plumber’, as a result of the historic utilization of lead in water pipelines.

References & Further Reading

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