Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

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Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained

Almost all of the chemical symbols for elements when you look at the table that is periodic sense; you will find a little selection, nonetheless, 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 title for salt carbonate). Its initial supply will be the Arabic work ‘natrun’. Lots of contemporary languages nevertheless call the element natrium rather than salt, also 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 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 sign Fe; it simply means ‘iron’ or ‘sword’, and it is possibly of Semitic origin. The element is well known by many 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 known as after places, but copper’s title is more subdued 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 centuries that are famous because of its copper reserves. The name had been ultimately 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 thought to derive initially from a language that is indo-european 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 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 temperature that is low. There’s also speculation it can be based on the Cornish ‘stean’ as a result of Cornwall’s tin that is famous, though likewise, other people declare that this term is just produced from the Latin.

Antimony – Stibium (Sb)

The Latin ‘stibium’ derives through the Greek word ‘stíbi’, meaning attention paint, discussing the usage of antimony substances being an old eye cosmetic. This term is with in turn likely produced from Arabic or Egyptian. Few nations relate to antimony as stibium today, despite its icon.

Tungsten – Wolfram (W)

Wolfram ended up being known as following the mineral it absolutely was present in, wolframite. That 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 – significantly apt, since it’s the 7th densest element within the periodic dining 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 was ‘quicksilver’. Alchemists considered that it is near to silver, and due to this they known as it Mercury, following the earth closest to your Sun. A number 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’, likely originally derives from a language pre-dating Ancient Greek. This Latin name normally the foundation for the English words ‘plumbing’ and ‘plumber’, as a result of the historic utilization of lead in water pipelines.

References & Further Reading