Solutions manuals and the Numerari scientific calculator from KnowledgeDoor Learn more about our solutions manuals Learn more about Numerari

Origin of Element Name

Click button to see citations

Element

Origin

Description

Actinium

aktinos

property—Greek for ray

Aluminum

alumen

mineral—Latin for alum

Americium

America

place

Antimony

anti monos

property—Greek for not alone

Argon

argos

property—Greek for idle or inactive

Arsenic

arsenikon

mineral—Greek for yellow orpiment

Astatine

astatos

property—Greek for unstable

Barium

barys

property—Greek for heavy

Berkelium

Berkeley

place—City in California that is the home of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Beryllium

beryllos

mineral—Greek for beryl

Bismuth

bisemutum

word—German

Bohrium

Niels Bohr

person—Danish physicist who won the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physics

Boron

bauraq

mineral—Arabic for borax

Bromine

bromos

property—Greek for stink or stench

Cadmium

cadmia

mineral—Latin for calamine

Calcium

calx

mineral—Latin for lime or chalk

Californium

California

place—U.S. state

Carbon

carbo

mineral—Latin for coal or charcoal

Cerium

Ceres

celestial body—Asteroid

Cesium

caesius

color—Latin for sky blue or bluish gray

Chlorine

khloros

color—Greek for yellow green

Chromium

khroma

color—Greek for color

Cobalt

kobold

mythical—German for subterranean gnome or evil sprite

Copernicium

Nicolaus Copernicus

person—Polish scientist and astronomer who proposed that the Earth and the other planets circle the Sun

Copper

Cuprum

place—Latin for Cyprus

Curium

Pierre and Marie Curie

people—Pierre was a French physicist and Marie was a Polish-born French chemist and physicist. They both shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with Antoine Henri Becquerel. (Marie Curie also received the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.)

Darmstadtium

Darmstadt

place—German city that is the home of Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung mbH (GSI)

Dubnium

Dubna

place—Russian city that is the home of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR)

Dysprosium

dysprositos

property—Greek for hard or difficult to obtain

Einsteinium

Albert Einstein

person—German-born American physicist who won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics

Erbium

Ytterby

place—A city in Sweden

Europium

Europe

place

Fermium

Enrico Fermi

person—Italian-born American physicist who won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics

Flerovium

Flerov

place—Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions

Fluorine

fluere

property—Latin for to flow

Francium

France

place

Gadolinium

Johan Gadolin

person—Finnish chemist

Gallium

Gallia

place—Latin for France

Germanium

Germania

place—Latin for Germany

Gold

gold

word—Anglo-Saxon

Hafnium

hafnia

place—Latin for Copenhagen

Hassium

Hesse

place—German state

Helium

Helios

celestial body—Greek for Sun

Holmium

holmia

place—Latin for Stockholm

Hydrogen

hydros gen

property—Greek for water producing

Indium

indicum

color—Latin for violet or indigo

Iodine

ioeides

color—Greek for violet colored

Iridium

iris

color—Latin for rainbow

Iron

iren

word—Anglo-Saxon

Krypton

kryptos

property—Greek for hidden

Lanthanum

lanthanein

property—Greek for to lie hidden

Lawrencium

Ernest O. Lawrence

person—American physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics

Lead

lead

word—Anglo-Saxon

Lithium

lithos

mineral—Greek for stone

Livermorium

Livermore

place—Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lutetium

lutetia

place—Latin for Paris

Magnesium

Magnesia,

place—A district in Thessaly, Greece

Manganese

magnes

property—Latin for magnet

Meitnerium

Lise Meitner

person—Austrian-born Swedish physicist who was first to suggest that radioactive atoms could undergo nuclear fission

Mendelevium

Dmitrii I. Mendeleev

person—Russian chemist who first devised and published the periodic table

Mercury

Mercury

celestial body—planet

Molybdenum

molybdos

mineral—Greek for lead

Neodymium

neos didymos

word—Greek for new twin

Neon

neos

word—Greek for new

Neptunium

Neptune

celestial body—Planet

Nickel

kupfernickel

mineral—German for St. Nicholas's Copper or the Devil's Copper

Niobium

Niobe

mythical—Daughter of king Tantalus in Greek Mythology

Nitrogen

niter gen

property—Greek for saltpeter producing

Nobelium

Alfred Nobel

person—Swedish chemist and engineer who established the Nobel Prizes

Osmium

osme

property—Greek for odor or smell

Oxygen

oksys gen

property—Greek for acidic producing

Palladium

Pallas

celestial body—Asteroid

Phosphorus

phos phero

property—Greek for light bearing

Platinum

platina

color—Spanish for little silver

Plutonium

Pluto

celestial body—Planet (In 2006 Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet.)

Polonium

Poland

place

Potassium

potash

mineral—English

Praseodymium

prasios didymos

color—Greek for green twin

Promethium

Prometheus

mythical—He stole fire from the gods in Greek mythology

Protactinium

protos

property—Greek for first

Radium

radius

property—Latin for ray

Radon

radium

word

Rhenium

rhenus

place—Latin name for the Rhine

Rhodium

rhodon

color—Greek for rose or rose colored

Roentgenium

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen

person—German physicist who won the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901

Rubidium

rubidus

color—Latin for dark red or deepest red

Ruthenium

Ruthenia

place—Latin for Russia

Rutherfordium

Ernest Rutherford

person—New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist who won the 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Samarium

samarskite

mineral

Scandium

Scandia

place—Latin for Scandinavia

Seaborgium

Glen T. Seaborg

person—American chemist who shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Edwin Mattison McMillan

Selenium

Selene

celestial body—Greek for Moon

Silicon

silex

mineral—Latin for flint or hard stone

Silver

seolfor, siolfur

word—Anglo-Saxon for silver

Sodium

sodanum

word—Medieval Latin for a headache remedy

Strontium

Strontian

place—A city in Scotland

Sulfur

sulvere

word—Sanskrit for sulphur

Tantalum

Tantalus

mythical—Latin name for the King of Lydia in Greek mythology

Technetium

tekhnetos

property—Greek for artificial

Tellurium

tellus

celestial body—Latin for Earth

Terbium

Ytterby

place—A city in Sweden

Thallium

thallos

color—Greek for green twig

Thorium

Thor

mythical—The god of war in Norse (or Scandinavian) mythololgy

Thulium

Thule

place—Ancient name for Scandinavia

Tin

tin

word—Anglo-Saxon

Titanium

titans

mythical—Sons of the Earth goddess

Tungsten

tung sten

mineral—Swedish for heavy stone

Ununoctium

118

number—Systematic name

Ununpentium

115

number—Systematic name

Ununseptium

117

number—Systematic name

Ununtrium

113

number—Systematic name

Uranium

Uranus

celestial body—Planet

Vanadium

Vanadis

mythical—The goddess of beauty in Norse (or Scandinavian) mythology

Xenon

xenos

property—Greek for strange or stranger

Ytterbium

Ytterby

place—A city in Sweden

Yttrium

Ytterby

place—A city in Sweden

Zinc

zinke

word—German

Zirconium

zargun

color—Arabic for gold colored

References    (Click the button next to a value above to see complete citation information for that entry)

Ball, David W. "Elemental Etymology: What's in a Name?" Journal of Chemical Education, volume 62, number 9, 1985, pp. 787–788. doi:10.1021/ed062p787

Chatt, J. "Recommendations for the Naming of Elements of Atomic Numbers Greater Than 100." Pure and Applied Chemistry, volume 51, number 2, 1979, pp. 381–384. doi:10.1351/pac197951020381

Corish, J., and G. M. Rosenblatt. "Name and Symbol of the Element with Atomic Number 111 (IUPAC Recommendations 2004)." Pure and Applied Chemistry, volume 76, number 12, 2004, pp. 2101–2103. doi:10.1351/pac200476122101

Corish, J., and G. M. Rosenblatt. "Name and Symbol of the Element with Atomic Number 110 (IUPAC Recommendations 2003)." Pure and Applied Chemistry, volume 75, number 10, 2003, pp. 1613–1615. doi:10.1351/pac200375101613

de Podesta, Michael. Understanding the Properties of Matter, 2nd edition. London: Taylor & Francis, 2002.

Emsley, John. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Fernelius, W. C., Kurt Loening, and Roy M. Adams. "Names of Groups and Elements." Journal of Chemical Education, volume 48, number 11, 1971, pp. 730–731. doi:10.1021/ed048p730

Ghiorso, A., B. G. Harvey, G. R. Choppin, S. G. Thompson, and G. T. Seaborg. "New Element Mendelevium, Atomic Number 101." Physical Review, volume 98, number 5, 1955, pp. 1518–1519. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.98.1518

Ghiorso, A., S. G. Thompson, G. H. Higgins, G. T. Seaborg, M. H. Studier, P. R. Fields, S. M. Fried, H. Diamond, J. F. Mech, G. L. Pyle, J. R. Huizenga, A. Hirsch, W. M. Manning, C. I. Browne, H. L. Smith, and R. W. Spence. "New Elements Einsteinium and Fermium, Atomic Numbers 99 and 100." Physical Review, volume 99, number 3, 1955, pp. 1048–1049. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.99.1048

Ghiorso, Albert, Torbjørn Sikkeland, Almon E. Larsh, and Robert M. Latimer. "New Element, Lawrencium, Atomic Number 103." Physical Review Letters, volume 6, number 9, 1961, pp. 473–475. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.6.473

GSI. Element 112 shall be named copernicium. http://www.gsi.de/portrait/Pressemeldungen/14072009_e.html. Accessed on May 6, 2010.

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1969.

Hoffman, Darleane C., Albert Ghiorso, and Glenn T. Seaborg. The Transuranium People: The Inside Story. London, England: Imperial College Press, 2000.

IUPAC. Element 114 is Named Flerovium and Element 116 is Named Livermorium. http://www.iupac.org/news/news-detail/article/element-114-is-named-flerovium-and-element-116-is-named-livermorium.html. Accessed on June 13, 2012.

IUPAC. Start of the Name Approval Process for the Elements of Atomic Number 114 and 116. http://www.iupac.org/news/news-detail/article/start-of-the-name-approval-process-for-the-elements-of-atomic-number-114-and-116.html. Accessed on June 13, 2012.

Jensen, William B. "Why Helium Ends in “-ium”." Journal of Chemical Education, volume 81, number 7, 2004, p. 944. doi:10.1021/ed081p944

Rayner-Canham, Geoff, and Zheng Zheng. "Naming Elements after Scientists: an Account of a Controversy." Foundations of Chemistry, volume 10, number 1, 2008, pp. 13–18. doi:10.1007/s10698-007-9042-1

Ringnes, Vivi. "Origin of the Names of Chemical Elements." Journal of Chemical Education, volume 66, number 9, 1989, pp. 731–738. doi:10.1021/ed066p731

Seaborg, Glenn T., and Walter D. Loveland. The Elements Beyond Uranium. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990.

Soukhanov, Anne H., editor. The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language, 3rd edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992.

Tatsumi, Kazuyuki, and John Corish. "Name and Symbol of the Element with Atomic Number 112 (IUPAC Recommendations 2010)." Pure and Applied Chemistry, volume 82, number 3, 2010, pp. 753–755. doi:10.1351/PAC-REC-09-08-20

Tennant, Smithson. "On Two Metals, Found in the Black Powder Remaining after the Solution of Platina." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, volume 94, 1804, pp. 411–418. doi:10.1098/rstl.1804.0018

Wagner, H. J. "Some Footnotes on the History of Masurium." Journal of Chemical Education, volume 82, number 9, 2005, p. 1309. doi:10.1021/ed082p1309

Weeks, Mary Elvira, and Henry M. Leicester. Discovery of the Elements, 7th edition. Easton, PA: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968.