Below is information and knowledge on the topic which element is not abbreviated based on an ancient name? gather and compiled by the show.vn team. Along with other related topics like: identify the chemical symbol of mercury., the chemical symbol “cl” with two capital letters is used to represent which element?, which of the following symbols does not represent an element?, Which is NOT a chemical symbol, the reason that atomic numbers are always integer values is because every element has:, The symbol Fe could refer to which of the following, which of the following are valid chemical symbols? select all that apply., identify the chemical symbol for the element tin..
ddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained
Most of the chemical symbols for elements in the periodic table make perfect sense; there are a small selection, however, that seem to bear no relation to their element’s name. After the periodic table of rejected element names 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.
Sodium – Natrium (Na)
Sodium’s Latin name, ‘natrium’, derives from the Greek ‘nítron’ (a name for sodium carbonate). Its original source is likely to be the Arabic work ‘natrun’. A number of modern languages still call the element natrium instead of sodium, and it’s this name that its chemical symbol, Na, comes from.
Potassium – Kalium (K)
‘Kalium’ is potassium’s Latin name, and derives from the Arabic ‘al qalīy’, meaning “calcined ashes” (the ashes left over when plant material is burned). As with sodium, a number of modern languages still refer to potassium as kalium, and the name lends the element its chemical symbol, K.
Iron – Ferrum (Fe)
Iron’s Latin name, ‘ferrum’, gives it its symbol Fe; it simply means ‘iron’ or ‘sword’, and is possibly of Semitic origin. The element is known by a myriad of various names in different languages, with some sources suggesting there are over 200 different names for it. There’s a list of 213 of them here.
Copper – Cuprum (Cu)
There’s no shortage of elements named after places, but copper’s name is more subtle than most. Copper’s Latin name was ‘cyprium’, which itself comes from ‘kypros’, the Greek name for Cyprus. The island of Cyprus was famous centuries ago for its copper reserves. The name was eventually simplified to ‘cuprum’, and this eventually morphed into the English version, copper.
Silver – Argentum (Ag)
The Latin name for silver, ‘argentum’, is thought to derive originally from an Indo-European language, likely referring to the metal’s shininess. The country Argentina is named after silver (albeit indirectly as reference to the Río de la Plata) and is the only country to be named after a chemical element, rather than the other way around.
Tin – Stannum (Sn)
Tin’s Latin name, ‘stannum’, may be derived from the Indo-European ‘stag’ (dripping) because tin melts at a low temperature. There’s also speculation it could be derived from the Cornish ‘stean’ due to Cornwall’s famous tin mines, though similarly, others claim that this word is merely derived from the Latin.
Antimony – Stibium (Sb)
The Latin ‘stibium’ derives from the Greek word ‘stíbi’, meaning eye paint, referring to the use of antimony compounds as an ancient eye cosmetic. This word is in turn likely derived from Arabic or Egyptian. Few countries refer to antimony as stibium today, despite its symbol.
Tungsten – Wolfram (W)
Wolfram was named after the mineral it was found in, wolframite. This is from the German ‘wolf rahm’, or ‘wolf’s foam’, referring to the amount of tin ‘eaten’ by the metal during its extraction. Wolfram is still used in several languages. Tungsten is from Swedish, and means heavy stone – somewhat apt, as it’s the seventh densest element in the periodic table.
Gold – Aurum (Au)
The Latin name for gold was ‘aurum’, meaning ‘yellow’, derived from the word ‘aurora’ (‘dawn’). The name ‘gold’, used in Germanic languages, means ‘yellow, shining metal’; many other European languages use derivatives of aurum.
Mercury – Hydrargyrum (Hg)
Mercury’s original Latin name was actually ‘argentum vivum’ (living silver), but Latin later borrowed from the Greek ‘hydrargyros’ (liquid silver) to give ‘hydrargyrum’. The original English name for the element was ‘quicksilver’. Alchemists considered it to be close to gold, and because of this they named it Mercury, after the planet closest to the Sun. Some of the other metals known since antiquity were given names corresponding to the planets, too, but Mercury’s is the only one that’s stuck.
Lead – Plumbum
Lead’s Latin name, ‘plumbum’, likely originally derives from a language pre-dating Ancient Greek. This Latin name is also the source of the English words ‘plumbing’ and ‘plumber’, due to the historic use of lead in water pipes.
Enjoyed this post & graphic? Consider supporting Compound Interest on Patreon, and get previews of upcoming posts & more!
The graphic in this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. See the site’s content usage guidelines.
References & Further Reading
- List of element name etymologies – Wikipedia
- Elementymology & elements multidict – P van der Krogt
Extra Information About which element is not abbreviated based on an ancient name? That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
Element Oddities: 11 Confusing Chemical Symbols Explained
Element Symbols List – Chemical Element Abbreviations
How are the abbreviations on the periodic table of elements …
Chemical symbol – Wikipedia
Why Do Some Elements Have Symbols That Aren't in Their …
Understanding Element Names and Symbols – Breaking Atom
Frequently Asked Questions About which element is not abbreviated based on an ancient name?
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic which element is not abbreviated based on an ancient name?, then this section may help you solve it.
What are the names of the three elements whose symbols don’t match?
Eleven elements are represented in the periodic table by letters that don’t correspond to their names:
- Sodium (Na ? Natrium)
- Potassium (K ? Kalium)
- Iron (Fe ? Ferrum)
- Copper (Cu ? Cuprum)
- Silver (Ag ? Argentum)
- Tin (Sn ? Stannum)
- Antimony (Sb ? Stibium)
- Tungsten (W ? Wolfram)
What is the short form for an element?
The abbreviation of an element’s chemical name serves as its symbol, so hydrogen is represented by the letter H and magnesium by the letter M.
Why do some elements have names and symbols that are different?
Other name-symbol mismatches resulted from researchers using Arabic, Greek, and Latin-language classical texts as well as from the practice of earlier “gentleman scientists” who used a combination of those two languages as “a common language for men of letters.” The Hg symbol for mercury, for instance,.
What elements do Fe, Na, Au, and Hg represent?
Eight of these peculiar substances are Au (gold), Ag (silver), Cu (copper), FE (iron), SN (tin), Pb (lead), Sb (antimony), and Hg (mercury). All of these substances were among the elements recognized by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and their abbreviations are based on a Latin or Greek term for the substance.
What components lack a long-term name?
Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, the most recent additions to the periodic table, are not listed here because their final names have not yet been chosen, despite the fact that many names have been proposed for them.
What was the term for lead in the past?
Lead and tin were not clearly distinguished until the sixteenth century, when lead was referred to as plumbum nigrum (black lead) and tin as plumbum candidum or album (bright lead). In fact, lead and tin were not clearly distinguished until the sixteenth century, when lead was referred to as plumbum nigrum (black lead) and tin as plumbum candidum or album (bright lead).
Which letter is the only one that doesn’t appear on the periodic table?
Did you know? Official element names do not contain the letter Q, but temporary element names such as ununquadium do.
Which symbol for an element doesn’t have any letters in its name?
The Letter Q However, no official element name begins with this letter, and there will be no Q on the periodic table once the last four elements on the current periodic table receive their official names.
What does the symbol Fe represent?
As a transition metal, iron, a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26, is a solid at room temperature.
What is the na symbol?
As an alkali metal, sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. At room temperature, sodium is a solid.
What is the CU symbol?
The chemical element copper has the atomic number 29 and the symbol Cu.
Why is AU gold referred to?
Because of its Latin name, aurum, gold was given the periodic table symbol Au. Gold is a pricey metal with a high boiling point that is used for money and/or jewelry.
Describe Zn and Cu.
The term “zinc?copper couple” refers to an alloy of zinc and copper that is used as a reagent in organic synthesis. The couple has also been widely used as a reagent in other reactions that call for activated zinc metal.