Word Dissection: Chemistry

Although some words in chemistry are obvious at a glance as to why they are what they are e.g. hydrocarbons are called hydrocarbons because they contain simply carbon and hydrogen, where do we get the chemical words with a less obvious meaning from?

 

Monomer: the simplest repaet unit.      

Mono means one and the Greek meros means part.

 

Atmosphere: The gases surrouding a planet.

From the Greek where Atmos, meaning Steam/vapor, and spharia meaning spherical.

 

Aldehyde: an oxidised primary alcohol, it contains the -CHO group.

Abbreviation of modern Latin name alcohol dehydrogenatum.

 

Ester: the product of the reaction between carboxylic acids and alcohols.

Possibly an abbreviation of the german word Essigäther (ethyl acetate), where Essig means vinegar and Äther means ether.

 

Titration: a method of chemical analysis

From the french titrer meaning title or standard.

 

Alkali: a water-soluble base

From the Arabic al-qaliy meaning ashes

 

Elements: the different types of atom

From the latin elementum which means a matter in its most basic form           .

 

Equation: a formula which equates the reactants in a reaction with the products.

From the latin aequationem which means a community or equal distribution.

 

Oxygen:

A combination of the greek oxys, meaning sharp or acid, and genes, meaning formation or creation. French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier invented the name oxygène as at the time it was thought that oxygen was vital when it came to forming acids.

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