Quiz about Chemicals Origins Of Names
Quiz about Chemicals Origins Of Names

Chemicals: Origins Of Names Trivia Quiz


Chemical elements and compounds often have 'meaningful' names such as hydrogen (begetter of water). Other names refer to celebrities, countries, regions, or even universities. See if you can identify where these are from.

A multiple-choice quiz by flem-ish. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
flem-ish
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
73,397
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
12130
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 195 (5/10), Guest 104 (5/10), Guest 66 (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The discoverer of gallium (Ga) gave that element the name of his own 'home-area'. Which one was that? Hint

Wales
Galicia
France
Cornwall

2. Bromine got its name from the Greek word bromos. What does it mean? Hint

strong
brown
broomstick
stench

3. Nickel got its name after a German word for a mischievous demon who was supposed to have created a "false copper ore". Which of these was also named after a German word for a gnome or evil spirit of the mines? Hint

ferrum
aluminium
manganese
cobalt

4. Chromium (Cr) literally means 'coloured element'. The name of rubidium (Rb), which was discovered by the inventor of the Bunsen burner, Robert W. Bunsen, also refers to colour. What colour? Hint

yellow
red
green
blue

5. Chemistry is a much more colourful subject than people might think. Chlorine is also related to a colour word. What colour? Hint

dark blue
yellowish green
scarlet red
deep purple

6. Names based on countries or continents are frequent, such as europium or polonium. Mythological names also pop up in chemical terms. What is the name "ammonia" derived from? Hint

stuff that is produced by the Greek goddess Ammonia (aka Hera)
salt from Ammon
stuff produced by the Egyptian god Amon
"a- mon"substance without any moondust

7. Which of these elements got its name from the Greek for 'hidden'? Hint

vanadium
krypton
strontium
selenium

8. Lithium is related to Greek lithos , and means which of these? Hint

stone
litter
bed
brimstone

9. A chemical element whose name refers to 'heaviness' was discovered in 1781 by Karl W. Scheele. He gave it a Scandinavian name and called the newly found element 'heavy stone'. What is the name of this element?

Answer: (Eight letters in all, the last 4 of which mean stone in Scandinavian)
10. This chemical element is indicated with the letter K, from Latin kalium, but is usually referred to by which nine-letter long name?

Answer: (You need a double s to spell the name correctly.)

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The discoverer of gallium (Ga) gave that element the name of his own 'home-area'. Which one was that?

Answer: France

Paul Emile Lecoq was a Frenchman. His name itself indirectly refers to France as the cock ('gallus' (in Latin)) is the national symbol. Another French chemical element is francium(Fr). There is also a lutetium (Lu) after Lutetia (= Paris). Other examples are Germanium (Ge) and Rhenium (Re). From Magnesia, a district in Thessaly, came two names of elements: Magnesium (Mg) and Manganese (Mn). Elements 97 (berkelium) and 98 (californium) are as recent as 1949 and 1950 and were synthesized at, and named after, the University of California.
2. Bromine got its name from the Greek word bromos. What does it mean?

Answer: stench

Arsenic (As) got its name from the Greek arsenikhos, which means 'strong'. Bromos means 'strong smelling', so stench is the correct answer.
3. Nickel got its name after a German word for a mischievous demon who was supposed to have created a "false copper ore". Which of these was also named after a German word for a gnome or evil spirit of the mines?

Answer: cobalt

Alumen is Latin for bitter salt. Ferrum is iron in Latin. Cobalt is from the German kobold. The history behind the word nickel is more complicated. Its German discoverer was looking for copper and disappointedly called the ore he had found kupfernickel, or copperdevil. Nickel is originally a derivation of the German Nicholaus. Just as the English "Old Nick", German Nickel, a diminutive of Nick, became a name for a devil, demon, or similar bad spirit.
Middle Dutch has a similar word for the devil: necker.
4. Chromium (Cr) literally means 'coloured element'. The name of rubidium (Rb), which was discovered by the inventor of the Bunsen burner, Robert W. Bunsen, also refers to colour. What colour?

Answer: red

As in ruby, the red-coloured precious stone, or in rubicund. Also found in rubric, meaning the heading of a division of a book, marked in red. The metal itself is silver/white, but the name was chosen based on the red lines seen in its emissions.
5. Chemistry is a much more colourful subject than people might think. Chlorine is also related to a colour word. What colour?

Answer: yellowish green

Chlorine might be called either greenish-yellow or yellowish-green. Fluorine(F) is not colour-related, but means 'flowing'.
6. Names based on countries or continents are frequent, such as europium or polonium. Mythological names also pop up in chemical terms. What is the name "ammonia" derived from?

Answer: salt from Ammon

Ammon is in Libya. Neither the Greek goddess Ammonia nor the Egyptian God Am(m)on is directly related to ammonia, although it was first discovered near the temple of Amon in Libya. Correct examples of derivations from gods or goddesses are thorium after the Norse god of thunder and uranium after Uranus.
7. Which of these elements got its name from the Greek for 'hidden'?

Answer: krypton

Just as helium refers to the sun (helios), selenium refers to the moon (Greek selene). Krypton can be found in words such as encrypt or cryptogram.

Lanthanum got its name from C.G. Mosander who, feeling that the element had long 'escaped notice', called it the 'hidden or latent one', from Greek lanthanein.
8. Lithium is related to Greek lithos , and means which of these?

Answer: stone

Carbonum, which is what diamonds consist of, means coal. A soft form of carbon is graphite: stone you can write on. Lithography means 'written in stone'. Brimstone is an altogether different type of stone and is called sulphur or sulfur in chemistry.
9. A chemical element whose name refers to 'heaviness' was discovered in 1781 by Karl W. Scheele. He gave it a Scandinavian name and called the newly found element 'heavy stone'. What is the name of this element?

Answer: Tungsten

Tungsten, also known as wolfram, has the highest melting point of any metal. It is used to harden steel. It can also be used a a filament in electric lights since it can be drawn into wire as thin as one-thousandth of an inch.
10. This chemical element is indicated with the letter K, from Latin kalium, but is usually referred to by which nine-letter long name?

Answer: potassium

Potash can most easily be obtained by calcination of glasswort or saltwort. Next to lithium, potassium is the lightest solid element. The name of potassium refers to how it was originally obtained, from ashes from vegetable matter burned in a pot.
Source: Author flem-ish

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