Elementymology & Elements Multidict
Zilver – Silber – Argent – Plata – 銀 – Серебро – 銀
Sulver Frisian (West)
Argint Romanian - Moldovan
SlavicСребро [Srebro] Bulgarian
Серабро [serabro] Belarusian
Сребро [Srebro] Macedonian
Серебро [Serebro] Russian
Сребро [Srebro] Serbian
Срібло [sriblo] Ukrainian
Airgead Gaelic (Irish)
Airgead Gaelic (Scottish)
Argid Gaelic (Manx)
Other Indo-EuropeanΑργυρος [argyros] Greek
Արծաթ [artsat'] Armenian
Æвзист [ævzist] Ossetian
Нуқра [Nukra] Tajik
Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryanরূপা [rūpā] Bengali
نقره [nqrh] Persian
ચાંદી [cā'dī] Gujarati
चाँदी [chā.ndī] Hindi
Эзысь [Èzys'] Komi
Ший [Šij] Mari
Сия [sija] Moksha
Кĕмĕл [Kĕmĕl] Chuvash
Күміс [kümis] Kazakh
Кумуш [Kumuš] Kyrgyz
Мөнгө [möngö] Mongolian
كۈمۈش [kümüş] Uyghur
Other (Europe)Zilarra Basque
ვერცხლი [verc'xli] Georgian
Afro-Asiaticفضة [fiDDah] Arabic
כסף [kesef] Hebrew
銀 [gin] Japanese
은 [eun] Korean
เงิน [ngoen] Thai
銀 [yin2 / ngan4] Chinese
Other Asiaticവെള്ളി [veḷḷi] Malayalam
வெள்ளி [veļļi] Tamil
North-AmericaIztāc teōcuitlatl Nahuatl
South-AmericaQullqi q'illay Quechua
CreoleSrivru Sranan Tongo
New namesSilveron Atomic Elements
History & Etymology
"And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." (Gen. 13:2)The Egyptians considered gold to be a perfect metal, and gave it the symbol of a circle. Since silver was the closest to gold in perfection, it was given the symbol of a semi-circle. Later this semi-circle led to a growing moon symbol, probably due to the likeness between the shining metal and the moon glow.
The noble metals, gold and silver, are found in the native state, and as is well known, gold and silver were used to make jewelry and sheet metal due to the great ductility and lustre of the pure metals. Its malleability and ductility make it ideal for ornamental purposes. It was also used for paying debts, in personal and religious places decoration and in utensils of the wealthiest houses.
Some mineral scums in old mines of the Near-East and in some islands of the Aegean sea seem to reveal that by 5000 b.C. a method was already known to separate silver from lead. Early gold and silver ornaments from the Indian subcontinent are found from Indus Valley sites such as Mohenjodaro (ca 3000 BC).
The monetary use of silver may well be as old as that of gold but the abundance of the native metal was probably far less, so that comparable supplies were not available until a method of winning the metal from its ores had been discovered. It appears, however, that by perhaps 3000 BC a form of cupellation was in operation in Asia Minor and its use gradually spread, so that silver coinage was of crucial economic importance to all subsequent classical Mediterranean civilizations.
In astrology alchemy the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity:
The long history of Silver is reflected in the many different words for this metal. See the list of names to the left and in the overview of Silver in over 100 languages (click here).
We can identify at least seven different roots.
The names in the Roman languages (except some on the Iberian peninsula), in the Celtic languages and in Albanian are derivations from the Latin.
It is the only element after which a country is named (Argentina > argentum).
SILVER, the proverbially bright metal,
(Argentum), is of a bright white colour
With brilliant lustre, not affected
By pure Aire. Silver Suboxide is black,
The Monoxide is brown. Silver is the best
Known conductor of Electricity
And Heat; 'tis extremely ductile; fine Silver wire
Of seventy-eight one-thousandth inch diameter
Will support one hundred and eighty pounds weight
Without breaking. Sulphur, if present in Air,
In time tarnishes Silver articles.
From Andis Kaulins, Indo-European Afro-Asiatic Words for Metals - Copper Lead Tin Iron Bronze Gold Amber: