Elementymology & Elements Multidict
Zink – Zink – Zinc – Zinc – 亜鉛 – Цинк – 鋅
Sink Frisian (West)
Zinc Romanian - Moldovan
SlavicЦинк [Cink] Bulgarian
Цынк [cynk] Belarusian
Цинк [Cink] Macedonian
Цинк [Cink] Russian
Цинк [Cink] Serbian
Цинк [cynk] Ukrainian
Sinc Gaelic (Irish)
Sinc Gaelic (Scottish)
Shinc Gaelic (Manx)
Other Indo-EuropeanΨευdαργυρος [pseudargyros] Greek
Ցինկ [ts'ink] Armenian
Цинк [cink] Ossetian
Руҳ [Ruh] Tajik
Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryanজিঙ্ক [jiṅka] Bengali
روی [rwy] Persian
જસતનો [jasatano] Gujarati
जस्ता [jastā] Hindi
Цинк [Cink] Komi
Цинк [Cink] Mari
Цинка [cinka] Moksha
Цинк [Cink] Chuvash
Мырыш [myryš] Kazakh
-- [--] Kyrgyz
Цайр [cajr] Mongolian
سىنك [sink] Uyghur
Other (Europe)Zinka Basque
თუთია [t'ut'ia] Georgian
Afro-Asiaticخارصين [zink] Arabic
אבץ [avats] Hebrew
Sino-TibetanSîn (鋅) Hakka
亜鉛 [aen] Japanese
아연 [a'yeon] Korean
สังกะสี [sangkasī] Thai
鋅 [xin1 / san1] Chinese
Zink, ²Seng Malay
Other Asiaticനാകം [nākam] Malayalam
நாகம் [nākam] Tamil
Zinki, ²Bati Swahili
South-AmericaTsinku, ²Tsink Quechua
CreoleSungu Sranan Tongo
New namesZincon Atomic Elements
History & Etymology
Centuries before zinc was recognized as a distinct element, zinc ores were used for making brass. Tubal-Cain, seven generations from Adam, is mentioned as being an "instructor in every artificer in brass and iron."
Zinc ornaments with more than 2500 years have been discovered, but should now be considered as alloys since they have composition of only 80 to 90% zinc, with the remainder Lead including Aron and Antimony as impurities.
The reduction of ZnO by charcoal requires a temperature of 1000 °C or more and, because
the metal is a vapour at that temperature and is liable to reoxidation, its collection requires some form of condenser and the exclusion of air. This was apparently first achieved in India in the thirteenth century. The art then passed to China where zinc coins were used in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Marco Polo described the manufacture of zinc oxide in Persia and how the Persians prepared tutia (a solution of zinc vitriol) for healing sore eyes (cf. the Georgian name for the metal).
"There is a stone near Andreida (north west Anatolia) which yields Iron when burnt. After being treated in a furnace with a certain earth it yields droplets of false silver. This added to copper, forms the so-called mixture, which some call oreichalkos."This pertains probably to the process of downward distillation of zinc ("droplets of false silver") and its subsequent mixing with Copper to make brass oreichalkos (arakuta in Kautilya’s Arthasastra) described in detail in the post-Christian era Sanskrit texts.
The first slab zinc or spelter was imported from the East by the East-India companies around 1600, late when compared with Iron, Copper or Lead. In 1597, the German Andreas Libavius (1545-1616) received from a friend a "peculiar kind of tin" which was prepared in India. He called it Indian or Malabar lead. He was uncertain what it was, but from his account it is quite clear that that metal was Zinc.
Zinc compounds were know in Europe. Georgius Agricola in 1546 reported that a white metal was condensed and scraped off the walls of the furnace when Rammelsberg ore was smelted in the Harz Mountains to obtain Lead and Silver to which he gave the name contrefey because it was used to imitate Gold. This often consisted to metallic zinc, although he did not recognize it as such. He observed, furthermore, that a similar metal which he called zincum (from antecedents that are not clear) was being produced under similar circumstances in Silesia by the local people. Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the first European to state clearly that zincum was a new metal and that it had properties distinct from other known metals. He regarded it as a bastard or semi-metal. The identification of Zinc as the metal from blende or calamine (Lapis Calaminarus, mineral form of ZnCO3) was accomplished by Wilhelm Homberg (1652-1715) in 1695.
Finally, Andreas Marggraf (1709-1782) isolated Zinc from its minerals. He published his findings in "On the method of extracting zinc from its true mineral, calamine" (1746). The metal was viewed as a complex blende of metals nearly until the time of Antoine Lavoisier's revolutionary listing of Zinc as an element.
The metal did not even have a universally accepted name before the eighteenth century.
Habashi writes that it may also be derived from Persion sing for stone. In Mineral Commodity Report 6-Lead and Zinc (PDF-file) is said that it is derived from the Greek zink.
ActiniumIn 1881 the London scientist Thomas Lamb Phipson (1833-1908) thought that commercial Zinc contained an other metal, to which he gave the name Actinium, because certain of its compounds are darkened by exposure to light.
ZINC, our valued galvanizing metal,
Has a lamellar crystalline structure,
Bluish-white hue, and slowly oxides in air,
It seems chemically a kin to Magnesium.
Zinc is brittle at common temp'ratured
And at 200 degrees less heat it is mall'able.