12. Magnesium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Magnesium – Magnesium – Magnésium – Magnesio – マグネシウム – Магний – 錳
Multilingual dictionary

Magnesium Latin

— Germanic
Magnesium Afrikaans
Magnesium Danish
Magnesium German
Magnesium English
Magnesium Faroese
Magnesium Frisian (West)
Magnín, ²Magnesín Icelandic
Magnesium Luxembourgish
Magnesium Dutch
Magnesium Norwegian
Magnesium Swedish

— Italic
Magnesio Aragonese
Magneziumu Aromanian
Magnesiu Asturian
Magnesi Catalan
Magnesio Spanish
Magnésium French
Magnesi Friulian
Magnesio Galician
Magnesio Italian
Magnési Lombard
Magnèsi Occitan
Magnésio Portuguese
Magneziu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Магнезий [Magnezij] Bulgarian
Magnezij[um] Bosnian
Магній [mahnij] Belarusian
Hořčík Czech
Magnezij Croatian
Magnéz Kashubian
Магнезиум [Magnezium] Macedonian
Magnez Polish
Магний [Magnij] Russian
Horčík Slovak
Magnezij Slovenian
Магнезијум [Magnezijum] Serbian
Магній [mahnij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Magnis Lithuanian
Magnijs Latvian
Magnis Samogitian

— Celtic
Magnesiom Breton
Magnesiwm Welsh
Maignéisiam Gaelic (Irish)
Maignèisiam Gaelic (Scottish)
Magnaishum Gaelic (Manx)
Magnysyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Μαγνησιο [magnisio] Greek
Մագնեզիում [magnezium] Armenian
Magnez, ²Magneziumi Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Magnezyûm Kurdish
Магний [magnij] Ossetian
Магний [Magni'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
ম্যাগনেসিয়াম [myāganesiẏāma] Bengali
منیزیم [mnyzym] Persian
મૅગ્નેશિયમનો [megneṡiyamano] Gujarati
मैग्नेशियम [maigneśiyama] Hindi

Magneesium Estonian
Magnesium Finnish
Magnézium Hungarian
Магний [Magnij] Komi
Магний [Magnij] Mari
Магни [magni] Moksha
Magneesium Võro

Maqnezium Azerbaijani
Магни [Magni] Chuvash
Магний [magnij] Kazakh
Магний [Magnij] Kyrgyz
Магни [magni] Mongolian
Magnezyum Turkish
ماگنىي [magniy] Uyghur
Magniy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Magnesioa Basque
მაგნიუმი [magniumi] Georgian

مغنيسيوم [maghnisiyūm] Arabic
מגנזיום [magnezium] Hebrew
Magniżjum, ²Manjeżju Maltese

Mî (鎂) Hakka
マグネシウム [maguneshiumu] Japanese
마그네슘 [mageunesyum] Korean
แมกนีเซียม [maeknīsiam] Thai
Magiê Vietnamese
[meng3 / maang5] Chinese

Magnesio Cebuano
Magnesium Indonesian
Konupora Māori
Magnesium Malay

Other Asiatic
മഗ്നീഷ്യം [magnīṣyam] Malayalam
மக்னீசியம் [makṉīciyam] Tamil

Manezu Lingala
Magnesiamo Sesotho
Magnesi Swahili

Magnesio Nahuatl

Qunta q'illay, ²Maqnisyu Quechua

Magnesimi Sranan Tongo

Magnezio Esperanto

New names
Magnion Atomic Elements
Greenium Dorseyville
memory peg

Very bright, low density metal which slowly becomes dull on exposure to the atmosphere
melting point 649 °C; 1200 °F
boiling point 1090 °C; 1994 °F
density 1.74 g/cc; 108.5 pounds/cubic foot
1808 Sir Humphry Davy, England
Μαγνησια (Magnisia), region in Thessaly (Greece)
named Magnesium alba since antiquity, named Magnium by the discoverer

History & Etymology

Magnesium has long been known. Alchemists used magnesia alba, white magnesia or also known as mild magnesian earth (hydrated magnesium carbonate, 4MgCO3.Mg(OH)2.5H2O was magnesia alba levis, and MgCO3.Mg(OH)2.4H2O was magnesia alba ponderosa). The term magnesia alba was used in contrast with magnesia nigra, black manganese oxide (MnO2).

In the drought of 1618 Henry Wicker noted thirsty cattle would not drink from a water hole on the commons at Epsom, Surrey. The salts found in water of these mineral sources were described in 1695 in an article by Nehemia Grew. The medicinal properties of this salt attracted some attention. Epsom's salts were distinguished from other salts and became a fashionable spa for their healing effects on sores. The water contained Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4.7H2O), which was called "Epsom salts" in England (epsomite) and "salt anglicum" or bitter salt elsewhere.

In 1707 M.B. Valentin prepared magnesia alba from the mother liquors obtained in the manufacture of nitre and in 1755 Joseph Black (1728-1799) of Edinburgh distinguished quicklime (calcium oxide, CaO) from magnesia alba (both substances were confounded until that time).

In 1808, Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) isolated the metal (not pure) and called it Magnium to avoid to avoid confusion with Manganese, the metal found in magnesia nigra (note):

Despite Davy's proposal, the term Magnesium persisted for referring to the element in the magnesia alba. In Russian and a few other Slavic languages the form Magnium (Магний) is in use.

  • The Czech and Slovak names are derived from horky = bitter, after the compound bitter salt.

Location of the prefecture Magnesia in GreeceThe names magnesia alba and magnesia nigra are derived from Magnesia, Μαγνησια, a prefecture in Thessaly (Greece), with the capital Volos) (see map to the left). Manganese and Magnesium were abundant in oxide and carbonate ores in this region, and they therefore became referred as Μαγνητις λιθος, or stones from Magnesia. The region also contained large amounts of iron oxides (magnetite, or lodestone, for example) so that the ores were magnetized. That explains why magnesium as well as magnet (and magnetism) are derived from Magnesia, while magnesium is not magnetic.

The name Μαγνησια (Magnesia) derives from the Macedonian tribe name "Magnetes". The legendary Greek hero Μαγνης (Magnes) believed the protoplast of this tribe was the son of Eol and Enarete or Zeus and Thyia. The Magnetes have lived on Magnesia peninsula (Thessaly) and later colonized the Anatolia in Asia Minor.
Two towns were named after them Asia Minor: Magnesia ad Maeandrum near Ephesus (abandoned after the Roman times) and Magnesia ad Sipylum near Smyrna (nowadays Manisa).


The name Austrium was given by Anton Rupprecht in 1792 to the impure Magnesium prepared by him. He honoured herewith his country Austria (note).


In 1819 Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorf (1770-1837) in Erfurt reports that he has found a new metal in a salt on the bottom of a bottle of English sulphuric acid. He named it Crodonium, after the god Crodo, who was worshipped in ancient times in Thüringen (Erfurt is the capital of that region) (note). Shortly afterwards, Trommsdorf himself reported that Crodonia was not a new metal, but Magnesia (Magnesium oxide) with a small amount of Copper oxide (note).

Chemistianity 1873
MAGNESIUM, a metal that yields light much like Sun,
Being rich in chemically active rays,
Is a soft silver-white metal, that fuses
At low heat, and can be distilled at red heat.
It acts very like Alkaline-Earth metals,
And has great electro motive power.
It may be drawn to wire or pressed to ribands;
Moist air soon oxides Magnesium, dry air will not
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 134
Further reading

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements