51. Stibium (Antimony) - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Stibium Antimony
Antimoon – Antimon – Antimoine – Antimonio – アンチモン アンチモカ – Сурьма – 銻
Multilingual dictionary

Stibium Latin

— Germanic
Antimoon Afrikaans
Antimon Danish
Antimon German
Antimony English
Antimon Faroese
Antimoon Frisian (West)
Antímon Icelandic
Antimon Luxembourgish
Antimoon Dutch
Antimon Norwegian
Antimon Swedish

— Italic
Antimonio Aragonese
Antimonu Aromanian
Antimoniu Asturian
Antimoni Catalan
Antimonio Spanish
Antimoine French
Antimoni Friulian
Antimonio Galician
Antimonio Italian
Antimòni Lombard
Antimòni Occitan
Antimónio Portuguese
Antimoniu, ²Stibiu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Антимон [Antimon] Bulgarian
Antimon Bosnian
Сурма [surma] Belarusian
Antimon Czech
Antimon Croatian
Antimón Kashubian
Антимон [Antimon] Macedonian
Antymon Polish
Сурьма [Sur'ma] Russian
Antimón Slovak
Antimon Slovenian
Антимон [Antimon] Serbian
Сурма [surma] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Stibis Lithuanian
Antimons Latvian
Stėbis Samogitian

— Celtic
Antimoan Breton
Antimoni Welsh
Antamón Gaelic (Irish)
Antamòn Gaelic (Scottish)
Antimoan Gaelic (Manx)
Antymony Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Αντιμονιο [antimonio] Greek
Ծարիր [tsarir] Armenian
Antimon[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Stîbyûm Kurdish
Сурьма [sur'ma] Ossetian
Сурма [Surma] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
অ্যান্টিমনি [ayānṭimani] Bengali
آنتیموان [ântymwan] Persian
ઍન્ટિમનીનો [enṭimanīno] Gujarati
एन्टिमोनी [enṭimonī] Hindi

Antimon Estonian
Antimoni Finnish
Antimon Hungarian
Сурьма [Sur'ma] Komi
Сурма [Surma] Mari
Сурьма [surjma] Moksha
Antimon Võro

Stibium Azerbaijani
Сурьма [Sur'ma] Chuvash
Сурьма [sûr'ma] Kazakh
Сурьма [Sur'ma] Kyrgyz
Сурьма [sur'ma] Mongolian
Antimon Turkish
سۈرمە [sürmä] Uyghur
Surma Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Antimonioa Basque
სტიიუმი [stiiumi] Georgian

انتيمون [ithmīd] Arabic
אנטימון [antimon] Hebrew
Antimoni, ²Antimonju Maltese

Thi (銻) Hakka
アンチモン アンチモカ [anchimon, anchimonii] Japanese
안티몬, 2안티모니 [antimon, antimoni] Korean
พลวง [phuang] Thai
Antimon Vietnamese
[ti4 / tai1] Chinese

Antimonyo Cebuano
Antimon Indonesian
Antimony Māori
Antimoni Malay

Other Asiatic
ആന്റിമണി [ānṟimaṇi] Malayalam
அந்திமன் [antimani] Tamil

Antimoni Lingala
Antimoni Sesotho
Stibi Swahili

Antimonio Nahuatl

Antimunyu Quechua

Antimonimi Sranan Tongo

Antimono Esperanto

New names
Stibnion Atomic Elements
Scaleium Dorseyville
memory peg

Gray-black, metal like solid
melting point 631 °C; 1167 °F
boiling point 1750 °C; 3182 °F
density 6.69 g/cc; 417.7 pounds/cubic foot
Known to the ancients
The word Antimony is a Latin corruption of Arabic انتيمون ([al-]ithmīd), which is derived from Latin Stibium, which came from Greek στιβι [stibi] = a cosmetic powder (Sb2S3).
explanations as "an enemy of solitude" or "against the monks" are phantasies.

History & Etymology

Antimony, in the form of its sulphide (stibnite, Sb2S3), has been known from very early times, more especially in Eastern countries, reference to it being made in the Old Testament. In antiquity, Antimony was merely used for making cosmetics such as rouge and black paint for eye brows. Initially Antimony was confused with lead. Somewhat accurate description of Antimony was available for the first time in alchemical literature of the renaissance period. Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) described how to smelt and used antimony metal. In 1604 Basilius Valentinus (1565-1624) wrote a monograph on Antimony, Triumph-Wagen des Antimonij (Triumphal Chariot of Antimony). This is regarded as the first monograph devoted to the chemistry of a single metal.

Valentine's book was edited and published by Johann Thölde in Nürnberg in 1676 (note) and contains treatises by several famous alchemists, including the Benedictine alchemist Basil Valentine, who wrote the featured selection. The frontispiece shows Mercury, Antimony, and other archetypal powers parading through the countryside in a chariot while an angel looks on from above. The word "triumphal" refers not to the conquering of anything but rather to an ancient pagan procession in which people dressed up in costumes depicting the archetypal forces in nature were carried through the streets in a chariot. For many alchemists, especially Isaac Newton, the metal Antimony became a more potent form of Mercury with which to work transformation. They were fascinated by a property of Antimony to form a crystalline star (the Star Regulus) under certain conditions. For alchemists, of course, that symbolized the quintessence of matter.


Stibium → Al-ithmīd → Antimonium

At present, the most common name for the element is Antimonium. However, in his essay on the chemical signs (note), Jakob Berzelius used for Antimony the symbol Sb (also St), being an abbreviation of Stibium. This became the official symbol, despite the fact that Stibium or its derivations are rarely used in the different languages. Further, the name Surma is used in some Slavic and Altaic languages.

Antimony sulphide (Sb2S3) in the form of powder was used in the Orient as a cosmetic to darken and beautify their eyebrows. In ancient Egypt the name for this cosmetic powder was "sdm" (variant "msdm.t") which is derived from the Coptic CTHM [stem]. The word was borrowed in Greek as στιμμι [stimmi] or στιβι [stibi]. This substance with the name στιμμι is described by Dioskorides (Materia medica 5, 99) and Pliny (Naturalis historia 33, 34) so clearly, that it is certain that it concerns Sb2S3. In turn, the Latin language borrowed their word from the Greek as Stibium (which is now used as the Latin name for the element and the source for the chemical symbol Sb).

The Arabic designation, انتيمون ("uthmud" or "othmod" or, with the article, "al-ithmīd") is probably a loan word from the Latin Stibium. The alchemists used — like other terms — a corruption of the Arabic word, refashioned so as to wear a Latin aspect, thus "al-ithmīd" was latinized as "athimodium", "atimodium", "atimonium", "Antimonium".

Thus Antimonium is the latinized form of an Arabization of the Latin Stibium!

Phantasy etymologies

  • Antimonium > αντι + μονος [anti + monos]: "an enemy of solitude", underlining the simultaneous occurrence of antimony and other minerals
  • Antimoine > anti + moine: against the monks ("monks'-bane"), making the name originate (more than 400 years too late) with the chemist Basil Valentine, in end of 15th c. Also given as αντι + μοναχος [anti + monachus] with the same meaning.
  • Antimonium > anti + monetus.

Chemistianity 1873
ANTIMONY, the type hard'ning metalloid,
Latin, Stibium, has a bluish white hue;
'Tis lustrous, brittle, and easy to fuse;
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 101
Further reading
  • N. Lémery, Traité de l'antimoine. Paris, 1707.
  • Antimon. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 18 (1950).
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 95-103.
  • Egyptian loan-words in English.

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements