Elementymology & Elements Multidict
IJzer – Eisen – Fer – Hierro – 鉄 – Железо – 鐵
Izer Frisian (West)
Fier Romanian - Moldovan
SlavicЖелязо [Željazo] Bulgarian
Željezo, ²Gvožđe Bosnian
Жалеза [žaleza] Belarusian
Железо [Železo] Macedonian
Железо [Železo] Russian
Гвожће [Gvožđe] Serbian
Залізо [zalizo] Ukrainian
Iarann Gaelic (Irish)
Iarann (Iarrnaig) Gaelic (Scottish)
Yiarn Gaelic (Manx)
Other Indo-EuropeanΣιδηρος [sidiros] Greek
Երկաթ [erkat'] Armenian
Æфсæйнаг [æfsæjnag] Ossetian
Оҳан [Ohan] Tajik
Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryanআয়রন [āẏarana] Bengali
آهن [âhn] Persian
લોખંડ [lokha'ḍa] Gujarati
लोहा [lohā] Hindi
Кӧрт [Kört] Komi
Кӱртньӧ [Kürtn'ö] Mari
Кишни, Кшни [kishni, kshni] Moksha
Тимĕр [Timĕr] Chuvash
Темір [temir] Kazakh
Темир [Temir] Kyrgyz
Төмөр [tömör] Mongolian
تۆمۈر [tömür] Uyghur
Other (Europe)Burdina Basque
რკინა [rkina] Georgian
Afro-Asiaticحديد [Hadīd] Arabic
ברזל [barzel] Hebrew
鉄 [tetsu] Japanese
철 [ceol] Korean
เหล็ก [lek] Thai
鐵 [tie3 / tit8] Chinese
Other Asiaticഇരുമ്പ് [irump] Malayalam
இரும்பு [irumpu] Tamil
Feri, Chuma Swahili
North-AmericaTlīltic tepoztli Nahuatl
CreoleIsri Sranan Tongo
New namesIron Atomic Elements
History & Etymology
Although Iron occurs only sparingly in the free state, the abundance of ores from which it may be readily obtained led to its use in a very remote period. Iron has been known and used since prehistoric times. The writings of the most early civilizations refer to it, and there is evidence that it was known more than 7000 years ago; in China the usage of steel goes back to 2550 B.C. Some vedic poets wrote that their prehistoric ancestors already knew iron and were able to transform it into utensils through a considerable range of technics.
And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.The earlier sources of the ores appear to have been in India. A remarkable Iron pillar, dating to about A.D. 400, remains standing today at the center of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the first Moslem mosque in Delhi, India. This pillar is a classical example of massive production of high class Iron and is the biggest hand-forged block of Iron from antiquity.
According to information culled out from various Roman and Greek texts, metals like iron, tin, copper and brass were imported from India. These texts say that the metals were not being imported as an ore but as sheets. This presumes that the ore must have been smelted and cast into sheets in India before it was exported. References in Sanskrit literature also support this.
During the reigns of the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, Ferrum Indium appears in the list of dutiable articles. There also exists an ancient Greek chemical treatise entitled "On the Tempering of Indian Steel". The Arab geographer Al-Idrisi (1099-1166) has noted that "The Hindus excel in the manufacture of iron. They have also workshops wherein are forged the most famous sabres in the world. It is impossible to find anything to surpass the edge that you get from Indian Steel". This passage which has been quoted in the notes to the Periplus on page 71 proves beyond doubt, in the words of a foreign historian, that the art of smelting and casting iron was well developed in ancient India.
The Hindi word for Iron is लॊहा (lohā). In ancient times, in India, "Loha-churna" meant iron ore; "Kupya-shala" and "Sandhaani" meant an iron foundry. A furnace was called "Chuli" or "Agnikund". Wrought iron was called "Lohabandhan", iron bars were called "Loha-pindaha". Smelting of iron was called "Loha-drava-Karan" (literally, liquefaction of Iron). "Loha-chinha" meant an iron mould and "Lohakaraka" meant a smith or ironmonger (Duff).
In astrology alchemy the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity:
The long history of Iron is reflected in the many different words for this metal. See the list of names to the left and in the overview of Iron in over 100 languages (click here), Gábor Lente of Debrecen university found even more, 213 words for iron (his PDF-file here).
A peculiar website from the Lavian-American Andis Kaulins, Indo-European Afro-Asiatic Words for Metals - Copper Lead Tin Iron Bronze Gold Amber. I am not sure what to think of the value of his unorthodox information, but give it for what it is worth. Kaulins presents the following list for Iron:
And similar lists for Copper, Tin, and Lead. In examining all of these ancient terms for these metals,
Kaulins sees that all names have two basic roots as their origin:
Just as Helium was discovered by means of spectroscopical analysis of the the sun, there were a few other elements discovered in the spectra of stars and nebulae which are not known on earth: Coronium and Nebulium (see Oxygen). But, it was found out that the unusual spectral lines originated from known elements in unusual conditions.
A strange green line in the spectrum of the suns corona, observed during the solar eclipse of 7 August 1869, was ascribed to the presence of a new element which was called Coronium. (Cf. Geocoronium at Nitrogen). Only in 1939 the real meaning of the green Coronium line was found: the lines come from [Fe XIV] and Coronium was placed on the list of non-existent elements (note).
IRON, the Lever of Britain's Commerce,
Named Ferrum, is a bright, white, and tough yet soft metal;
Its dust when pure, fires when exposed to Air;
Iron is magnetic from cold to red heat;
It requires a very high heat to fuse;
When cast, its structure is crystalline cubes;
Hot Iron hammer'd is granular, when roll'd, fibrous.
IRON, THE LEVER OF BRITAIN'S COMMERCE.
True Iron honour serves in our country's need,
Tough Iron is jannak and with Vigour graft,
Then will iron, coal, and cotton together,
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 144 & 150-151