27. Cobaltum (Cobalt) - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Cobaltum Cobalt
Kobalt – Kobalt – Cobalt – Cobalto – コバルト – Кобальт – 鈷
Multilingual dictionary

Cobaltum Latin

— Germanic
Kobalt Afrikaans
Cobalt, Kobolt Danish
Kobalt German
Cobalt English
Kobolt Faroese
Kobalt Frisian (West)
Kóbalt Icelandic
Kobalt Luxembourgish
Kobalt Dutch
Kobolt Norwegian
Kobolt Swedish

— Italic
Cobalto Aragonese
Cobaltu Aromanian
Cobaltu Asturian
Cobalt Catalan
Cobalto Spanish
Cobalt French
Cobalt Friulian
Cobalto Galician
Cobalto Italian
Cubaalt Lombard
Cobalt Occitan
Cobalto Portuguese
Cobalt Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Кобалт [Kobalt] Bulgarian
Kobalt Bosnian
Кобальт [kobal't] Belarusian
Kobalt, Dasík† Czech
Kobalt Croatian
Kabalt Kashubian
Кобалт [Kobalt] Macedonian
Kobalt Polish
Кобальт [Kobal't] Russian
Kobalt Slovak
Kobalt Slovenian
Кобалт [Kobalt] Serbian
Кобальт [kobal't] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Kobaltas Lithuanian
Kobalts Latvian
Kuobalts Samogitian

— Celtic
Kobalt Breton
Cobalt Welsh
Cóbalt Gaelic (Irish)
Còbalt Gaelic (Scottish)
Cobalt Gaelic (Manx)
Cobolt Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Κοβαλτιο [kovaltio] Greek
Կոբալտ [kobalt] Armenian
Kobalt[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Kobalt Kurdish
Кобальт [kobal't] Ossetian
Кобалт [Kobalt] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
কোবাল্ট [kobālṭa] Bengali
کبالت [kbalt] Persian
કોબાલ્ટનો [kobāalṭano] Gujarati
कोबाल्ट [kobālṭa] Hindi

Koobalt Estonian
Koboltti Finnish
Kobalt Hungarian
Кобальт [Kobal't] Komi
Кобальт [Kobal't] Mari
Кобгль [kobulj] Moksha
Koobalt Võro

Kobalt Azerbaijani
Кобальт [Kobal't] Chuvash
Кобальт [kobal't] Kazakh
Кобальт [Kobal't] Kyrgyz
Кобальт [kobal't] Mongolian
Kobalt Turkish
كوبالت [kobalt] Uyghur
Kobalt Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Kobaltoa Basque
კობალტი [kobalti] Georgian

كوبلت [kūbālt] Arabic
קובלט [kobalt] Hebrew
Kobalt, ²Kobaltu Maltese

Kû (鈷) Hakka
コバルト [kobaruto] Japanese
코발트 [kobalteu] Korean
โคบอลต์ [khōbon] Thai
Coban Vietnamese
[gu1 / goo1] Chinese

Kobalto Cebuano
Kobalt Indonesian
Cobalt Māori
Kobalt Malay

Other Asiatic
കൊബാള്‍ട്ട് [kobāḷṭṭ] Malayalam
கோபால்ட் [kōpālţ] Tamil

Kobalti Lingala
Khobalete Sesotho
Kobalti Swahili

Cobalto Nahuatl

Kubaltu, ²Kuwaltu Quechua

Kobaltimi Sranan Tongo

Kobalto Esperanto

New names
Cobalton Atomic Elements
Cutium Dorseyville
memory peg

Steel gray metal which gives a deep blue color to glass (Cobalt Blue Glass)
melting point 1495 °C; 2723 °F
boiling point 2870 °C; 5198 °F
density 8.9 g/cc; 555.6 pounds/cubic foot
c. 1735 Georg Brandt, Germany
Kobold = evil spirit (German)

History & Etymology

The word Cobalt derived from the German "kobold" = a goblin, gnome, evil spirit (> Mittelhochdeutsch "kobe" [hut, shed] + "holt" [goblin, from "hold" = gracious, friendly; complimentary words used to avoid the wrath of troublesome beings — for another derivation, see bottom of page]).
In some mining regions there were specific prayers to protect the miners from those kobolds, who by German superstition were delighted in destroying the work of miners, causing them endless trouble. The word then became also the term silver miners used for worthless rock, laced with Arsenic and Sulphur (cobaltite, CoAsS).

Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541) vaguely mentioned cobalt in his Book of Minerals as a troublesome and worthless mineral found in large quantity in mines on the borders of Saxony and Bohemia. Miners disliked it because of the labor of removing it and because it often accompanied Arsenic which imperiled their health. The term cobalt was also used by Basilius Valentinus (14th century) and Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), to denote substances which, although resembling metallic ores, gave no metal on smelting.

Christoph Schürer of Platten, Bohemia, about the middle of the sixteenth century found that this kobald coloured glass and pottery more intensely blue than copper. Low grade kobald could be used for bluing to counteract natural yellowing of laundry. However, the colouring properties of the ore has been known since very ancient times. There was even one piece of cobalt blue glass in Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb in Egypt.
In 1735, Georg Brandt (1694-1768) pointed out that the primary cause to the blue color of those glass and smalts was due to the presence of a metal or semi-metal, that he called cobalt rex. About 1741 he wrote:

    "As there are six kinds of metals, so I have also shown with reliable experiments... that there are also six kinds of half-metals: a new half-metal, namely Cobalt regulus in addition to Mercury, Bismuth, Zinc, and the reguluses of Antimony and Arsenic."
He gave six ways to distinguish Bismuth and Cobalt which were typically found in the same ores. Cobalt was not considered an element until Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) redefined the term.

Some think the name is derived from the Greek [kobalos] = mine.
An etymological website gives the following explanation for the etymology of the word goblin: "Standard scholarship holds that English took goblin from the French gobelin. The problem with this is that, while Middle English had the word goblin as early as 1320, there is no record of the French word gobelin until the 16th century. Interestingly, a 12th century cleric called Ordericus Vitalis mentions Gobelinus as the name of a spirit which haunted the neighbourhood of Évreux. It is possible that gobelin evolved from the ancient Greek kobalos «rogue, knave», via the Medieval Latin cobalus. If so, it is related to the German kobold, and hence to the name of the metal cobalt."
The word kobalos is not in my Greek dictionary.

Alternative name
  • In the 19th century a native Czech name was proposed: dasík, maybe from "des" = terror.
Chemistianity 1873
COBALT, a metal that yields bright blue colours,
Is a reddish-white tenacious metal,
Strongly magnetic, and needs great heat to fuse.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873, p. 151
Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 148-157.
  • Die Erfindung des Kobaltblau (in German, about Christoph Schürer).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements