68. Erbium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Erbium – Erbium – Erbium – Érbio – エルビウム – Эрбий – 鉺
Multilingual dictionary

Erbium Latin

— Germanic
Erbium Afrikaans
Erbium Danish
Erbium German
Erbium English
Erbium Faroese
Erbium Frisian (West)
Erbín Icelandic
Erbium Luxembourgish
Erbium Dutch
Erbium Norwegian
Erbium Swedish

— Italic
Erbio Aragonese
Erbiumu Aromanian
Erbiu Asturian
Erbi Catalan
Érbio Spanish
Erbium French
Erbi Friulian
Erbio Galician
Erbio Italian
Èrbi Lombard
Erbi Occitan
Érbio Portuguese
Erbiu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Ербий [Erbij] Bulgarian
Erbij[um] Bosnian
Эрбій [èrbij] Belarusian
Erbium Czech
Erbij Croatian
Érb Kashubian
Ербиум [Erbium] Macedonian
Erb Polish
Эрбий [Èrbij] Russian
Erbium Slovak
Erbij Slovenian
Ербијум [Erbijum] Serbian
Ербій [erbij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Erbis Lithuanian
Erbijs Latvian
Erbis Samogitian

— Celtic
Erbiom Breton
Erbiwm Welsh
Eirbiam Gaelic (Irish)
Eirbiam Gaelic (Scottish)
Erbium Gaelic (Manx)
Erbyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Ερβιο [ervio] Greek
Էրբիում [ērbium] Armenian
Erbium[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Erbiyûm Kurdish
Эрбий [Èrbij] Ossetian
Эрбий [Erbi'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
ইরবিয়াম [irabiẏāma] Bengali
اربیم [arbym] Persian
અર્બિયમનો [arbiyamano] Gujarati
अर्बियम [arbiyama] Hindi

Erbium Estonian
Erbium Finnish
Erbium Hungarian
Эрбий [Èrbij] Komi
Эрбий [Èrbij] Mari
Ерби [erbi] Moksha
Erbium Võro

Erbium Azerbaijani
Эрби [Èrbi] Chuvash
Эрбий [èrbij] Kazakh
Эрбий [Èrbij] Kyrgyz
Эрби [èrbi] Mongolian
Erbiyum Turkish
ئېربىي ['erbiy] Uyghur
Erbiy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Erbioa Basque
ერბიუმი [erbiumi] Georgian

إربيوم [arbiyūm] Arabic
ארביום [erbium] Hebrew
Erbju[m] Maltese

Ngí (鉺) Hakka
エルビウム [erubiumu] Japanese
에르븀, 2어븀 [ereubyum, eobyum] Korean
เออร์เบียม [oebiam] Thai
Eribi Vietnamese
[er3 / yi5] Chinese

Erbyo Cebuano
Erbium Indonesian
Erbium Māori
Erbium Malay

Other Asiatic
എര്‍ബിയം [erbiyam] Malayalam
எர்பியம் [erpiyam] Tamil

Ebu Lingala
Erbiamo Sesotho
Erbi Swahili

Erbio Nahuatl

Erbyu Quechua

Erbimi Sranan Tongo

Erbio Esperanto

New names
Erbion Atomic Elements
Slassium Dorseyville
memory peg

Gray-white metal
melting point 1529 °C; 2784 °F
boiling point 2863 °C; 5185 °F
density 9.07 g/cc; 565.97 pounds/cubic foot
1842 Carl Gustav Mosander, Sweden
Ytterby, village in Sweden (just as Terbium, Yttrium, and Ytterbium!)

History & Etymology

The story of discovery and naming of the rare earth element Erbium began with Carl Gustav Mosander splitting old yttria into three new elements, yttria proper, erbia, and terbia. These three names are without much fantasy derived from Ytterby, where the original yttria was found (see the special Rare Earths page). In 1860 the Swedish chemist Nils Johan Berlin (1812-1891) denied the existence of Mosander’s yellow-oxide erbia, and gave this name to his rose-colored oxide terbia. Delafontaine (1864, 1878) followed him in naming the earth with rose-colored oxide erbia, but proved also that the yellow-oxide earth existed, and gave this now the name terbia, thus:

color of oxideMosander
1864, 1878

In the 1870s the analysis of samarskite introduced a new phase in the discovery of the rare earth elements (cf. Samarium). In 1878, Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac, professor of Chemistry at the University of Geneva, separated erbia into two new earths, erbia and ytterbia (note). Marignac's erbia was the following year split by Cleve into erbia proper and two new earths, which he named Thulium and Holmium (note).

Erbia proper is Erbium oxide, the element was alternatively named Neo-erbium (in Gmelin's Handbuch).


Peter van der Krogt in Ytterby, Summer 2009.

Click here
for more photos

Ytterby, a village in Sweden on the island of Resarö, close to Vaxholm (east of Stockholm) is a deposit of many unusual minerals, containing rare earth and other elements.

A Chronological list of discovery of the rare earths and their names and information and illustrations of Ytterby's quarry and a location map is on the Rare Earths page.

John and Gordon Marks suggested in 1994 the name Mendelevium (Me), after the Russian chemist Дмитрий Иванович Менделеев (Dmitrij Ivanovič Mendeleyev) (1834-1907). (Element 101 they renamed into Bohemium). The Marks brothers found the old names ugly and confusing. They offered alternative names that are equivalent contemporary (at the time and place of discovery) metaphors, both more euphonious and more memorable (note).

Chemistianity 1873
ERBIUM is a dubious metal
Not yet isolated in metal state.
Erbia, the Oxide, has a fine rose tint.
Erbium Salts are more or less bright rose colour'd.
Erbia is found with Yttria in general,
In Gadolinite a Swedish mineral.
J. Carrington Sellars, Chemistianity, 1873,p. 133
Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 667-699.
  • Seltene Erden. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, 8. Aufl.; System-Nummer 39 (1938).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements