69. Thulium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

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Thulium – Thulium – Thulium – Túlio – ツリウム – Тулий – 銩
Multilingual dictionary

Thulium Latin

— Germanic
Tulium Afrikaans
Thulium Danish
Thulium German
Thulium English
Thulium Faroese
Thulium Frisian (West)
Túlín Icelandic
Thulium Luxembourgish
Thulium Dutch
Thulium Norwegian
Tulium Swedish

— Italic
Tulio Aragonese
Tuliumu Aromanian
Tuliu Asturian
Tuli Catalan
Túlio Spanish
Thulium French
Tuli Friulian
Tulio Galician
Tulio Italian
Tüli Lombard
Tuli Occitan
Túlio Portuguese
Tuliu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Тулий [Tulij] Bulgarian
Thulijum, ²Tulij Bosnian
Тулій [tulij] Belarusian
Thulium Czech
Tulij Croatian
Tul Kashubian
Тулиум [Tulium] Macedonian
Tul Polish
Тулий [Tulij] Russian
Thulium Slovak
Tulij Slovenian
Тулијум [Tulijum] Serbian
Тулій [tulij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Tulis Lithuanian
Tûlijs Latvian
Tulis Samogitian

— Celtic
Tuliom Breton
Thwliwm Welsh
Túiliam Gaelic (Irish)
Tùiliam Gaelic (Scottish)
Thulium Gaelic (Manx)
Thulyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Θουλιο [thoulio] Greek
Թուլիում [t'ulium] Armenian
Tulium, ²Thuliumi Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Tuliyûm Kurdish
Тулий [tulij] Ossetian
Тулий [Tuli'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
থুলিয়াম [thuliẏāma] Bengali
تولیم [twlym] Persian
થૂલિયમનો [thūliyamano] Gujarati
थुलियम [thuliyama] Hindi

Tuulium Estonian
Tulium Finnish
Túlium Hungarian
Тулий [Tulij] Komi
Тулий [Tulij] Mari
Тули [tuli] Moksha
Tuulium Võro

Tulium Azerbaijani
Тули [Tuli] Chuvash
Тулий [tûlij] Kazakh
Тулий [Tulij] Kyrgyz
Тули [tuli] Mongolian
Tulyum Turkish
تۇلىي [tuliy] Uyghur
Tuliy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Tulioa Basque
თულიუმი [t'uliumi] Georgian

ثليوم [thuliyūm] Arabic
תוליום [thulium] Hebrew
Tulju[m] Maltese

Tiû (銩) Hakka
ツリウム [tsuriumu] Japanese
툴륨 [tullyum] Korean
ทูเลียม [thūliam] Thai
Tuli Vietnamese
[diu1 / diu1] Chinese

Tulyo Cebuano
Tulium Indonesian
Thulium Māori
Tulium Malay

Other Asiatic
തൂലിയം [tūliyam] Malayalam
துலியம் [tuliyam] Tamil

Tulu Lingala
Tuliamo Sesotho
Thuri Swahili

Tulio Nahuatl

Thulyu Quechua

Tulimi Sranan Tongo

Tulio Esperanto

New names
Tulion Atomic Elements
Butterium Dorseyville
memory peg

Gray-white metal
melting point 1545 °C; 2813 °F
boiling point 1947 °C; 3537 °F
density 9.32 g/cc; 581.89 pounds/cubic foot
1879 Per Theodor Cleve, Sweden
Thule, for the ancient Greeks the northernmost habitable region of the world (Scandinavia)

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 (see the special Rare Earths page). In 1860 the Swedish chemist Nils Johan Berlin (1812-1891) denied the existence of Mosanderís erbia, and gave this name to his terbia.

In 1878, Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac, professor of Chemistry at the University of Geneva, separated Berlin's erbia into two new earths, erbia and ytterbia (note). Marignac's erbia was the following year split by Per Theodor Cleve (1804-1905) into erbia proper and two new elements, which he named Thulium and Holmium (note). Analysis of Holmium showed later that it also contained Dysprosium.

The chemical symbol for Thulium was first Tu, but it was altered into Tm by the International Commission on Atomic Weights, since the symbol Tu was also in use for Tungsten (Wolfram, present day symbol W). The editors of Gmelins Handbuch regret this decision: the "m" does not belongs to the root of Thulium and is therefore not characteristic. John and Gordon Marks suggested in 1994 the symbol Θu (note).

See also: Chronological list of discovery of the rare earths and their names.


To the ancient Greeks, Thule (also Tile or Ultima Thule) was the northernmost habitable region of the world. One of the first recorded sea journeys in the Atlantic was by Pytheas of Massalia, who sailed to England in about 325 B.C. from his Greek colony in what is now Marseilles, France (although he probably traveled over land to the port of Corbilo and sailed from there.) He wrote about his voyage in a book called About the Ocean of which no copies exist, but he is quoted in other works.

Pytheas visited Britain, where tin was traded, and possibly Ireland, the Hebrides, and the Orkneys. Pytheas heard of an island six days sailing to the north of Britain, called Thule, and visited it. We do not know where Thule was, but probably it was (part of) the Norwegian coast, although Iceland, the Shetlands and Faeroer have also been identified as such by historians. Pytheas says that Thule was an agricultural country, and that it produced honey. He said he was shown the place where the sun went to sleep, and he noted that the night in Thule was only two to three hours. One day further north the congealed sea began, he claimed. As Strabo says (as quoted in Chevallier 1984): "Pytheas also speaks of the waters around Thule and of those places where land properly speaking no longer exists, nor sea nor air, but a mixture of these things, like a 'marine lung', in which it is said that earth and water and all things are in suspension as if this something was a link between all these elements, on which one can neither walk nor sail."


On maps, Thule usually appears north or northwest of England and Ireland or in the northernmost parts of Asia. It has been associated with early reports of Iceland, Norway, or the Shetland Islands. Pytheas's Thule was probably Trondheim, in Norway.
(From: André Engels, Discoverers Web, and Dave's Mythical Creatures and Places)

Cleve himself, and after him most chemical sources, write that Thule is an old name for Scandinavia, which is not the case.

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