Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

by Peter van der Krogt

This is THE web site for element names. You will find this site useful not only for the origins (etymology) of element names, but also for translations of each element name into numerous other languages.
Peter van der Krogt mixes science, history, and etymology to create an exhaustive database of the elements. This site is fascinating and brings a human element to a table of symbols and numbers.
(Bionic Teaching)


I am not a chemist, but a (map) historian much interested in the origin of names. On several of the sites listing elements you will find historical notes and often an explanation of the origin of element names. However, mostly, the authors of these pages copy each other and the same errors and mistakes are repeated. I tried to do some new etymological research on the element names, and find the original articles where the discoverer of a new element announced his find and explained the naming. If you have remarks, corrections, additions, etc. please contact me.

What do you find in this web site?

Elementymology: History of the elements and their names

Clicking the small table to the right, or the tab
above will bring you to the 'Element Pages'. These are 120 pages, each describing one element. You'll find:
  • A history of the discovery and naming of the element. In this text the emphasis is on the naming. This is mainly based on the works by Weeks and Gmelin (see page Sources). The chemical process and other chemical information is kept very short or is not present at all.
  • A list of the names of the element in 98 languages.
  • At least one illustration: the appearance of the element, a mineral in which the element occurs, a portrait of the discoverer, or an example of the use of the element.

Elements Multidict: Element names in 98 languages

Click on the tab
and you'll get a list of the languages included. You may also click on
Periodic Table
for a clickable name origin periodic table in 98 languages, or on
for alphabatic or numeric lists in the different languages.
Clickable Periodic Table of the Elements

Clickable Periodic Table
Move your mouse over it and the names of the elements appear in: English

Alphabetical lists

Click on

» Chronology of the discovery
» Persons involved in the discovery and naming
» Name origin
» Names that did not make it


Click on
for the history of Chemical symbols, how to spell Mendeleev, Sellars' Chemistianity, the naming of the rare earths, and much more you'll find under the 'Specials' tab.

Peter van der Krogt in Strontian (18 September 2004), the town where the element Strontium got its name from, and in Ytterby, Sweden (21 July 2009), the town where Erbium, Terbium, Ytterbium, and Yttrium got their name from (more photos here)

Latest updates

I'm working on this site!

13 June 2016: Today I read in the newspaper four new elements were named. Time to update the site again... Earlier this year I Tom Sharp has read the whole text and has sent me many typos and other errors. I have corrected this. Further I made some changes in the elements in Russian and Esperanto. The last four year I received more additions and correction, I hope to add these in the near future...
22 October 2012: Despite the new structure I didn't have the time for updates. Today I added two newly named elements, Livermorium and Flerovium, and some small corrections were made.
January 2010: After a standstill of a few years finally a major update and a complete restructuring of the site. Because the pages are now programmed in PHP – thanks to my brother René van der Krogt – and the element data and languages are in a database, it will be easier to maintain the site in future.
31 December 2009: Several small changes and photos of the Ytterby Mine added.
29 December 2009: Element 112 named Copernicium.
3 May 2009: Work, work work, and another website take most of my time. I still have the intention to update the site. I am now planning to have the dictionary in a database structure, so it will be easier to update the site.


First, I would like to thank the persons and companies who gave me permission to use their photos or other information:

Furthermore, chemists and other interested persons of all over the world helped me with additions and corrections in the history and naming of elements:

What do you NOT find in this web site?

Scientific data (chemical and physical) of the elements. There are hundreds of website presenting that information. A few of them:
Chemistry - Periodic Table at Chemicool

copyright © 1999-2010 by Peter van der Krogt
1. Hydrogen 2. Helium 3. Lithium 4. Beryllium 5. Boron 6. Carbon 7. Nitrogen 8. Oxygen 9. Fluorine 10. Neon 11. Sodium 12. Magnesium 13. Aluminium/Aluminum 14. Silicon 15. Phosphorus 16. Sulphur/Sulfur 17. Chlorine 18. Argon 19. Potassium 20. Calcium 21. Scandium 22. Titanium 23. Vanadium 24. Chromium 25. Manganese 26. Iron 27. Cobalt 28. Nickel 29. Copper 30. Zinc 31. Gallium 32. Germanium 33. Arsenic 34. Selenium 35. Bromine 36. Krypton 37. Rubidium 38. Strontium 39. Yttrium 40. Zirconium 41. Niobium 42. Molybdenum 43. Technetium 44. Ruthenium 45. Rhodium 46. Palladium 47. Silver 48. Cadmium 49. Indium 50. Tin 51. Antimony 52. Tellurium 53. Iodine 54. Xenon 55. Cesium 56. Barium 57. Lanthanum 58. Cerium 59. Praseodymium 60. Neodymium 61. Promethium 62. Samarium 63. Europium 64. Gadolinium 65. Terbium 66. Dysprosium 67. Holmium 68. Erbium 69. Thulium 70. Ytterbium 71. Lutetium 72. Hafnium 73. Tantalum 74. Tungsten 75. Rhenium 76. Osmium 77. Iridium 78. Platinum 79. Gold 80. Mercury 81. Thallium 82. Lead 83. Bismuth 84. Polonium 85. Astatine 86. Radon 87. Francium 88. Radium 89. Actinium 90. Thorium 91. Protactinium 92. Uranium 93. Neptunium 94. Plutonium 95. Americium 96. Curium 97. Berkelium 98. Californium 99. Einsteinium 100. Fermium 101. Mendelevium 102. Nobelium 103. Lawrencium 104. Rutherfordium 105. Dubnium 106. Seaborgium 107. Bohrium 108. Hassium 109. Meitnerium 110. Darmstadtium 111. Roentgenium 112. Copernicium 113. Nihonium 114. Flerovium 115. Moscovium 116. Livermorium 117. Tennessine 118. Oganesson 119. Ununennium 120. Unbinilium