chemistry question #1922



Elizabeth, a 13 year old female from Los Angeles, CA asks on February 2, 2004,

Q:

I'm doing a science report on Arsenic and i was wondering do you know what is the meaning of the name?

viewed 14820 times

the answer

Barry Shell answered on February 19, 2004, A:

A quick web dictionary search gave this: [L. arsenicum, Gr. 'arseniko`n, 'arreniko`n, yellow orpiment, perh. fr. 'arseniko`s or better Attic 'arreniko`s masculine, 'a`rrhn male, on account of its strength, or fr. Per. zern[=i]kh: cf. F. arsenic.]

A website on the history of arsenic says it might come from the arabic Al zharnick "gold colored" but I think the stuff is so old, going way back to Greek and Persian times hundreds of years BC, that nobody really knows.

Add to or comment on this answer using the form below.
(required)
(required if you would like a response)
Note: All submissions are moderated prior to posting.
If you found this answer useful, please consider
making a small donation to science.ca.