40 of the 118 chemical elements have names associated with, or specifically named for, places around the world or among astronomical objects. 32 of these have names tied to the Earth and the other 8 have names connected to bodies in the Solar System. The first tables below list the terrestrial locations (excluding the entire Earth itself, taken as a whole) and the last table lists astronomical objects which the chemical elements are named after.
|Magnesia, a district in Greece||Magnesium||Mg||12|
|France (ancient name Gaul)||Francium||Fr||87|
|Lutetia, Latin name for Paris||Lutetium||Lu||71|
|Hesse, a state in Germany||Hassium||Hs||108|
|Darmstadt, a city in Germany||Darmstadtium||Ds||110|
|Strontian, a village in Scotland||Strontium||Sr||38|
|Hafnia, Latin name for Copenhagen||Hafnium||Hf||72|
|Thule (perhaps Iceland or Greenland)||Thulium||Tm||69|
|Holmia, Latin name for Stockholm||Holmium||Ho||67|
|Ytterby, a village in Sweden||Yttrium||Y||39|
|Ruthenia, Latin name for Russia||Ruthenium||Ru||44|
|Moscow Oblast, Russia||Moscovium||Mc||115|
|Dubna, a town in Russia||Dubnium||Db||105|
|Americas (some sources say the United States specifically)||Americium||Am||95|
|California, a state in the United States||Californium||Cf||98|
|Berkeley, California, a city in the United States||Berkelium||Bk||97|
|Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in the United States||Livermorium||Lv||116|
|Tennessee, a state in the United States||Tennessine||Ts||117|
|Ceres (dwarf planet)||Cerium||Ce||58|
|Pluto (dwarf planet)||Plutonium||Pu||94|
* - The element mercury was named directly for the deity, with only indirect naming connection to the planet (see etymology of mercury).
Chemical nomenclature, replete as it is with compounds with complex names, is a repository for some very peculiar and sometimes startling names. A browse through the Physical Constants of Organic Compounds in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (a fundamental resource) will reveal not just the whimsical work of chemists, but the sometimes peculiar compound names that occur as the consequence of simple juxtaposition. Some names derive legitimately from their chemical makeup, from the geographic region where they may be found, the plant or animal species from which they are isolated or the name of the discoverer.
Some are given intentionally unusual trivial names based on their structure, a notable property or at the whim of those who first isolate them. However, many trivial names predate formal naming conventions. Trivial names can also be ambiguous or carry different meanings in different industries, geographic regions and languages.
Godly noted that "Trivial names having the status of INN or ISO are carefully tailor-made for their field of use and are internationally accepted". In his preface to Chemical Nomenclature, Thurlow wrote that "Chemical names do not have to be deadly serious". A website in existence since 1997 and maintained at the University of Bristol lists a selection of "molecules with silly or unusual names" strictly for entertainment. These so-called silly or funny trivial names (of course depending on culture) can also serve an educational purpose. In an article in the Journal of Chemical Education, Dennis Ryan argues that students of organic nomenclature (considered a "dry and boring" subject) may actually take an interest in it when tasked with the job of converting funny-sounding chemical trivial names to their proper systematic names.The collection listed below presents a sample of trivial names and gives an idea how chemists are inspired when they coin a brand new name for a chemical compound outside of systematic naming. It also includes some examples of systematic names and acronyms that accidentally resemble English words.List of chemical elements
This is a list of the 118 chemical elements which have been identified as of 2019. A chemical element, often simply called an element, is a species of atoms which all have the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei (i.e., the same atomic number, or Z).Perhaps the most popular visualization of all 118 elements is the periodic table of the elements, a convenient tabular arrangement of the elements by their chemical properties that uses abbreviated chemical symbols in place of full element names, but the simpler list format presented here may also be useful. Like the periodic table, the list below organizes the elements by the number of protons in their atoms; it can also be organized by other properties, such as atomic weight, density, and electronegativity. For more detailed information about the origins of element names, see List of chemical element name etymologies.List of people whose names are used in chemical element names
Below is the list of people whose names are used in chemical element names. Of the 118 chemical elements, 19 are connected with the names of 20 people. 15 elements were named to honor 16 scientists. Four other elements have indirect connection to the names of non-scientists. Only gadolinium and samarium occur in nature; the rest are synthetic.
|Periodic table forms|
|Sets of elements|