The Roundaround Board of the Firststuffs – Etymologies

  1. Waterstuff ( W ) – Originally Hydrogen, from the Ancient Greek for “water-forming” (ὕδωρhúdōr & γεννάω‎, gennáō). Combusting hydrogen makes water.
  2. Sunstuff (Su) – Originally Helium, named after Helios (god of the Sun), due to first discovering the element in the Sun’s spectrum.
  3. Stonestuff (St) – Originally Lithium, from the Greek for “stone” (λίθος, lithos).
  4. Whitetownstuff (Wt) – Originally Beryllium, named after the stone beryl, from Dravidian via Sanskrit (वैडूर्य, vaiḍūrya), likely named after the city Vēḷur (possibly “white town”) where it was mined.
  5. Hardcoalstuff (Hc) – Originally Boron, which is somewhat chemically similar to carbon but ranks a 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (Graphite is a 1-21). The “bor-” bit comes from borax, which is Arabic or Persian in origin.
  6. Coalstuff (C) – Originally Carbon, from the Latin for “coal” (carbo).
  7. Lifelesstuff (L) – Originally Nitrogen, from the Green for “Nitron (i.e. sodium carbonate)-forming”. Chemist Antoine Levaoisier suggested calling it “azote”, from Greek for “no life” (άζωτικός, azotikos) because both life and fire can’t survive in 100% nitrogen atmospheres.2
  8. Sourstuff (S) – Originally Oxygen, from the Greek for “acid-forming” (ὀξύς, oxys – literally “sharp”, referring to the sour taste). It was erroneously believed all acids had oxygen in their chemical makeup.
  9. Flowstuff (F) – Originally Fluorine, from the Latin for “to flow” (fluo).
  10. Newstuff (N) – Originally Neon, from the Greek for “new” (νέος, neos).
  11. Saltstuff (Sa) – Originally Sodium, in reference to it first being isolated from the compound “caustic soda” (sodium hydroxide) – soda likely comes from Arabic. Poul Anderson called this element “glasswortstuff”, referencing its use in making glass, but I feel the connection between table salt (i.e. “sodium chloride”) and the element is stronger for the average human.
  12. Soapstonestuff (Ss) – Originally Magnesium, named after Magnesia, Greece (as was element #25), which is named after the Magnetes tribe (etymology unknown). Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc, which contains magnesium.
  13. Bittersaltstuff (Bs) – Originally Aluminium, from the Latin for “bitter salt” (alumen).
  14. Flintstuff (Fl) – Originally Silicon, from the Latin for flint (silex). Like Boron before it, the -on refers to carbon.
  15. Lightbearerstuff (Lb) – Originally Phosphorus, from the Greek for “the bearer of light” (Φωσφόρος, phōsphóros).
  16. Brimstonestuff (B) – Originally Sulfur, from the Latin (sulper), from the PIE root for “to burn” (*swel-). Also called “brimstone” in its pure form.
  17. Dullgreenstuff (Dg) – Originally Chlorine, from the Greek for “pale green” (χλωρός, khlôros).
  18. Lazystuff (Lz) – Originally Argon, from the Greek for “lazy/idle” (ἀεργόςaergós), specifically from “(opposite of) work” (ἀ- +‎ ἔργον). Named such for being chemically inert.
  19. Potashstuff (P) – Originally from Potassium, in reference to it first being isolated from potash.
  20. Limestuff (Li) – Originally Calcium, from the Latin for “lime” (calx) because it’s found in limestone.
  21. Scadistuff (Sc) – Originally Scandium, named after Scandinavia – from the Proto-Germanic “Scadia island” (*Skaþinawjō).
  22. Ettinstuff (E) – Originally Titanium, named for the Titans of Greek myth. There’s no direct equivalent, but the word is associated with rather large things, so I went with the term for “giants” (Old English: eoten).
  23. Freyjastuff (Fr) – Originally Vanadium, named for the Norse goddess of beauty and fertility Freyja (also called, among many other names, Vanadís). Freyja is Old Norse for “Lady”.
  24. Huestuff (Hu) – Originally Chromium, from the Greek for “color” (χρῶμα, chrōma).
  25. Glassoapstuff (Gs) – Originally Manganese, named after Magnesia, Greece (as was element #12), which is named after the Magnetes tribe. Manganese dioxide was used to remove color from glass and was sometimes known as “glassmakers’ soap”.
  26. Iron (I) – Abbreviation changed from Fe (for ferrum), which is Latin for “iron”.
  27. Cobalt (Co)
  28. Nickel (Ni)
  29. Copper (Cp) – Abbreviation changed from Cu (for cuprum), which is Latin for “copper”.
  30. Zinc (Z) – Abbreviation changed from Zn, because I can…
  31. Outlanderstuff (Ol) – Originally Gallium, named after what the Romans called France. In French, Gallia was translated to Gaul, which actually came from the Frankish word for “foreigner” (*Walhaland, Proto-Germanic: *walhaz).
  32. Þeodishstuff (Þe) – Originally Germanium, named after what the Romans called Germany (unknown etymology). “Dutch” is an archaic Germanic way to refer to Germans (which we still see used in the identity “Pennsylvania Dutch” – they’re not Netherlanders), and corresponds with the Old English word þeodisc (“belonging to the people”). Could have called it Dutchstuff. Didn’t.
  33. Yellowstuff (Y) – Originally Arsenic, from Old Iranian (*zarna-) and Old Persian for “golden” (modern Arabic for arsenic: زرنيخ, zarnikh; Persian for gold:زر , zar).
  34. Moonstuff (M) – Originally Selenium, from the Greek for “moon” (σελήνη, selene).
  35. Stinkstuff (Sk) – Originally Bromine, from the Greek for “stink” (βρῶμος, brômos).
  36. Hiddenstuff (H) – Originally Krypton, from the Greek for “hidden” (κρυπτός, kruptós). Not named after the planet.
  37. Redstuff (R) – Originally Rubidium, from the Latin for “deep red” (rubidus).
  38. Elfknollstuff (Ek) – Originally Strontium, named after the Scottish village Strontian, from the Scottish Gaelic for “nose of the fairy hill” (Sròn an t-Sìthein). “Fairy” derives from Latin, though, but elves of the non-Tolkein variety and fairies are similar to a small degree.
  39. Outhamstuff (Oh) – Originally Yttrium, named after the Swedish village Ytterby, meaning “outer village”. There are four elements on the Periodic Table named after this town…39, 65, 68, and 70.
  40. Goldlikestuff (Go) – Originally Zirconium, from the Persian for “gold-colored” (زرگون, zargun).
  41. Snowystuff (Sn) – Originally Niobium, named after Niobe of Greek Mythology (Tantalus’s daughter); her name supposedly literally translates to “snowy”.
  42. Notleadstuff (Nl) – Originally Molybdenum, from the Greek for “lead” (μόλυβδος, mólubdos). Its ores were mistaken for lead ones.
  43. Manmadestuff (Mm) – Originally Technetium, from the Greek for “artificial” (τεχνητός, technitós), for being the first manmade element.
  44. Rowmenstuff (Ro) – Originally Ruthenium, named after the Latin for the home of the Rus (Ruthenia). Rus likely means “the men who row”, ultimately deriving from the PIE root for “to row” (*ere-).
  45. Pinkstuff (Pn) – Originally Rhodium, from the Greek for “rose” (ῥόδον, rhódos).
  46. Mimirstuff (Mi) – Originally Palladium, named after the Greek goddess Athena (Pallas was an epithet). Mimir was a Norse deity associated with knowledge and wisdom.
  47. Silver (Si) – Abbreviation changed from Ag (for argentum), which is Latin for “silver”, cognate of Greek for “shiny/white” (ἀργόςargós).
  48. Wehhastuff (We) – Originally Cadmium, ultimately derived from the mythological founder of Thebes and inventor of the Greek alphabet Κάδμος (Cadmus), but directly named for the ore in which it was found (calamine). Cadmus has an unknown etymology (possibly related to the words “east” or “shine”) and no Anglo-Saxon equivalent, like many of the deities that got elements named after them. As such, I searched for a founder of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom – specifically a kingdom that was powerful at first but eventually lost out in the whole ‘who’s gonna rule everything?’ game, as Thebes was destroyed by Alexander the Great. I settled on East Anglia, whose first king was a man named Wehha.3
  49. Eadyestuff (Ed) – Originally Indium, named after the color indigo, meaning “Indian dye” (Greek: Ἰνδικὸν, Indikòn). India comes from the Sanskrit for “river” (सिन्धु, sindhu). The Old English for “river” (which comes from Latin) is ea.
  50. Tin (T) – abbreviation changed from Sn (for stannum), which is Latin for “tin”.
  51. Eyesalvestuff (Es) – Originally Antimony, from the Latin antimonium – another word for stibium (also Latin) – in reference to it being isolated from “black antimony” (chemically, antimony sulfide). The same compound was also called kohl, and was used as an eye cosmetic.
  52. Earthstuff (Ea) – Originally Tellurium, from the Latin for “earth/ground” (tellus).
  53. Blueredstuff (Br) – Originally Iodine, from the Greek for “violet” (ἰοειδής, ioeidḗs). Neither violet nor purple are germanic words, although the latter did exist in Old English (borrowing from Latin).
  54. Weirdstuff (Wd) – Originally Xenon, from the Greek for “strange” (ξένος, xénos).
  55. Skybluestuff (Sb) – Originally Caesium, from the Latin for “sky blue” (caesius).
  56. Heavystuff (Hv) – Originally Barium, from the Greek for “heavy” (βαρύς, barús). 
  57. Hidingstuff (Hi) – Originally Lanthanum, from the Greek for “to lie hidden” (λανθάνειν, lanthanein).
  58. Gefjunstuff (Ge) – Originally Cerium, named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain, and fertility Ceres. The Norse goddess Gefjun was associated with ploughing, but not grain…and also virginity, but isn’t very distinguishable from other Germanic goddesses of the same type, like Freyja and Frigg.
  59. Greentwinstuff (Gt) – Originally Praseodymium, from the Greek for “green” (πράσινος, prasinos) and “twin” (δίδυμος, didymos).
  60. Newtwinstuff (Nt) – Originally Neodymium, from the Greek for “new” (νέος, neos) and “twin” (δίδυμος, didymos).
  61. Firebringerstuff (Fb) – Originally Promethium, named after the Titan who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to humanity.
  62. Kingstuff (K) – Originally Samarium, named after a mineral named after Vasili Samarsky-Bykhovets. Samarsky (Сама́рский) might relate to the Samara River, but I can’t derive an etymology. Instead I’ll use the man’s first name, which is equivalent to the English name Basil, and comes from the Greek for “king” (βασιλεύς‎, basileús).
  63. Broadanlethstuff (Ba) – Originally Europium, named for the continent Europe, which might come from the Greek for “broad face” (εὐρύς, eurús +‎ ὤψ, ṓps). The word face replaced English words for countenance/face like anlethansyn, and andwlita.
  64. Greatstuff (Gr) – Originally Gadolinium, named after a mineral named after Johan Gadolin. His surname has an interesting history, as his grandfather chose it by taking the name of the family farm – Maunu – and translating it into Hebrew (גָּדוֹל, gadol). Maunu is the Finnish form of the Swedish name Magnus, which comes from the Latin for “great” (magnus).
  65. Outtownstuff (Ot) – Originally Terbium, named after the Swedish village Ytterby, meaning “outer village”. There are four elements on the Periodic Table named after this town…39, 65, 68, and 70.
  66. Hardtogetstuff (Hg) – Originally Dysprosium, from the Greek for “hard to get” (δυσπρόσιτος, dysprositos).
  67. Logholmstuff (Lh) – Originally Holmium, named after the Latin word for Stockholm (Holmia). Stockholm is a compound of the words for “log” and “isle”, but isle isn’t Germanic…
  68. Outwichstuff (Ow) – Originally Erbium, named after the Swedish village Ytterby, meaning “outer village”. There are four elements on the Periodic Table named after this town…39, 65, 68, and 70.
  69. Farnorthstuff (Fn) – Originally Thulium, named after the Greek name for a Scandinavian-area land that doesn’t directly correspond to one particular place on a real map (i.e. Thule). It referred to a land that was super far away, north of the Arctic Circle, so I just went with that.
  70. Outþorpestuff (Oþ) – Originally Ytterbium, named after the Swedish village Ytterby, meaning “outer village”. There are four elements on the Periodic Table named after this town…39, 65, 68, and 70.
  71. Swampstuff (Sp) – Originally Lutetium, named for the Latin word for Paris (Lutetia), which means “swamp”.
  72. Harborstuff (Ha) – Originally Hafnium, named for the Latin word for Copenhagen (Hafnia). Copenhagen means “merchant’s port”, but Hafnia came from the Danish word for harbor (havn).
  73. Evercostningstuff (Ec) – Originally Tantalum, named after Tantalus from Greek Mythology. There’s no definitive etymology for the name; according to Plato, Socrates associated the name with the Greek words ταλάντατος (talantatos) which comes from τάλας, meaning suffering/wretched, and ταλαντεία, meaning balancing. Tantalus suffered eternal temptation without satisfaction (from which we get tantalize and its various forms) – forced to stand in a lake with fruit dangling on branches above his head, but if he reached for either they would move just out of reach. Costning is a Middle English word for “temptation” deriving from the Proto-Germanic for “to try/taste” (*kustōną).
  74. Wolfsootstuff (Ws) – Originally Tungsten, from the Swedish for “heavy stone” (tung + sten). In German it’s called Wolfram (Which is why it’s abbreviated W, not T_…), which has different possible etymologies. It could be Wolf + soot, Wolf + cream, or a name of unknown origin. Since I already had an element called Heavystuff, I chose not to call it Heavystonestuff.
  75. Rhinestuff (Rh) – Originally Rhenium, named after the Rhine River, which is already Germanic, from the PIE root for “to move, flow, run” (*reie-).
  76. Smellstuff (Sm) – Originally Osmium, from the Greek for “smell” (ὀσμή, osme).
  77. Rainbowstuff (Rb) – Originally Iridium, named after the Greek goddess Iris, associated with and represented by rainbows.
  78. Littlesilverstuff (Ls) – Originally Platinum, from the Spanish diminutive of the word “silver” (plata).
  79. Gold (G) – Abbreviation changed from Au (for aurum), which is Latin for “gold”.
  80. Silverwaterstuff (Sw) – Originally Mercury, formerly known as Hydragyrum, from the Greek for “water-silver” (ὑδράργυρος, hydrargyros).
  81. Twigstuff (Tw) – Originally Thallium, from the Greek for “young shoot/twig”.
  82. Lead (Ld) – Abbreviation changed from Pb (for plumbum), which is Latin for “lead”.
  83. Whitelumpstuff (Wh) – Originally Bismuth, of unknown (likely) Germanic origin – maybe “white mass” (modern: weiß +Masse). Called Bisemutum in the 16th century.
  84. Fieldlandstuff (Fi) – Originally Polonium, named after Poland, literally “land of the Poles”. Pole is Polish for “field”.
  85. Unabidingstuff (U) – Originally Astatine, from the Greek for “unstable” (ἄστατος, astatos). Poul Anderson uses “unabiding” in space of the non-Germanic “unstable” in Uncleftish Beholding.
  86. Outbeamstuff (Ob) – Originally Radon, named after the element Radium (because Radium radioactively decays into Radon) plus the noble gas suffix -on. Radium comes from the Latin for “ray” (radius), an emitted beam of light.
  87. Spearstuff (Sr) – Originally Francium, named after France, named after the Franks. Frank is traditionally said to be derived from the Proto-Germanic word for “javelin” (*frankô) due to the peoples’ weapon of choice, but it may have gone the other way around. Apparently javelin – an old French loanword – derives from the PIE word for “fork”, as in a forked branch. But I went for a Germanic equivalent of javelin, instead. (Yes, I also could have called it Frankstuff…)
  88. Beamstuff (Bm) – Originally Radium, from the Latin for “ray” (radius).
  89. Strælstuff (Sl) – Originally Actinium, from the Greek for “ray” (ακτίς, aktis). As I needed another Germanic word for “ray”, I went with an Old English word that meant “arrow” (stræl) but the Modern German cognate (Strahl) means “beam”.
  90. Þorstuff (Þ) – Originally Thorium – Th changed to a thorn.
  91. Firststrælstuff (Fs) – Originally Protactinium, meaning “parent of actinium” in reference to radioactive decay, using the Greek for “first” (πρωτο-, prōto-).
  92. Ymirstuff (Ym) – Originally Uranium, named after the planet Uranus, named after the Greek god of the sky [Sadly not named George]. Ymir and Uranus were both primordial deities, Ymir specifically a jotun; the sky was apparently made out of Ymir’s skull (and various other body parts were used to make other bits of reality) by Odin and his two brothers.
  93. Ægirstuff (Æ) – Originally Neptunium, named after the planet Neptune, named after the Roman god of the seas. Ægir was the Norse ‘god’ (also a jotun) of the seas.
  94. Helstuff (Hl) – Originally Plutonium, named after the planet Pluto, named after the Roman god of the underworld. Hel was the ruler of Hel (a place within icy Niflheim, one of the two primordial realms).
  95. Amalricstuff (A) – Originally Americium, named after the Americas (not the USA, though it was first isolated at Berkeley). Most people know (or at least learned at some point) the Americas as being named after Amerigo Vespucci, though it’s been argued that’s wrongAmerigo is the Italian version of the Germanic (specifically Gothic) name Amalrich (Modern varient: Emmerich).
  96. Fellowshipstuff (Fe) – Originally Curium, named after Marie and Pierre Curie. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, curie meant “kitchen” in Old French. The Dictionary of American Family Names says the surname comes from the Old French for “stable” (éscuerie). But according to the Centre National de Resources Textuelles et Lexicalescurie (the word, not the surname) comes from the Latin curia, in reference to one of the 10 divisions of the 3 original Roman tribes (and later the Roman senate). Curia might come from “community of men”…but it doesn’t explicitly state where the surname comes from. I went with the latter, with fellowship in place of community, though it might not be a perfect synonym.
  97. Birchclearingstuff (Bi) – Originally Berkelium, named after the University of California at Berkeley. Berkeley is a Germanic surname derived from the Old/Middle English words for “birch” (birk) and “clearing” (lēah). Could have called it Berkeleystuff. Didn’t.
  98. Leaderstuff (Le) – Originally Californium, named after the state. Apparently California was originally the name of a mythical utopian island in a 1510 Spanish novel Las sergas de Esplandián, inhabited only by Amazonian black women and led by Queen Calafia. What the name means is lost to time, but some have put forth that the calif part may have come from the Arabic خَلِيفَة, (ḵalīfa), making California “land of the caliph”. While caliph literally means “successor”, it’s used for the political leader of the Muslim world (and the successor of Muhammad). It might also mean “hot furnace” (calida fornax) or “lime furnace” (calcis fornax).
  99. Onestonestuff (Os) – Originally Einsteinium, named after Albert Einstein. Einstein is a compound noun literally meaning “one stone” in German, but likely means “place encompassed by a stone wall”.
  100. Steadfaststuff (Sf) – Originally Fermium, named after Enrico Fermi. The surname Fermi is locative, in reference to Fermo, Italy. Called the Firmum Picenum by the Romans. Firmum (the word, not the place) is the nominative neuter singular of firmus, which comes from the PIE for “holding/supporting” (*dʰer-mo-s) but means “firm/strong/steadfast”.
  101. Trademakerstuff (Tm) – Originally Mendelevium, named after Dmitri Mendeleev. Dmitri’s dad adopted the surname Mendeleev (His own father’s surname was Sokolov). According to this 1920 source, it was because of his career as a horse trader (‘”mjenu djelatj” = to make an exchange’… Google translate gives me мена (myena) = exchange and делать (dyelat’) = to do/make).
  102. Alfredstuff (Al) – Originally Nobelium, named after Alfred Nobel. According to the Dictionary of American Family Names, the Swedish surname Nobel comes from Nobelius, “a Latinized habitational name from a place called Nöbbelöv”. It has no relation to the word noble. I can’t find the etymology of Nöbbelöv, so I’m naming this after his first name, which comes from the Old English for “elf-council” (ælf + ræd).
  103. Erneststuff (Er) – Origially Lawrencium, named after the inventor of the cyclotron Ernest Orlando Lawrence. Lawrence (or Laurence) comes from the Latin for “of Laurentum” (Laurentius), likely deriving from the Latin word for “laurel tree” (laurus). Laurel doesn’t really have a Germanic equivalent – understandable given that they grow in tropical climates…but Ernest is a Germanic name meaning “vigor” (not directly related to the modern English “earnest”, but both derive from the same Proto-Germanic *er-n-os-ti-).
  104. Cowfordstuff (Cf) – Originally Rutherfordium, named after Ernest Rutherford. Here’s a name with no certain etymology. It may come from the Old English for “cattle” (hryðer) + “ford”. Or Ruther might actually be Celtic for “Red”. Or there was a dude named Ruther. Or the entire name is from the Flemish place Ruddervoorde. But I already named the last element “Ernest” so I’m going with the cow option (cattle is from Latin)…
  105. Oakstuff (O) – Originally Dubnium, named after Dubna, the town in which the element was first created. Дубна is also a river that runs along the eastern border. Дуб means “oak” in Russian, and if I’m interpreting Google Translate correctly (from the Russian wikipedia entry on Dubna) the Dubna for Dubna River might mean “river in the oak forest”. However, the page also says it might actually share an origin with baltic words relating to “deep”. So, it might not mean “oak”. I’m going with “oak”, anyway.
  106. Seabergstuff (Se) – Originally Seaborgium, named after Glenn T. Seaborg. His immigrant grandfather’s original surname was Sjöberg, meaning “sea mountain”.
  107. Bearstuff (Be) – Originally Bohrium, named after Niels Bohr. According to this biography, Bohr’s great great grandfather had the surname Baar; he was born in Mecklenburg (then a Danish territory – Germany didn’t exist, yet), but registered Niels’s great grandfather with the surname Bohr because the Danish pronounced the double ‘a’ as ‘oh’ (He had settled in Helsingør, which is Denmark proper). Baar as a German surname (i.e. not Dutch) comes from one of a few places called Baar, (one’s in western modern Germany, one’s by the Black forest, one’s in Bavaria…). It may come from the Middle Low/High German word for “bear” (bare/ber) or the Middle High German for son/free man.
  108. Chattenstuff (Ch) – Originally Hassium, named after the Latin name for the state of Hesse. Hesse derives from the Chatti (note the “ch” is pronounced as “k” or “kh”), a Germanic tribe that settled the region (Though the exact way Chatti became Hesse is debated, it had to do with pronunciation shifts somehow). The name might derive from a Germanic word meaning anger or hate.
  109. Oathstuff (Oa) – Originally Meitnerium, named after Lise Meitner. Her great great grandfather took the surname (as mandated by Kaiser Josef II) Meietheiner, derived from the village Majetín in Czechia, where his family was from. But I can’t find an etymology for the village’s name, so I’m going with Lise – derived from Elisabeth, a transliteration of the Hebrew name meaning “my God is an oath” (אֱלִישֶׁבַע, elishéva).
  110. Guttownstuff (Gu) – Originally Darmstadtium, named after the city Darmstadt (originally Darmundestat). The name has unknown origins – the German Wikipedia lists a lot of theories. The word Darm, however, does mean intestines, so if you literally translate the modern word it would be “intestine city”. I know it’s not anywhere near the real etymology, but I find it amusing that Google likes to translate the name’s variations as intestinal tract and “a bowel syndrome”.
  111. Williamstuff (Wi) – Originally Roentgenium, named after Wilhelm Röntgen, who originally discovered X-rays. Wilhelm (English equiv. William) comes from the Old High German for “will” + “helmet” (Willahelm).
  112. Coppermanstuff (Cm) – Originally Copernicium, named after Nicolaus Copernicus. His surname comes from his ancestors living in Kopernik (now Koperniki), which either gets it name from “copper” (it was mined there) or “dill”  (it grew there). The Dictionary of American Family Names says it’s the former.
  113. Dawnlandstuff (Da) – Originally Nihonium, after the Japanese name for Japan, which means “land of the rising Sun” (not literally).
  114. Blossomstuff (Bl) – Originally Flerovium, named after Georgy Flyorov. The surname likely ultimately derives from the Latin for “flower” (florus).
  115. Wetlandeastuff (Wl) – Originally Moscovium, named after the Moscow Oblast. The the city is named after the Moskva River, whose etymology is unknown (but may come from the PIE root meaning “wet” (*meu-), and thus mean “wetland”).
  116. Rushlakestuff (Rl) – Originally Livermorium, named after the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. The city was named after Robert Livermore, friend of the founder. The surname comes from Great/Little Livermere, Suffolk, and the name derives from the Old English for “lake where rushes grew” (læfor-mere) according to the G.L. parish council.
  117. Freewillworkerstuff (Fw) – Originally Tennessine, named after Tennessee, which has an unknown etymology. It’s definitely indigenous, perhaps from villages named Tanasqui or Tanasi, maybe a Cherokee modification of a Tuchi word. Possible meanings: “meeting place”, “winding river”. I went with translating the state’s nickname, “The Volunteer State”, instead.
  118. Johnsonstuff (J) – Originally Oganesson, named after Yuri Oganessian. The surname is Armenian in origin – “son of Hovhannes (Հովհաննես)” – and equivalent to “Johnson”. John comes from the Hebrew יוֹחָנָן (Yōḥānān) and means “God is gracious”. I should have named this the Anglish equivalent of “Graciousgodstuff” (gracious isn’t Germanic) but I’ve never had a “J” on the Periodic Table to spell my name with and now I do.

Resources: A great many pages on The Online Etymology Dictionary and Wiktionary, and the various items named and/or linked to above.


1. Carbon, of course, also comes in the form of diamond, which is a 10, but pure boron doesn’t look like diamond-carbon, it’s silvery-black. Borax, on the other hand, is white or pale grey.
2.Also, and for future reference on other element names, I purposefully chose not to put 3 s’s in a row, but it’s not pronounced any differently.
3. There’s no evidence that he actually existed, but his name appears in several texts. He was also apparently the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the god Woden…

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