The Periodic Table of Elements terms

In Module 13 of Apologia “Exploring Creation with Physical Science”, we learned that some of the elements are given initials for English words, while others are given initials for Latin words.  A friend of mine, who is smart and knows a lot of Latin, gave me this chart for the English/Latin terms, along with the initials.  I hope it will be useful to someone. 



Symbol Latin Name
Antimony Sb Stibium
Copper Cu Cuprum
Gold Au Aurum
Iron Fe Ferrum
Lead Pb Plumbum
Mercury Hg Hydragyrum
Potassium K Kalium
Silver Ag Argentum
Sodium Na Natrium
Tin Sn Stannum
Tungsten W Wolfram

Updated to add: 

Below is a copy of the email I got from my friend.  She tells us the correct way to pronounce plumbum and adds some other interesting words you get from plum.

Hi Michelle, The “u” is short, sounding like the “u” in put.   I’ve always heard the word pronounced about as you would expect (“plum” as in the fruit and “bum” as in the homeless guy).  It’s a fun word. We get plumb line (lead weight on end of line), plumber (uses lead, or used to use lead pipes, also use plumb lines), to plumb the depths of (with a piece of lead) all from plumbum.   Have fun with it! 


Told you she was smart.   😀

15 responses to “The Periodic Table of Elements terms

  1. Ok, so did anyone get a giggle over Plumbum?

  2. So that is the reason for the different letters. Thank you!

    I got a giggle out of plumbum.

    I got a giggle out of that too. I wonder how it is pronounced. I’ll ask my friend and get back to you.

  3. Yes, I can just hear someone getting that as a nickname. on another note, there is an antimony mine about half mile from my mom’s house. and an old old tungsten mine in the wilderness west of here. we live in a geologist
    heaven here. and lots of old gold mines.

    Old gold mines. That sounds like fun. Can you tour them?

    Chemistry Quiz I found last year that might be helpful.
    Your class looks like a lot of fun!

  5. That is very interesting. Thanks to your friend for the info. I had wondered about this years ago when I took chemistry in high school. You know I don’t remember the plumbum from the chart at all but of course I do remember that lead is on there. 🙄

    Yes, I got a giggle about that, well as close to a giggle as I could get so early in the morning w/o enough caffeine cursing through my veins.

  6. This is very very interesting, Applie! :mrgreen: I have to chalk it up to you and your blog for making me as smart as I am. 😆 You present things like this in a way that I can understand and that makes me very happy. 😀 Hugs, Robin

    Thanks Robin. 🙂

  7. Here are interactive elements games at Jefferson Labs. From calculating the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons, to balancing chemical equations.
    Very awesome!

    And here are the Periodic Table of Elements Videos. Video of experiment and discussion for each element. Good if you are specifically focusing on a few elements.

  8. And here is an Elements Table w/ pictures of each element. =)

  9. thanks to this I made my assignment in chemistry…it helped me a lot!!!!!…gee thanks!!!=))))))

  10. Im studying on Philippines and learning english here ^^,Im from south korea.
    now our lesson on Science is about elements
    my assignment was Find the latin words/names of elements
    thank you for the information!

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