How Did Calcium Get Its Name?


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Pippa Corbett Profile
Pippa Corbett answered
The chemical element calcium gets its name for the Latin word calx. This term actually means 'lime' (as in the metallic rock, rather than the bright green fruit).

Where does calcium get its name? We often associate calcium with things like:

  • milk
  • healthy teeth
  • strong bones
However, this is probably due to all the milk adverts we see on TV. Calcium is actually found in a number of different things on earth.

Calcium is actually the fifth most-abundant element in the earth's crust - and its name has nothing to do with bones, teeth or milk - but rather its presence in the earth's surface.

The Greek word for 'small pebble' is Khalix, which is the root of the Latin word calx. Unlike the Greek meaning, calx specifically applies to chalky limestone cliffs that are usually rich in Calcium.

The English chemist, Sir Humphrey Davy, first coined  the term 'calcium' in 1808, when he succeeded in isolating the element from a sample of chalky limestone
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
You see calcium comes from the Latin word Cal and Ci which we all know means "Strengthen" and "Marrow" meaning Bone Marrow.

So, calcium basically means "strengthen bones" in Latin. They named the element after they found out what calcium did.

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