Archaic Chemical Terms
Part V (S-Z)
Go to Part I (A-B), Part II (C-F), Part III (G-L), or Part IV (M-R).
saccharum saturni: sugar of lead; see also Saturn
- ... acetosella: see sorrel salt
- ... aeratus (or saleratus, literally aerated salt): potassium hydrogen carbonate, KHCO3.
- ... albus: borax
- ... ammoniac: ammonium chloride, NH4Cl [Black, Fahrenheit, Scheele, Wurtz, et al.]; also sal armoniack [Helmont]
- ... commune: common salt, i.e., sodium chloride, NaCl [Scheele]; also ; also sal fossile, sal marinum
- ... de duobus: potassium sulfate, K2SO4 (vitriolate of tartar)
- ... enixum: potassium hydrogen sulfate (KHSO4)
- ... mirabilis: Glauber's salt.
- ... nitrum or ... nitri: nitre. [Mayow]
- ... sapientiae: mercury(II) ammonium chloride, HgNH2Cl; literally, "salt of the wise". (white precipitate)
- ... volatile: ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3
Saturn: In astrological and alchemical thought, the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity. Saturn was associated with lead (plumbum)
- ... of hartshorn: ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3; see also spirit of hartshorn
- salt of lemon: see sorrel salt
- -peter or -petre: potassium nitrate, KNO3 (nitre). [Bacon, Helmont, T. Thomson]
- ... of tin: tin(II) chloride, SnCl2
- urinous ...: (sel urineux) an ammonium salt. Occasionally any alkaline salt.
- ... of wormwood: potassium carbonate, K2CO3
Scheele's green: an acidic copper(II) arsenite, CuHAsO3, named for Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
Schlippe's salt: sodium sulfantimonate, Na3SbS4.9H2O, named for Carl Friedrich von Schlippe.
Schllkopf's acid: apparently, Schllkopf had three. 1-naphthol-4,8-disulfonic acid, 1-naphthylamine-4,8-disulfonic acid, and 1-naphthylamine-8-sulfonic acid. (Click here for structures.)
scruple: See apothecary measures.
Seignette's salt: see rochelle salt. Peter Seignette was an apothecary at Rochelle.
Seven planets, seven metals: In astrological and alchemical thought, the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity. The associations were:
|Sun (Sol)||gold (aurum)
|Mercury||mercury (quicksilver, hydrargyrum)
|Moon (Luna)||silver (argentum)
siliceous earth: silicon dioxide, SiO2. [Lavoisier, Scheele]
soda: sodium carbonate, Na2CO3 (washing soda), or sodium hydrogen carbonate, NaHCO3 (baking soda) [Dalton, Lavoisier, Prout, Rayleigh]. Caustic soda was sodium hydroxide, NaOH. [Mendeleev]. See also fossil alkali, marine alkali, common mineral alkali.
- black ...: stephanite, a native silver antimony sulfide, 5Ag2S.Sb2S
- fulminating ...: silver nitride, Ag3N, an explosive solid; distinct from silver fulminate, Ag2C2N2O2, which is also explosive
- ... glance: argentite, silver sulfide, Ag2S. (See glance.)
- horn ...: a native silver chloride, AgCl (argentum cornu)
- ruby ...: proustite, Ag3AsS3
sorrel salt: potassium hydrogen oxalate, KHC2O4 (sal acetosella, salt of lemon)
Spanish white: bismuth oxychloride, BiOCl, or oxynitrate, BiONO3
spirit (spiritus): an essence or extract that can be prepared from another substance as by distillation. If not specified, spirits refer to alcohol (ethanol).
stannum glaciale: bismuth (literally glacial tin)
- ... of alum: sulfuric acid, H2SO4
- colonial or Columbian ...: methanol, CH3OH
- ... of hartshorn: ammonia, NH3, or its aqueous solution (formerly prepared from animal horns or hooves); see also salt of hartshorn. See alkaline air, volatile alkali. [Black]
- ... of nitre: nitric acid, HNO3 (aqua fortis, nitrous acid, acid spirit of nitre) [Cavendish, Fahrenheit, Mayow, Priestley] or ethyl nitrite, C2H5NO2, also known as the sweet spirit of nitre or nitrous ether. See nitre.
- pyroacetic ...: acetone, (CH3)2CO
- pyroligneous or pyroxylic ...: methanol
- ... of salt (spiritus salis): hydrochloric acid, HCl (acidum salis, marine acid, muriatic acid). [Black, Scheele]
- ... of vitriol (spiritus vitrioli): vitriolic acid.
- ... of wine (spiritus vini): concentrated aqueous ethanol, C2H5OH, typically prepared by distilling wine; see aqua vitae. [Fahrenheit, Helmont, Mayow, Scheele, et al.]
- ... of wood: methanol
sugar of lead (saccharum saturni: lead acetate, Pb(CH3CO)2.3H2O
sulphovinic acid: ethyl hydrogen sulfate, C2H5.HSO4, the product of the reaction of sulfuric acid with ethyl alcohol
sulphuret: sulfide (hepar). [Berzelius, Dalton, T. Thomson]
sulphuretted: combined with or impregnated with sulfur. [Frankland]
sulphuretted hydrogen: hydrogen sulfide, H2S (hepatic air). [Dalton, Gay-Lussac, Prout, T. Thomson et al.]
sulphuric acid: formerly meant sulfur trioxide, SO3. [Dalton, Gay-Lussac, Lavoisier, Prout, T. Thomson et al.]
sulphurous acid or sulphurous gas: formerly meant sulfur dioxide, SO2. [Avogadro, Gay-Lussac, Lavoisier, Prout, T. Thomson, et al.]
Sun (Sol): In astrological and alchemical thought, the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity. The sun was associated with gold (aurum).
sweet salt: sodium chlorite, NaClO2.
Sylvius's febrifuge salt: potassium chloride, KCl; named for the iatrochemist Franciscus Sylvius
tartar: (tartar of wine) potassium hydrogen tartrate, KHC4H4O6 [Stahl]
tectum argenti: bismuth (construed as silver not completely formed in the earth)
- cream of ... (cremor tartari): tartar purified into small white crystals.
- ... emetic: potassium antimonyl tartrate, KSbOC4H4O6.1/2H2O
- oil of ...: a saturated solution of potassium carbonate, K2CO3 [Lavoisier]
- salt of ...: solid potassium carbonate [Black, Cavendish, Rey, Stahl]
- vitriolate of ... (or vitriolated): potassium sulfate, K2SO4 [Priestley, Scheele] (sal de duobus)
terra ...: earth
Thénard's blue: blue cobalt aluminate, Co(AlO2)2, named for Louis-Jacques Thénard.
- ... ponderosa ("heavy earth"), barium oxide, BaO
- ... ponderosa aerata ("aerated heavy earth"), barium carbonate, BaCO3
thorium ... See table.
thymol blue: thymolsulphonphthalein, C27H30O5S, an acid-base indicator that changes from pink to yellow as the pH is raised through 2.2 and then to blue as the pH is raised through 8.8
- ... A: an isotope of polonium produced in thorium decay, namely 216Po (half-life = 0.15 s).[Soddy]
- ... C: The names of two radioisotopes, both produced in thorium decay, included thorium C. Simple thorium C was an isotope of bismuth, namely 212Bi (half-life = 61 min); thorium C' was an isotope of polonium, namely 212Po (half-life = 0.3 µs) [Rutherford, Soddy]
- ... D: an isotope of thallium produced in thorium decay, namely 208Tl (half-life = 3 min). [Soddy 1 & 2]
- ... X: an isotope of radium produced in thorium decay, namely 224Ra (half-life = 3.6 d). [Rutherford, Soddy]
trona: natural sodium carbonate/bicarbonate, Na2CO3.NaHCO3.2H2O
Turnbull's blue: ferroferricyanide, Fe3[Fe(CN)6]2, also known as insoluble Prussian blue
turbith mineral (or turpeth): basic sulfate of mercury, HgSO4.2HgO. [Cavendish, Lavoisier, Priestley]
tyrian purple: 6,6'-dibromoindigotin, C16H8N2O2Br2, an important dye of the ancient Mediterranean.
uranium ... See table.
- ... I: is simply the most abundant isotope of uranium, 238U.
- ... II: an isotope of uranium produced in uranium decay, namely 234U (half-life = 2.5x105 y). [Soddy 1, 2, & 3]
- ... X: There were two uranium X produced in uranium decay. Uranium X1 (simply uranium X before the discovery of uranium X2) was an isotope of thorium, namely 234Th (half-life = 24 d); uranium X2 was an isotope of protactinium 234Pa. [Crookes; Rutherford; Soddy 1, 2, & 3]
- ... yellow: sodium uranate, Na2UO4, a pigment used in glass and ceramics
vegetable alkali: usually crude or purified potassium carbonate, K2CO3 (pearl ash), sometimes specified as mild vegetable alkali or fixed vegetable alkali. Caustic vegetable alkali is potassium hydroxide. [Davy]
- ... air: (aer urinosa) ammonia. See alkaline air
- ... salt: (sel urineux) an ammonium salt, or occasionally, any alkaline salt
Venus: In astrological and alchemical thought, the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity. Venus was associated with copper (cuprum).
virginium (Vi or Vm): a name proposed for element 87 (francium) in a report of detection of the element whose validity was ultimately not recognized.
verdigris: basic copper acetate, used as a pigment from green to blue. Literally "green of Greece" in French; however, it was also called Spanish green. blue verdigris is copper(II) acetate, Cu(C2H3O2)2.H2O.
vermilion: mercury(II) sulfide, HgS, a red pigment; also known as cinnabar. (See minium.)
vis viva: energy. The law of conservation of energy was originally phrased in terms of vis viva [Clausius, Joule, Kelvin, Mayer]
vitamin (or sometimes vitamine, from "vital amine" [Funk]): an organic substance essential in small quantities to the normal health of an animal. Vitamins must typically be supplied to the animal through diet. The chemical names for some vitamins follow. For structures, see this tutorial at Washington University St. Louis..
vitriol: a sulfate, especially iron sulfate; see copperas.
- ... A: retinol, C20H30O, a fat-soluble vitamin derived from carotenes
- ... B: a group of water-soluble, heat labile compounds that typically serve as co-enzymes. They include many examples that contain amine groups (as in "vital amine").
- ... B1: thiamin (or thiamine), C12H17N4OSCl
- ... B2: riboflavin (or riboflavine), C17H20N4O6
- ... B3: niacin (or nicotinic acid), C6H5NO2
- ... B6: pyridoxin (or pyridoxine), C8H11NO3
- ... B12: cyanocobalamin (or cyanocobalamine), C63H90CoN14O14P
- ... Bc: folic acid, C19H19N7O6
- ... C: ascorbic acid, C6H8O6, a water-soluble vitamin found in many fruits and green vegetables
- ... D: This fat-soluble vitamin consists of steroid derivatives including ergocalciferol, C28H44O, and cholecalciferol, C27H44O.
- ... E: This vitamin occurs in four naturally occuring forms, called α-, β-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol. The α form, C29H50O2, has the greatest activity; the β- and γ- forms have one fewer methyl group, and the δ- form two fewer.
volatile alkali: aqueous ammonia, NH3; see alkaline air, spirit of hartshorn. Concrete volatile alkali refers to ammonium carbonate, (NH4)2CO3. [Black, Cavendish, Lavoisier, Scheele, et al.]
- vitriolic acid: sulfuric acid, H2SO4 [Black, Cavendish, Lavoisier, Priestley], also known as oil of sulfur per campanum, oil of vitriol [Black, Lavoisier, Scheele, Stahl], and spirit of vitriol (spiritus vitrioli) [Black, Scheele].
- vitriolic acid air (and sometimes vitriolic acid): sulfur dioxide, SO2, also known as sulphurous acid or sulphurous gas.
- blue vitriol: copper sulfate, CuSO4.5H2O, also roman vitriol
- green vitriol: iron(II) sulfate, FeSO4.7H2O
- red or rose vitriol: cobalt(II) sulfate, CoSO4.7H2O
- uranvitriol: a uranium sulfate
- white vitriol or salt of vitriol: zinc sulfate, ZnSO4.7H2O [Scheele]; also salt of vitriol
water glass (also soluble glass): a hydrated sodium silicate, Na2Si4O9.xH2O, either an amorphous solid or in thick aqueous solution, used as a binder or adhesive.
wolfram: a name of Germanic origin originally applied to a native iron manganese tungstate and later to the element tungsten, hence the symbol W.
xylenol blue: 1,4-dimethyl-5-hydroxybenzenesulfonphthalein, an acid-base indicator that changes from red to yellow as the pH is raised through 2 and then to blue as the pH is raised through 8.8.
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