Etymology
Advertisement
uranium (n.)

rare metallic element, 1797, named 1789 in Modern Latin by its discoverer, German chemist and mineralogist Martin Heinrich Klaproth, for the recently found planet Uranus (q.v.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
titanium (n.)
metallic element, 1796, Modern Latin, named in 1795 by German chemist and mineralogist Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817) from Latin Titan (see titan) as "sons of the earth." He previously had named uranium. A pure specimen was not isolated until 1887.
Related entries & more 
neptunium (n.)

transuranic element, 1941, from Neptune + element ending -ium. Named for its relative position in the periodic table, next after uranium, as the planet Neptune is one beyond Uranus. See also plutonium.

Related entries & more 
yellowcake (n.)
oxide of uranium, 1950, from yellow (adj.) + cake (n.).
Related entries & more 
pitchblende (n.)

also pitch-blende, oxide of uranium, usually occurring in pitchy black masses, 1770, a loan-translation of German Pechblende; see pitch (n.2) + blende.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
promethium (n.)

radioactive element, long one of the "missing elements," 1948, so called by discoverers Jacob Marinsky and Lawrence Glendenin, who detected it in 1945 in the fusion products of uranium while working on the Manhattan Project. From Prometheus (q.v.), who stole fire from the gods and was punished for it, + element name ending -ium. "The name not only symbolizes the dramatic way in which the element may be produced in quantity as a result of man's harnessing of the energy of nuclear fission, but also warns man of the impending danger of punishment by the vulture of war." [Marinsky and Glendenin]

Related entries & more 
-ium 
word-forming element in chemistry, used to coin element names, from Latin adjectival suffix -ium (neuter of -ius), which formed metal names in Latin (ferrum "iron," aurum "gold," etc.). In late 18c chemists began to pay attention to the naming of their substances with words that indicate their chemical properties. Berzelius in 1811 proposed forming all element names in Modern Latin. As the names of some recently discovered metallic elements already were in Latin form (uranium, chromium, borium, etc.), the pattern of naming metallic elements in -ium or -um was maintained (in cadmium, lithium, plutonium, etc.; helium is an anomaly).
Related entries & more