Words related to -ine

Vaseline (n.)

1872, trademark for an ointment made from petroleum and marketed by Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., coined from German Wasser "water" + Greek elaion "oil" + scientific-sounded ending -ine. Robert A. Chesebrough was of the opinion that petroleum was a product of the underground decomposition of water.

The name is of mixed origin, being derived from Wasser, water, and elaion [Greek in the original], oil (water-oil), and indicates the belief of the discoverer that petroleum, the mother of Vaseline, is produced by the agency of heat and pressure from the carbon of certain rocks, and the hydrogen of water. [The Monthly Review of Dental Surgery, February 1877]
velveteen (n.)

imitation velvet (made with cotton in place of silk), 1776, from velvet + commercial suffix -een (variant of -ine).

acrylic (adj.)

1843, "of or containing acryl," the name of a radical derived from acrolein (1843), the name of a liquid in onions and garlic that makes eyes tear, from Latin acer "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + olere "to smell" (see odor) + -in (see -ine (2)). With adjectival suffix -ic. Modern senses often short for acrylic fiber, acrylic resin, etc.

adenine (n.)

crystalline base, 1885, coined by German physiologist/chemist Albrecht Kossel from Greek adēn "gland" (see adeno-) + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called because it was derived from the pancreas of an ox.

adrenaline (n.)

also Adrenalin (trademark name), coined 1901 by Japanese chemist Jokichi Takamine (1853-1922), who discovered it, from Modern Latin adrenal (see adrenal) + chemical suffix -ine (2). Adrenaline rush was in use c. 1970.

amine (n.)

"compound in which one of the hydrogen atoms of ammonia is replaced by a hydrocarbon radical," 1863, from ammonia + chemical suffix -ine (2).


word-forming element in chemical use, indicating a chain of carbon atoms with no double bonds, proposed 1866 by German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892) to go with -ene, -ine (2), -one.

aspartame (n.)

commercial name of an artificial sweetener, 1973, from aspartic acid (1836), formed irregularly from asparagine (1813, earlier in French), a crystalline compound found in asparagus, beet-root, etc., which was named from asparagus + chemical suffix -ine (2). The -ame is perhaps because aspartamine is an amide.

aspirin (n.)

coined 1899 in German as a trademark name by German chemist Heinrich Dreser, from Latin Spiraea (ulmaria) "meadow-sweet," the plant in whose flowers or leaves the processed acid in the medicine is naturally found, + common chemical ending -in (see -ine (2)).

Spiraea (Tournefort, 1700) is from Latinized form of Greek speiraia "meadow-sweet," so called from the shape of its follicles (see spiral (adj.)). The initial -a- is to acknowledge acetylation; Dreser said the word was a contraction of acetylierte spirsäure, the German name of the acid, which now is obsolete, replaced by salicylic acid.

Die Bezeichnung Aspirin ist abgeleitet aus "Spirsäure" — alter Name der Salicylsäure und A = Acetyl; statt: Acetylirte Spirsäure, kurzweg "Aspirin". [H, Dreser, "Pharmakologisches über Aspirin (Acetylsalicylsäure)," in "Archiv für die Gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere," 1899, p.307]

The custom of giving commercial names to medicinal products began in Germany in the late 19th century, when nascent pharmaceutical firms were discovering medical uses for common, easily made chemicals. To discourage competitors they would market the substance under a short trademarked name a doctor could remember, rather than the long chemical compound word. German law required prescriptions to be filled exactly as written.

astatine (n.)

radioactive element, named 1947, from Greek astatos "unstable" (see astatic) + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called for its short half-life and lack of stable isotopes. "The element appears not to have a stable form and probably does not exist in nature" [Flood, "Origin of Chemical Names"].

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