1765, from Late Latin Scandinavia, Skandinovia, a mistake for Scadinavia, from a Germanic source (compare Old English Scedenig, Old Norse Skaney "south end of Sweden"), from Proto-Germanic *skadinaujo "Scadia island," first element of uncertain origin, second element from *aujo "thing on the water," from PIE root *akwā- "water" (see aqua-). It might truly have been an island when the word was formed; the coastlines of the Baltic Sea has changed dramatically since the end of the Ice Ages.
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).
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Definitions of scandium from WordNet
a white trivalent metallic element; sometimes classified in the rare earth group; occurs in the Scandinavian mineral thortveitite;