Words related to ammonia
late 14c., ammoniak, also armonyak, in reference to certain gums, earths or salts (sal ammoniac) used medicinally and held to have similar properties (see ammonia); from Old French ammoniac, armoniac, ultimately from Greek *ammoniakos, from the god-name Ammon (q.v.).
The gum (Latin guttae ammoniaci) came from a wild plant that grew across North Africa and Asia. The earth (Latin bolus armenicus) was so called because the substance was found in Armenia; hence the medieval forms were confused with words from Greek harmonia (gum ammoniac was used as a binding agent) or Armenia.
name for salt formerly much used in pharmacy and old chemistry, late 14c., from Old French sal, from Latin sal (genitive salis) "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt"). For sal ammoniac "ammonium chloride" (early 14c.), see ammonia. Sal volatile, "ammonium carbonate," especially as used in reviving persons who have fainted, is by 1650s, Modern Latin, literally "volatile salt" (see volatile).