Etymology
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Words related to tantalus

extol (v.)
also extoll, c. 1400, "to lift up," from Latin extollere "to place on high, raise, elevate," figuratively "to exalt, praise," from ex "up" (see ex-) + tollere "to raise," from PIE *tele- "to bear, carry," "with derivatives referring to measured weights and thence money and payment" [Watkins].

Cognates include Greek talantos "bearing, suffering," tolman "to carry, bear," telamon "broad strap for bearing something," talenton "a balance, pair of scales," Atlas "the 'Bearer' of Heaven;" Lithuanian tiltas "bridge;" Sanskrit tula "balance," tulayati "lifts up, weighs;" Latin tolerare "to bear, support," perhaps also latus "borne;" Old English þolian "to endure;" Armenian tolum "I allow." Figurative sense of "praise highly" in English is first attested c. 1500. Related: Extolled; extolling.
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tantalize (v.)

"to tease or torment by presenting something desirable to the view, and frustrating expectation by keeping it out of reach," 1590s, with -ize + Latin Tantalus, from Greek Tantalos, name of a mythical king of Phrygia in Asia Minor, son of Zeus, father of Pelops and Niobe, famous for his riches, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His story was known to Chaucer (c. 1369). Related: Tantalized; tantalizing; tantalizingly; tantalization.

niobium (n.)

metallic element, 1845, named by German scientist Heinrich Rose, who discovered it in 1844 in the mineral tantalite (the source of the element and name tantalum) and columbite. The element was so called because in Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus. With metallic element ending -ium. Related: Niobic.

tantalum (n.)
metallic element, 1809, Modern Latin, named 1802 by its discoverer, Swedish chemist Anders Ekberg (1767-1813), for Tantalus, according to Ekberg partly because of its inability to absorb acid recalled Tantalus' punishment in the afterlife (see tantalize). Sometimes it is said to be so called from the difficulty scientists faced in obtaining a pure specimen.