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Dutch words for hydrogen and oxygen

  1. Jul 9, 2011 #1
    So, I was just fooling around on Google Translate, and I decided to translate from Dutch to English for no good reason. I typed in hydrogen, and got back waterstof.

    Water-stuff! Or alternatively, water-dust, or water-material.

    So, I thought to myself "Hey, oxygen is also in water. Lets translate oxygen."

    Oxygen = zuurstof

    Interesting... what does zuur mean? ACID! Oxygen is "acid-stuff" and hydrogen is "water-stuff." Those sound completely backwards to me, because oxygen has little to nothing to do with acid as far as I know, while hydrogen donation practically defines an acid.

    Those crazy Dutch...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2011 #2
    The words Oxygen and Hydrogen have the same meaning - i.e. acid creator and water creator in Latin, respectively. Only difference is that their names were translated into Dutch and German, whereas English retained the Latin name.

    The discovery that the chemistry actually works differently was long after the names were established.
  4. Jul 9, 2011 #3
    Ah hah! Of course! I didn't even pay attention to the -gen suffix. Nor the hydro- prefix to be honest...

    I swear, if the hard sciences didn't have me firmly by the soul, I'd study the evolution of language.
  5. Jul 9, 2011 #4
    Nitrogen is "suffocating-stuff" :biggrin:
  6. Jul 10, 2011 #5
    Finally Carbon is "Coal-stuff" :uhh:
  7. Jul 10, 2011 #6
    Germanium is "German-stuff"

    And you know they make the best stuff
    [PLAIN]http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/4852/shamwowdz6.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Jul 10, 2011 #7
    Gold is expensive-stuff, aurum and legume.
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