Monday, February 6

Elemental Names: Lithium

Periodic Table, found via UNIFORM on Tumblr

Lithium takes its name from the Greek word lithos, meaning "stone." Perhaps the most famous stone-related name is Peter, which means "rock." Peter was the name given to the apostle Simon by Jesus. Saint Peter is widely believed to have been the first Pope, the "rock" upon which the foundation of the Catholic church was built. Peter has some great variants, including medieval French Piers, Dutch Piet, Basque Peio, Macedonian Pece and Swedish Pelle and Per. For girls, Peta and Petra are nice, unexpected choices.

Some other names with stone meanings include old English Dunstan, which means "dark stone," Arabic male name Fihr, which means "stone pestle," Finnish girl name Pinja which means "stone pipe," Old Norse Sixten, from elements meaning "victory" and "stone," and Old English Wystan, which means "battle stone." Another Norse choice is Torsten, which means "Thor's stone," and refers to a place in England that is said to have been an early Viking settlement and religious ceremonial ground.

Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal — Sterling comes to mind. It means "little star," and also carries meaning as an English word meaning "excellent."

Lithium is represented by the symbol Li, which is a name in its own right. It is a unisex Hebrew name meaning "to me." It is also a unisex name in Chinese — for boys, it is usually represented by the symbols for "reason" or "logic" (理), "stand" (立), "dawn" or "black" (黎) or "strength/power" (力). For girls, it usually means "beautiful" (丽) ... because that's the best you can hope for with a girl? Blah! 

"I'm so happy/ 'cos today I found my friends/ they're in my head" Chemical salts of lithium are sometimes administered as a mood-stabilizing medication for various conditions including bipolar and schizoaffective disorders. Some cheerful names: Alaia, which means "joyful" in Basque, Eija, a Finnish name taken from an exclamation of happiness (eijaa), Obrad, a Serbian name meaning "to make happy," and Nandita, a Sanskrit name meaning "happy." And some depressed: Dolores means "sorrows," Tristan is from the Latin tristis, meaning "sad," and Mahzun is a Turkish male name that also means "sad."

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