oxygen


oxygen
[18] Etymologically, oxygen means ‘acid-former’. The word was coined in French in the late 1780s as oxygène, based on Greek oxús ‘sharp, acid’ (a descendant of the same Indo- European base, *ak- ‘be pointed’, as produced English acid, acute, etc) and the Greek suffixgenes, denoting ‘formation, creation’ (a descendant of the Indo-European base *gen- ‘produce’, which has given English a vast range of words, from gene to genocide). => ACID, ACUTE, EAGER, GENE, GENERAL, GENERATE
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   The gas that is essential to life has a name that represents the Greek words for 'acid-producing,' from oxus, 'sharp,' 'acid,' and gennaein, 'to generate,' 'to produce.' Oxygen was at first believed to be the essential element in the formation of acids. The name was coined by the French chemist Lavoisier in 1777.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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