Saw this on Twitter:


4 new elements = 4 new Chinese characters (since every new element generally gets a newly-invented character).

Then, I found this article which says:


How are new element names/characters decided?

  • Depends on type of element,new element will use the following Chinese affix for those element. In fact, there is many Chinese such ancient character that might fit in the sound pronounciation or characteristic.. gas : 气 metal : 金 non-metal mineral : 石 liquid :水
    – mootmoot
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:47
  • Nihonium is synthetic chemical elements, if there is such character 石霓, and not conflict with other usage, otherwise next closes character will be chosen.
    – mootmoot
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


4 new elements = 4 new Chinese characters? I also know that 4 new elements = 4 new English words.

Actually these new elements have no relationship with China:

113: Nihonium (Nh) is from Nihon, another name of Japan.

115: Moscovium (Mc) comes from the city name Moscow.

117: Tennessine(Ts) comes from Tennessee.

118: Oganesson (Og) comes from Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian (1933-).

So how is a new element are named in Chinese? Here's Official standards from 全国科学技术名词审定委员会:









If you want to know more about how CHINESE name of new elements are decided, check out 全国科学技术名词审定委员会 Official Site.

P.S. They are collecting new names of these 4 new elements. If you have good idea, also check out this website to submit your name suggestions.

  • 1
    I would suggest using 鈤(Nh)、镆(Mc)、钿(Ts) and creating a new character 【钅奥】(Og).
    – wks
    Dec 8, 2016 at 1:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.