Chemical Name for Water

Well, what is it? I’ve heard many, and they all sound correct, but what is the proper name? I can’t seem to find a MSDS, but I’ve found sites referring to it as hydrogen oxide, hydrogen monoxide, dihydrogen oxide, dihydrogen monoxide, and hydric acid.

You can learn much more about the dangerous chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide at the DHMO homepage.


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While “Dihydrogen Monoxide” is technically correct, isn’t the “Mono” redundant?

Dihydrogen Oxide should suffice.

IANAChemist, but frequently the mono- prefix is used, to avoid confusion. As an example, carbon monooxide, rather than “carbon oxide”. Perhaps the phrase “carbon oxide” could be confused with any oxide of carbon (or even a mixture of carbon oxides). In that case the word carbon is acting as an adjective modifying the noun oxide, rather than the entire two-word phrase acting as a single noun.


Water is listed as Hydrogen Oxide in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (55th edition). The table lists no synonyms other than H[sub]2[/sub]O or water.

That link is great! :wink:

You know, chemists aren’t totally stupid. They just call it water.

There’s always Hydrogen Peroxide, H2O2.

But chemists have these conventions, where the endings indicate different things. Like, a chemist could tell you whether Ferrous Oxide is Fe2O3 or if that’s Ferric Oxide. Since there are only two possible H and O combinations, it isn’t too difficult to keep them straight. And if there’s a H-O-O-O-H out there, I imagine it is pretty damn unstable. I guess such a compound would stick around for only a few seconds, if that.

Isn’t it also Hydro-oxadonic acid? The H makes it an acid, I just forget the naming of it.

Dihydrogen oxide is the name I see most for water on chemistry nomenclature websites. I don’t have the patience to search for one that discusses dropping the “mono” or not when specifically applied to water. One of my old chemistry teachers said you’d call water dihydrogen oxide as well if that carries any weight. I guess if you just used “oxide” here, people should assume it refers to one O molecule. You don’t specifically say so, but assuming “oxide” means 2, 5, or 16 O molecules just wouldn’t make sense. Sorry Red_., but google never heard of “hydro-oxadonic acid” or any variations that I tried. Water isn’t really an acid… or a base - it can be either though it has a neutral pH when by it’s self