NOT the Periodic Table

I’ve noticed that very often someone will name a fictional character or place after an element, even though there’s no connection there, Evidently they just like the sound of it. I grew up reading about Superman’s home world being Krypton, so that didn’t bother me. But when I read Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Martian stories, it kept wrenching me out of the story to read about the city of Helium.

So I started collecting examples. I doubt if we can fill in all the names (did anyone ever name anything after Francium?), bujt let’s see how many elements we can show were used as names or at least words unrelated to the original element

Helium – City on ERB’s Mars
Krypton – Superman’s home planet
Argon – God in Jim Theis’ notoriously bad The vEye of Argon
Xenon – Pinball game
Chlorine – Native American “Spirit guide” of 19th century medium Leonora Piper
Radon – Transliteration of the original Japanese name of the Kaiju better known as Rodan. The name is apparently a contraction of pteRAnoDON.
Iodine – “Little Iodine” was a character in two long-running comic strips by Jimmy Hatlo. You may not have heard of her, but she was around for fifty years ( )

Not quite unconnected with the element:
Mercury – Lots of associations with the Roman God and the Planet, named before the element, but still, the element was clearly named by associatioon with the swift god, and the planet shares the connection
Bromide – meaning an acerbic axiom. The word was coined by MIT grad turned cartoonist and poet Frank Gelett Burgess (who wrote “The Purple Cow”, among other things). His coming up with this term is clearly his MIT Chemistry training coming through.
Terms related to long-known metals – Nickel, Gold, Silver, etc. – sem to be tied to the properties of that metal, somehow, so they don’t seem to fit my initial requirement of no relation. Similarly “Neon” gets used for bright stuff because of discharge tubes filled with neon gas, so that’s out as well.

Any others? Is any character named Boron or *Tungsten or Antimony? Did someone like the name Radium so much that he used it for a character or a city?

Oxygen: a cable tv station among other things.

True Oxygene was an album by synthesizer musician Jean-Michel Jarre, son of film score composer Maurice Jarre.

Palladium is the name of numerous concert halls and theaters.

The X series of space sims have Argon, Boron and Xenon as races. The Argons are presumably named after a character, Nathan R. Gunne, and the Boron and Xenon might have been named “B(oron)” and “X(enon)” to follow that convention.

“Hi yo, Silver!”

Nirvana had a song titled “Lithium”.

Neon was a compact car manufactured by Chrysler. It was also the name of a DC heroine, one of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

I don’t know… Actual neon lights are characteristically a very clear, bright red color, so it seems to me that calling something “neon green” is nearly completely unrelated to the element.

Iridium for the communication satellites has a connection to the element, but only a tenuous one. Someone thought that the fleet of many satellites orbiting the Earth resembled an atom with many electrons, and at the time there were 77 such satellites, so iridium it was.

And antimony has a song from Mary Poppins: “Antimony, antimony, anTIMoneee, a sweeper’s an artist…” :slight_smile:

Carbon Copy Kid from Sky High
WCW Nitro, Johnny Nitro, Nitro from Marvel Comics (close enough to nitrogen)
“Neon” Deon Sanders
Silicon Valerie
Colonel Sulphur from DC Comics
Chorine from Marvel Comics
The Calcium Kid
Titanium Man from Marvel Comics
The Chromium Man
Iron Man, Iron Monger, Iron Giant, the man with the iron hands, Iron Mike Sharpe, Iron from DC Comics
Cobalt, Astro Boy’s brother, Cobalt Man from Marvel Comics, Cobalt Blue from DC Comics
Copper from The Fox and the Hound, Copper Kid from Silver Hawks
DJ Zinc
Arsenic Lullaby
Silver Surfer, Silver Samurai and Silver Fox from Marvel Comics, Silver Hawks, Long John Silver, the Lone Ranger’s horse Silver, Colonel Silver from Dragon Ball
Cadmium from Marvel Comics
The Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, Tin Tin, Rin Tin Tin, Tin from DC Comics
Little Iodine
Barium from Marvel Comics
Tungsten from Marvel Comics
Pokémon Platinum, Platinum from DC Comics
Gold Power Ranger, Ari Gold, Booster Gold, Golden Glider and Gold from DC Comics, Gold Lion from The Man with the Iron Fists, Goldie from Sin City, Gold Leader from Star Wars, Gold Team from X-Men, Gold Dust Trio, Golddust
Freddie Mercury, Joey Mercury, Mercury from Marvel Comics, Mercury from DC Comics, Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon, Mercury Man
Lead from DC Comics
Professor Radium from DC Comics

@Abner: A lot of those don’t count. The thread’s about elemental names that have nothing to do with the element - a “liquid metal” shapeshifter named after a liquid metal does not qualify, for example.

The Radon-Nikodym theorem, an important result in the branch of mathematics known as measure theory, was named after the mathematicians who proved it, the relevant one here being Johann Radon.

How ironic.

One of the main characters from the online comic Gunerkrigg Court is named Antimony.

Annie is fire-elemental, which is an ironic connection to the element (which is used as a flame retardant).

Not fictional, but there’s the famous NYC jazz club Iridium. No idea why they chose the name, though.

Lead Belly – blues singer
Chevy Cobalt
Wolfram Alpha


Sort of, in this Dilbert strip.

As for others, maybe Polonium, by Ralph Lauren?

Doesn’t have to be fictional. I’ll accept it.

Actually, a better use of the term would be the Radon Transform, which is used in turning that series of x-rays into a 3-D image in CAT scans. (And for turning MRI scans into 3-D images, as well)

A “bromide”, meaning an elixer, a treatment for epilepsy, a mild tranquilizer or sedative, something you get from a druggist/ pharmacy/ soda fountain, named from the element (eg: “bromide of strontium”), but a common / medical term, not from his MIT Chemistry training.