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Home > Chemicals > Chemical Glossary

Older books list some chemicals by names now archaic or by common-use names. This list of some common chemicals indicates names, archaic or common and current technical ones.

Archaic or Common NameCurrent Technical Name Archaic or Common NameCurrent Technical Name


Acid of sugar Oxalic acid.   Indian red Ferric oxide.
Ackey Nitric acid.   Isinglass Agar-agar, gelatine.
Alum or Alum flower or Alum meal Potassium aluminum sulfate.   Jewellers' rouge Ferric oxide.
Antichlor Sodium thiosulfate.   Lampblack Crude form of carbon.
Antimony black Antimony trisulfide.   Lead peroxide Lead dioxide.
Antimony bloom Antimony trioxide.   Lead protoxide Lead oxide.
Antimony glance Antimony trisulfide.   Lime Calcium oxide.
Aqua fortis Nitric acid.   Lime (slaked) Calcium hydroxide.
Aromatic spirits of ammonia A 10% solution of ammonia.   Liquor ammonia Ammonium hydroxide (soln.).
Arsenic glass Arsenic trioxide.   Litharge Lead monoxide.
Azurite Mineral form of basic copper carbonate.   Liver of sulphur Potash sulfurated.
Baking soda Sodium bicarbonate.   Lunar caustic Silver nitrate.
Barium white Barium sulfate.   Lye (soda lye) Sodium hydroxide.
Bicarbonate of soda Sodium hydrogen carbonate (sodium bicarbonate).   Magnesia Magnesium oxide.
Bichrome Potassium dichromate.   Manganese black Manganese dioxide.
Bitter salt Magnesium sulfate.   Marble Calcium carbonate.
Black ash Crude form of sodium carbonate.   Milk of lime Calcium hydroxide.
Black lead Graphite.   Milk of magnesium Magnesium hydroxide.
Blanc-fixe Barium sulfate.   Milk of sulphur Precipitated sulfur.
Bleaching powder Calcium hypochlorite.   Mohrs salt Ferrous ammonium sulfate.
Blue copperas Copper sulfate (crystals).   "Muriate" of a metal The metal chloride.
Blue lead Lead sulfate.   Muriatic acid Hydrochloric acid.
Blue salts Nickel sulfate.   Natron Sodium carbonate.
Blue stone Copper sulfate (crystals).   Nitre Potassium nitrate.
Blue vitriol Copper sulfate (crystals).   Oil of vitriol Concentrated sulfuric acid.
Bone ash Crude calcium phosphate.   Oleic acid CIS-9-octadecenoic acid.
Bone black Crude animal charcoal.   Paris blue Ferric ferrocyanide.
Boracic acid Boric acid.   Pearl ash Anhydrous potassium carbonate.
Borax Sodium tetraborate.   Permanent white Barium sulfate.
Bremen blue Basic copper carbonate.   Plaster of Paris Calcium sulfate.
Brimstone Sulfur.   Plumbago Graphite.
Burnt alum Anhydrous potassium aluminum sulfate.   Precipitated chalk Calcium carbonate.
Burnt lime Calcium oxide.   Prussian blue Ferric ferrocyanide.
Burnt ochre or burnt ore Ferric oxide.   Quicklime Calcium oxide.
Calomel Mercurous chloride.   Quicksilver Mercury.
Carbolic acid Phenol.   Red lead Lead tetroxide.
Caustic "Any strongly alkaline material which has a corrosive or irritating effect on living tissue." ...Hawley's condensed Chemical Dictionary.   Red liquor Aluminum acetate (soln.).
Caustic lime Calcium hydroxide.   Red prussiate of potash Potassium ferricyanide
Caustic potash Potassium hydroxide.   Red prussiate of soda Sodium ferricyanide
Caustic soda Sodium hydroxide.   Rochelle salt Potassium sodium tartrate
Chalk Calcium carbonate.   Rock salt Sodium chloride
Chili nitre or chili saltpetre Sodium nitrate.   Rouge Ferric oxide
Chinese red Basic lead chromate.   Sal ammoniac Ammonium chloride.
Chinese white Zinc oxide.   Salt Sodium chloride.
Chloride of lime Calcium hypochlorite.   Salt of tartar or salt of wormwood Potassium carbonate.
Chloride of soda Sodium hypochlorite.   Saltpetre Potassium nitrate.
Chlorinated lime Calcium hypochlorite.   Slaked lime Calcium hydroxide.
Chrome alum Potassium chromium sulfate.   Soda ash Anhydrous sodium carbonate.
Chrome green Chromium oxide.   Soda lime Mixture of calcium oxide and sodium hydroxide.
Chrome red Basic lead chromate.   Soda monohydrate Sodium carbonate (crystals).
Chrome yellow Lead chromate.   Soda nitre Sodium nitrate.
Chromic acid Chromium trioxide.   Soda or washing soda (crystals) Sodium carbonate (crystals).
Common salt Sodium chloride.   Sour salt Citric acid.
Copperas (blue) Copper sulfate (crystals).   Spirit of hartshorn Ammonia solution.
Copperas (green) Ferrous sulfate.   Spirit of salt Hydrochloric acid.
Corundum Chiefly aluminum oxide.   Spirit of wine Ethanol (ethyl alcohol).
Cream of tartar Potassium hydrogen tartrate.   Sugar of lead Lead acetate.
Crocus Ferric oxide.   Tin crystals Stannous chloride.
Crystal carbonate Sodium carbonate.   Trona Sodium carbonate (natural).
Dechlor Sodium thiosulfate.   Unslaked lime Calcium oxide.
Epsom salts Magnesium sulfate.   Venetian red Ferric oxide.
Farina Starch.   Verdigris Basic copper acetate.
Ferro-prussiate Potassium ferrocyanide.   Vienna lime Calcium carbonate.
Ferrum Iron.   Vinegar Crude form of acetic acid.
Fixed white Barium sulfate.   Vitriol Sulfuric acid.
"Flowers" of sulfur Sulfur.   Washing soda Sodium carbonate (crystals).
"Flowers" of a metal Obsolete term for an oxide of a metal e.g. flowers of zinc is zinc oxide.   Waterglass Sodium silicate (soln. ).
French verdigris Basic copper acetate.   White caustic Sodium hydroxide.
Glauber's salt Sodium sulfate.   White lead Basic lead carbonate.
Green verditer Basic copper carbonate.   White vitriol Zinc sulfate (crystal).
Green vitriol Ferrous sulfate (crystals).   Whiting Calcium carbonate.
Gypsum Caleium sulfate.   Yellow prussiate of potash Potassium ferrocyanide.
Heavy spar Barium sulfate.   Yellow prussiate of soda Sodium ferrocyanide.
Hypo Sodium thiosulfate.   Zinc vitriol Zinc sulfate.
      Zinc white Zinc oxide.