Hydrogen sulfide was previously named "sulphuretted hydrogen" but I can't find the person who named/coined it. Although Carl Wilhelm Scheele is credited to have discovered and isolated the purified version of gas, he failed the recognize the real nature of gas and hence received names such as "liver of sulphur air", "hepatic air". From here:

In 1777, Scheele obtained it by the action of acids on calcium polysulfide and also on manganese sulfide and ferrous sulfide; he observed the solubility of the gas in water and its oxidation to free Sulphur by atmospheric air and other oxidizing agents. On account of the phlogistic views prevalent at the time, however, Scheele and his contemporaries failed to recognize the real nature of the gas, which received such names as "liver of sulphur air," "hepatic air." The gas was first recognized as an oxygen-free acid by Berthollet in 1796.

On the other hand, Heinrich Buff and Friedrich Woehler discovered silane from the action of hydrochloric acid on aluminum silicide. They called the compound siliciuretted hydrogen. In this case, we know that the discoverers has named SiH4 "siliciuretted hydrogen" before it was changed to silane but this wasn't the case for hydrogen sulfide.


  1. Who/when was H2S named "sulphuretted hydrogen"?
  2. A variation of water gas is "carburetted water gas" which is still used today. The name sometimes refer to "something related to carbon gas" following the pattern of old name of other element hydrides. Did they always gave elemental gas compounds a prefix of -retted while naming them?
  • $\begingroup$ You may start from William Nisbet · A general dictionary of chemistry, 1805, London $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Oct 10, 2022 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Google Ngrams shows three books from 1800 that use it. Ngrams does not extend further back than 1800. One is WM Johnson's The New Imperial Encyclopaedia, Or, Dictionary of the Sciences and Arts, so it clearly existed before 1800. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 13, 2022 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ As another perspective, for orientation, the carburettor in a car is what takes incoming air and adds a carbon-containing compound to it. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2022 at 6:53


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