Bromine, element 35, was discovered independently by French and German chemists Antoine Balard and Carl Jacob Löwig in 1825 and 1826, respectively. Balard originally called the new element muride, from the Latin muria, meaning brine, because he had found the bromide salts in a salt marsh. But quickly changed it to brome, after the Greek βρωμος, bromos or odor, on account of its strong smell. The name was later reformed to make the name analogous with chlorine, with which it shares many chemical properties.1

From Edward Turner’s 1827 Elements of Chemistry:

The name first applied to it by its discoverer is muride; but it has since been changed to brome [...] from the Greek βρωμος signifying a strong or rank odour. This appellation may in the English language be properly converted into that of Bromine.2

Bromine has the chemical symbol Br.

1Oxford English Dictionary, bromine, 2nd Edition, 1989, Oxford University Press, accessed 21 September 2009,

2Oxford English Dictionary, muride, 3rd Edition, March 2003, Oxford University Press, accessed 21 September 2009,

Powered by ExpressionEngine
Copyright 1997-2019, by David Wilton