Fluorine, the element with atomic number 9, is a combination of the root fluor, meaning flowing or flux,1 and the suffix -ine. A flux is a substance used to remove oxidation in metals about to be welded or soldered, and the mineral fluorspar or flourite (calcium fluoride) has been used as a flux since the 16th century. The -ine ending is from the French and ultimately the Latin -ina and is used to form feminine abstractions. It was used unsystematically by chemists in the early 19th century in names such as bromine, iodine, chlorine, and fluorine. More recent chemical use restricts the ending to alkaloids and other basic substances.2

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