Talk:List of chemical compounds with unusual names

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Polonium monoxide[edit]

Polonium monoxide (PoO) seems to have an unusual abbreviation. Maybe include it? (talk) 17:00, 6 October 2013 (UTC)


This appears to be a good candidate for addition: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:06, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I can't believe that Cummingtonite isn't on there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

It is. Last entry beginning with C.Novangelis (talk) 19:19, 19 November 2012 (UTC)


Should 'butanal' be included? It seems to have been removed on the grounds that there is "no clever/coincidental relationship to its properties, etc". The same goes for a lot of the compounds on this list like 'cumene' and 'thebacon' which are simply just funny/odd names. Rooper0 (talk) 09:22, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


What exactly is the purpose of this article? It's not really encyclopedic. D-Fluff has had E-Nuff 19:06, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is more than an encyclopedia: nobody flicks through a dcitionary or encyclopedia, but people do surf wiki. there are lots hidden easter eggs like this. it is a shame there cannot be a list of them! --Squidonius (talk) 00:15, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

If I am not mistaken, this article is not in line with Wikipedian criteria. It is a list that is closer to trivia than "more than an encyclopedia". It is currently on the spot for deletion. Join the debate. Freefighter (talk) 05:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Picture for Ru(Tris)BiPY-on-a-Stick[edit]

The compound Ru(Tris)BiPy-on-a-Stick does not appear very notable at the moment. It needs a picture and maybe an explanation of why it's notable. See [1]. The page doesn't have any anchors, so just search for Ruthenium. Ian01 (talk) 23:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)


What about Re-format-sky reaction? Not really a chemical compound, though. -Choij (talk) 11:18, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


If all of the material is verifiable, this is a very good collection of information. It is not appropriate for Wikipedia but is worthy of saving somewhere. Are there other wikis that this can be deposited in? Freefighter (talk) 05:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

There is a published book with most if not all of this material in. Written by a Dr. Paul May from the University of Bristol, UK. It was published in 2008/9 by imperial college press. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scouse123 (talkcontribs) 21:07, 31 March 2011 (UTC)


Would ligands like Josiphos, Mandyphos and Taniaphos [2] be suited for this list? I'm not sure so I'm not adding them (yet) -- Sander (talk) 17:23, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Is Buckminsterfullerene truely unusual.....[edit]

Who classified it?-- (talk) 10:04, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

It's named after Buckminster Fuller, hence it has an unusual name for a molecule -- Sander (talk) 18:16, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

What is funny about Fluoboric acid?[edit]

Topquark22 (talk) 22:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC) I agree with Topquark22, what is so funny/unusual about Fluoboric acid?Subha8 (talk) 20:31, 19 February 2013 (UTC)


List of extraordinary diseases and conditions, an article that was created by inspiration from this one, has been tagged for deletion (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of extraordinary diseases and conditions). Feel welcome to give comments and suggestions, because the main reason is basically the same as what has been the case for this article: Lack of proper definition of what really is unusual, and therefore what to include or not, as well as making inclusions verifiable and without original research. Mikael Häggström (talk) 18:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

It survived the AfD, but is still in need for improvement, so further suggestions are very appreciated. Mikael Häggström (talk) 05:34, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
agreed, but the real question, which constantly prompts the afd's, is whether this article can be improved enough to meet WP standards for a list article. since there is no "standard" way of naming chemicals, there cant be a nonstandard or unusual style for naming. thus, we are left with interesting coincidences of language, like arsole, which is notable if commented on, but doesnt really mean we can build a whole article on essentially meaningless coincidences. god, this contains so much juvenile "Beavis and Butthead" material (he he, he said "arsole"). god spelled backwards is dog. true, but trivial and nonnotable, unless you create a list of words whose reverse spelling is a word as well. (hm nice idea). we do have a few list articles which use the word "unusual" in the name, such as List of cars with unusual door designs, which have content with measurable criteria for inclusion. i would reject the use of the word "unusual" in nearly all cases and would prefer "nonstandard". you might consider all chemical names for compounds before modern chemistry to be "unusual", and maybe water should be included. no one uses the term dihydrogen monoxide, after all. sigh.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 22:18, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
oh, heres some material from the article on the dihydrogen monoxide hoax:Various names for water are commonly used within the scientific community. Some such names include hydrogen oxide, as well as an alkali name of hydrogen hydroxide, and several acid names such as hydroxic acid, hydroxylic acid, and hydroxilic acid. The term "hydroxyl acid" used in the original hoax is slightly incorrect, as it does not follow convention. An additional name, μ-oxido dihydrogen, has been developed for this compound. [31]

Under the 2005 revisions of IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry, there is no single correct name for every compound.[32] The primary function of chemical nomenclature is to ensure that each name refers, unambiguously, to a single substance. It is considered less important to ensure that each substance should have a single name, although the number of acceptable names is limited.[32] Water is one acceptable name for this compound, even though it is neither a systematic nor an international name and is specific to just one phase of the compound. The other IUPAC recommendation is oxidane.[33]. so how can we have unusual names?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 22:29, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


Should GOd (Glucose Oxidase)be in this list? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:30, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Penguinone ?[edit]

Is there a valid reference for that name? The citation given here is just a web-site using that name, there is no proof that this name has ever been adopted by and used in the scientific literature. I mean, anybody can come up with some funny names. Like "Nazicrossane" for 3,3-diethylpentane, if you know what I mean. But it does not mean that the name is adopted and used in chemistry. Anyway, this list is not satisfactory. Could someone introduce another column entiteled "Explanation", where people with less imagination (and English skills) can get an explanation what is funny about each single entry? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:10, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

O.k., I just did a search in "Reaxys" and in "Science Citation Index", none of them contains the name "penguinone". Nothing found. Here is what Reaxys hat to say: "Chemical name: 3,4,4,5-Tetramethyl-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-on / 3,4,4,5-tetramethylcyclohexa-2,5-dienone / 3,4,4,5-Tetramethyl-2,5-cyclohexadienon / 3,4,4,5-Tetramethyl-cyclohexadien-(2,5)-on"

I also checked two original papers making this molecule, none of them refers to penguins. It is obviously just a joke perpetuated by Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:23, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Besides tha page used as a reference here, "penguinone" appears on the Bristol webpage that started this all with personal communication used as a source. While it's a bit more credible than, it still doesn't provide a published source as it does for many other "silly molecules'. I'll comment it out until a publication turns up. Cubbi (talk) 21:10, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It gets a mention as a name in this: [3]. I'll keep looking for stronger material.Novangelis (talk) 21:23, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Not exactly a technical reference, but a print source: [4] (p.35).Novangelis (talk) 21:52, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
no hits on google scholar or google books either, clearly a prank. the penguin should go. V8rik (talk) 15:27, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, one distinct hit on scholar and three in books, but nothing establishing it as anything but an informal name. While a questionable entry, please do not understate it. (I suspect you didn't put it in quotes during your search and missed it among the numerous hits for "penguin one".)Novangelis (talk) 16:19, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
No hits for it in SciFinder substance-search. DMacks (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
And ditto, PubChem.Novangelis (talk) 18:51, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Novangelis for the clue, penguinone was possibly invented by Pierre Laszlo in a American Scientist piece in 2004 here about chemists playfulness when it comes to naming compounds but also about good-spirited hoaxes (worth a read). Still not a genuine compound V8rik (talk) 18:58, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


It appears on cursory inspection that Pu started as a joke:
The site attributes it to Seaborg's autobiography (ISBN 0374299919) which should be easy to confirm.Novangelis (talk) 02:22, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


Shouldn't FAD be added to this article.Subha8 (talk) 20:29, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Rename ("chemical compounds" → "chemicals")[edit]

User: makes a good point with the removal of "Pu". It indeed is not a compound, merely a chemical, so it is not in scope for the current article-title of List of chemical compounds with unusual names. However, it's in scope for the concept of this article, and is even better-cited as to an "unusual" aspect than many other entries here. Assuming this article survives AfD#5, I propose moving this article to List of chemicals with unusual names (reversing the existing redirect) to avoid excluding this entry by scope of the title wording. DMacks (talk) 04:14, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Clarify the division between coincidental and intentional names[edit]

I think that the list should be split on the page between those chemicals whose names are not unusual in terms of their derivation (for example, Arsole, Germane, Nonanal, Uranate), but only in terms of their coincidental resemblance to other words; and those chemicals whose names were intentionally coined to be unusual (for example, Alcindoromycine, Basketane, Draculin). bd2412 T 19:07, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Inclusion criteria[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Stand-alone lists, lists must have criteria for inclusion which are "unambiguous, objective, and supported by reliable sources." This is particularly the case for avowedly "unusual" things. What strikes one person as unusual may strike others as unremarkable. It is therefore necessary to spell out in the lead section what qualifies for the list. Ideally, the compounds should be labeled "unusual" by some reliable source, not by the Wikipedians adding them to the list. Compare List of films considered the best.

Currently the lead section only identifies these as "a sample of trivial names" – not even unusual trivial names – as well as "systematic names and acronyms that accidentally resemble English words." The latter is better, but it should be more precise. For example, what does "resemble" mean? identical spelling? identical or similar pronunciation? a spelling that might be mispronounced as similar to an English word? As for trivial names, what qualifies them for inclusion? I would suggest including things that have been called "unusual", "funny", "strange" etc. by chemists or science journalists, but others may have different opinions. Cnilep (talk) 02:02, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

@Cnilep: I have been organizing entries into a few categories, which might help in defining inclusion criteria. There is not always a unique choice of category for a given name. It's not obvious to me why some of the uncategorized names were chosen. RockMagnetist (talk) 04:30, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

How to protect this list against challenges[edit]

Lots of lists get hit by disruptive AfD's, but why does this list keep getting targeted? Arguments for and against deletion tend to get dressed up with references to policy, but the heart of the problem is: this is a page where someone lists fucK because of its sound, and then solemnly proclaims "The name of the gene that encodes L-fuculokinase, an enzyme that catalyzes a chemical reaction between L-fuculose, ADP, and L-fuculose-1-phosphate." Whereas the more relevant piece of information is that the enzyme is also called fucose kinase. (May speculates that the authors who coined the term, being Japanese, didn't see the problem with the abbreviation, but I wonder - given the name "fucose kinase", they may have been forced by the naming conventions to abbreviate it as fucK.)

So how do you turn this list into something that doesn't have "Kick me" pinned to its backside? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Decide what the list is really about. Is it about the chemistry? Of course not. It is about the names, so the information in the list should be restricted to explanations of the names.
  • Organize the list by features of the name. Some examples of sections might be based on the molecule shape (e.g., basketane); derived from a place name; and derived from the name of a person. Also, following the suggestion of BD2412 above, there could be sections on names that are intentionally funny and names that are inadvertently funny.
  • Go to the previous section and help Cnilep decide on inclusion criteria. Then put them at the top of the lead and cite the works that will be used to verify that each entry meets the inclusion criteria.
  • Cite those same sources for some of the entries in the list. Having done this sort of thing for several lists myself, I know it's a lot of work, but even a few such citations would give the list a more encyclopedic look.
  • Try to find a better name for the list, one that is consistent with the inclusion criteria. The word "unusual" is too broad - there are many, many ways of being unusual.

All these suggestions are for preserving the list. However, I think that there is a much better solution - a merge. I will provide details soon. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:49, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

These are good suggestions, and merging to trivial names should also work. As has been pointed out, sourcing is necessary. I had thought there was some in addition to Paul May's website, but after scanning the list I could not find a single one that supports any of the compounds. I'd be interested to read about any merge details. -84user (talk) 21:45, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I followed the convention of putting the discussion in the talk page for the target article. RockMagnetist (talk) 21:52, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I have done my best with the reorganization, although some of the later section names sound a bit forced. The earlier ones are clearly consistent with May's comments on the molecules, and I have added citations to his list to support their classification. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:44, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like a name (person, brand or organization)[edit]

most of these are very weak

especially Adam Ant, since that's not his real name. hey, I call myself Hi Drogen, shall we put that in? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 16 November 2013 (UTC)


The "just sounds silly" section seems inherently POV. (talk) 20:09, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Most items in this list are taken from Paul May's Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names; and the section names are just my attempt to explain why he included them. The names in Just sounds silly are ones he called "ridiculous" and don't belong in the other sections. Maybe it would be better to merge this section with Other. RockMagnetist (talk)
BTW - you also tagged the list for OR. Is this for the same issue? RockMagnetist (talk) 22:50, 12 March 2014 (UTC)


I removed "churchane" since I could not find any reference to it in academic publications. Should anybody find it referenced somewhere that's not a random internet site, I'll be happy to support the renewed addition of churchane to this list. RandallBarksdale (talk) 00:56, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

No matches in SciFinder. DMacks (talk) 03:10, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Irrelevant sections?[edit]

I understand that sometimes people intentionally name molecules unusually. However, the sections List_of_chemical_compounds_with_unusual_names#Sounding_like_vulgarisms and List_of_chemical_compounds_with_unusual_names#Related_to_sex seem kind of like random coincidences that people just listed. Is this really relevant for Wikipedia? Let me know if it's ok to delete them. Llightex (talk) 17:16, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

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